Asking for repairs?

I encourage all buyers to have a complete home inspection but when it is all done some are sure that they want to ask to have every little thing fixed and other buyers ask for almost nothing. Which repairs should buyers ask for?

Some repairs do seem ridiculous but having a furnace repaired so that it works or having a leaky pipe fixed does not seem ridiculous. . . and when I use the word ridiculous I am using it in the old school way not in the 2010 overused urban dictionary way.

Making an offer on an older home and then asking to have all the windows replaced seems a bit over the top but I had that happen with one of my listings last year. The buyer also asked for a new furnace and water heater even though there was nothing wrong with either they were just older.

6a00d83451d6cf69e20134884f4916970c piSometimes I have buyers  looking for craftsman style homes built in 1910 to 1940 and expect them to have modern electrical systems where all of the electrical outlets are grounded.  Often after sellers have owned a home and lived in it for a couple of decades with two pronged outlets they don’t see having them changed over to grounded outlets for the buyers as a priority to have done before they leave.

There are some things that a home has to have like working plumbing and in Minnesota a working furnace or boiler is required. Personally I believe that if something . . just about anything in a home leaks the sellers should fix it unless it is a family member and in that case they should take it with.


Buyers should keep in mind that sellers do not always have the money needed to make repairs.  Sellers should understand that often home buyers are strapped for cash and can not afford to have repairs made and buy a home all at the same time . . yet buyers need to know that there will be repairs in the future and they should budget for them.

Sellers should be prepared to fix anything that comes up as a hazard on the truth in housing report like unsafe wiring and pressure release valves that don’t work.

Sellers can say no to any repair that the buyers ask for and the buyers can cancel the purchase agreement during the inspection period and find another home if the inspection reveals too many issues.

The point of the inspection is for the buyers to know what they are buying and it also protects the sellers somewhat because the inspector is finding the problems that could upset the buyers if they found out after they owned the home.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 Replies to “Asking for repairs?”

  1. I never ask a seller to make repairs.

    As you point out, the money to do it simply may not be there. Even if it is, however, the seller is leaving the property behind and cannot be expected to have much interest in doing any more than patching. You’ll be stuck with cheap windows, poorly installed; the first doorknob he/she reached for at the big-box store (matching or not); or, worse, repairs done by some amateur whom their sister-in-law’s friend’s brother knows.

    Sellers do not have the stake in doing it right that buyers do. If it’s a major issue, negotiate within the purchase agreement — or walk away if you think that’s your best move. But control that part of your purchase yourself.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      Very true. I would not want sellers making certain repairs but if the buyer insists repair requests should be very specific . Buyers can ask that they are done by an individual with the appropriate credentials and specify the type of materials windows or doors are to be made of.

  2. […] Teresa’s entire post here: Baton Rouge Home Appraiser Advice, Bill Cobb: If you’re the buyer, you want to make certain […]

Comments are closed.