Negotiating Repairs when Buying a Home in Palestine TX

Negotiating Repairs when Buying a Home in Palestine TX

Negotiating Repairs when Buying a Home in Palestine TX

Almost every home (yes, even new construction!) has something, or several somethings, that need repair. The purpose of a home inspection is basically so you know exactly what you are buying (including potential issues.) Of course, finding no problems is ideal, but very rare.  Inspection reports are notoriously long (even on a “move in ready house”)—but that is a good thing! You are paying to know and knowledge is power!  You know exactly what you’re getting into (or should back out of, in some cases.)  So, after the inspection report comes in…what do you do with it?  Before your option period ends, you have 3 options:  continue on with the purchase, cancel the purchase, or request repairs.  Buyers are free to request any repairs they choose (or none at all), but the seller is not obligated to agree to them—it is a negotiation and a compromise to come up with a solution that both parties can live with.

Buyer wants Vs. Seller Wants – Coming to a Solution that works for EVERYONE is the only way that everyone wins!

There is often a give and take when requesting repairs.  The buyers may want everything fixed and sellers want to sell “as is.”   The best course of action is to review the report with your agent and make a list of the issues and break them down, while thinking about which items are the most important to get completed.  As a buyer, you want them to accept your short and reasonable repair request, not balk and halt discussions with a 4 page list of repairs.  In order to have the maximum chances of getting a yes, repair requests are best kept to two categories:  broken items and safety issues.  The air conditioner isn’t working or there is a live exposed electrical wire near the sink?  I would definitely suggest requesting those. However, think of the non-essential repairs (or minor maintenance items) and aesthetic updates as your future “to do list.”  Requesting things like repainting a hot pink wall would likely get a big fat “no” and may also shut down negotiations for more reasonable requests.   In general, the fewer items you ask for, the more likely that the seller will agree.

Be Clear, Concise and REASONABLE!

So…what do you ask for?  There is no one size fits all answer. It is up to the buyer as to which repairs will be requested.  It all depends on what is important to them.  The request needs to be simple and self-explanatory.  Sending the report off to the seller and saying “fix it” is not the way to go when requesting repairs—very few sellers will agree to fix 50-70 pages worth of repairs.  When requesting repairs, be clear and concise in your request.  For example, instead of saying “repair broken windows,” say “replace broken window glass in hall bathroom and in dining room.”  Don’t make them guess, because they may inadvertently miss it or not understand what they have agreed to.

Inspection reports are long, so it is easy to get overwhelmed and think that the house has” too many problems”.  If that is the case and it’s not the house for you, fair enough—terminate your contract before the option period is over.  However, before you bail on it, make sure that the issues really are unresolvable.  You can get a second opinion and estimates to see if there is a solution or request the seller to repair.  Sometimes things that seem scary and expensive are actually an easier fix than you think, but you’ll never know if you don’t find out!

Not all buyers request repairs and not all sellers are open to completing them, but keeping things reasonable will generally get better results and keep things progressing forward.  At the end of the day, both buyer and seller want the same thing—to move.

 

Lisa E. Priest is amused by hot pink walls and is an East Texas Area Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com

 

Negotiating Repairs when Buying a Home in Palestine TX