Make sure you get a home inspection prior to purchasing a home to avoid unpleasant surprises that may not be initially apparent upfront but that can cost you thousands to fix or repair later on. Hiring a home inspector is not only a smart idea to protect yourself from any unforeseen issues with the home you are purchasing, but it may also be required by the loan company who is financing your loan.
Once the home inspection has been completed, we can assist you in deciding what repairs to ask the seller to make. A discount on the sales price can also be requested instead of making repairs if the seller does not have the money to perform the repairs. The seller is not obligated to make any of the repairs requested or to even lower the price as either of these things depends on who the seller is and their level of motivation in selling the property.
If the home is owned by a normal seller, you’re more likely to get them to agree to some repairs. If the seller is a bank or a “short sale,” the likelihood of getting repairs paid for is very low. Banks generally will not pay for obvious things like cosmetic repairs, broken windows, or most anything you can easily see by walking around the property. However, if major repairs such as a broken foundation or leaking roof (that looked fine prior to inspection) are discovered, they are more likely to pay for these to be repaired or replaced.
The thing to remember is that you can ask for anything you want. Everything in real estate is negotiable. The answer may be “No”, but you can still ask.
Depending on the deal, a good rule of thumb is for us to ask the seller to do repairs that would require hiring a professional, and not asking for repairs that you can do yourself. Include photos and a description of the the problem areas (from your inspection report) to support your requests. Also, we will be sure to tell the seller what repairs you are not asking for so they see you’re being reasonable and not expecting a brand new house (unless of course it is a brand new house!)
In the end, the seller is not required to do any repairs, but you have the right to cancel the sale if they refuse.