Thursday, November 7, 2019 / by Joy L Frisch PA
Sellers are far more likely to agree to do repairs if they are safety or major issues that will cause lenders or insurance companies to balk!
Most buyers and sellers understand that buying and selling a home requires . You give a little here, and they concede a bit there. So, here’s a list of things you should not ask for on the repair list.
1. Easily repaired items under $10
Whole house inspectors often come back with a list of items that cost under $10 to repair or replace. Save yourself the hassle and omit these things from the list of requested repairs. As of late, I’ve seen many requests for switch plates and light bulbs. I even had one agent argue that lightbulbs are safety issues. Again,
If repairs are not related to a safety issue or the breakdown of an expensive system, you are not doing yourself any favors by listing them on the repair request.
2. Replacement of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Sometimes buyers are adamant they want missing smoke detectors or carbon
monoxide detectors replaced.
Although these are safety items, unless local codes say differently, it is better if you install the smoke and carbon monoxide indicators after closing. That way, they can make an informed decision on the type of alarms they feel most comfortable using in their new home.
3. Cosmetic issues in a resale home
4. Repairs related to minor plumbing and electrical issues
Often, a whole-home inspector will list in the report issues with simple electrical and plumbing items such as an upside-down outlet or corrosion on a fitting. Unless the problems cited are a safety concern, you should not list them as a requested repair.
Simple issues such as an upside-down outlet or a corroded fitting are DIY or handyman repairs that can easily be handled post-closing.
5. Repair of hairline cracks in the basement or driveway
Concrete expands and contracts naturally, and over time, cracks will occur. If the cracks are minor, don’t list them in a request for repairs.
However, if the breaks are over a quarter inch, it’s an excellent idea to have a structural inspection. Structural cracks are a whole new ballgame.
6. Outdoor landscaping, porch and fence repairs
These items were visible at the initial showing and will be a factor in the initial offer and negotiations.
It’s not a good idea to ask for things that were obvious at the beginning, such as sod replacement, fence restoration, loose railings or loose hinges. It’s also not a good idea to include a request for the removal of overgrown plants or trees even if they are touching the house. The buyers can do that after closing. Then, they can be trimmed in a manner appealing to you, the new owner.
7. Replacement of failed seals in windows
It’s another simple fix, and sometimes you need to pick your battles.
8. A new furnace, air-conditioner or water heater because they are old
If the HVAC system or water heater is working properly, the age does not matter. You cannot request the replacement of a functioning system. You can order an additional inspection (if you are still within their inspection period) and ask for repairs if they are needed, but that is it.
9. Roof repairs for a roof that is free of leaks or structural damage
This is a bit of a gray area because sometimes roofs are very old and free of leaks but hard to insure due to age. If you suspect the roof might be at the end of its lifecycle, agree to how the roof will be handled pre-inspection before going under contract. If you don’t, you might pay for an inspection, find out the obvious, without much recourse.
For all items on this list that you would like to have fixed and are not safety or related to the failure of an expensive system, you can request a credit at closing, or if you are requesting some major repairs, have your Realtor show all the petty stuff and say that you will pass on that if they do the major repairs. Remember, that is called NEGOTIATION.
Joy L Frisch PA
Realtor - ABR,SRS,SRES,MCNE
Charles Rutenberg Realty