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Negotiating repairs can be straight-forward. Take the time consider your request and the justification for it. A  professional home inspection provides a report detailing the findings. It also details what needs to be done to turn the home into a perfect home. Having everything single thing on the report addressed by the seller is nice. It is also not realistic.

Buyer Concerns

When reading the report, determine which repairs are important and which ones you feel comfortable taking on yourself. Repairs driven by health and safety concerns need to be the top priority. Things like exposed electrical wires and gas lines subject to fraying are two examples of health and safety-driven repairs.

Lender Concerns

The other type of repairs the seller confronts are repairs demanded by the lender. These make the home loan-compliant. Here the seller is told that in order for the home to qualify for the buyers’ loan, certain repairs need to be made. Perhaps the roof leaked causing water intrusion. Or there is an un-permitted garage conversion. Whatever the case, though the buyers qualify for the loan, the property does not in its current condition.

Seller Options

Repair requests do not automatically result in the repairs being done. The seller has the option to do all the repairs, some of them or none of them. If the repairs are buyer requests, the sale may still go through as long as the buyers are willing to take on some/all repairs themselves. If the repairs are lender-driven, the seller has to choose whether to make the repairs or find new buyers.

Thus, negotiating repairs and even repair requests can be a tricky business. A good realtor will help you determine what’s reasonable to ask and what you should not compromise on. I do this routinely for all my clients.