In a normal residential sales transaction the buyer has the opportunity to do due-diligence (basically have a free-look period… to “kick the tires” so to speak). The due-diligence period is a negotiable amount of time and is laid out in the sales contract. During the DD period the buyers can do whatever inspections or investigations regarding the property they deem necessary or desirable. Prior to the end of the DD period the buyers can submit a repair request to the sellers asking them to fix, repair or correct defects or issues uncovered by the inspections and investigations.
What buyers and sellers need to understand about the repair requests is that they are negotiable. The seller doesn’t have to address all of the buyer’s concerns or any of them for that matter. Sellers need to be aware that by not satisfactorily addressing the concerns of the buyers, they are giving the buyers motive to walk away from the transaction. Buyers need to know that even though the sellers did not agree to do all or any of the items on the repair request, the buyers still have the option to agree to continue with the transaction.
It irks me when buyer’s agents encourage the buyers to ask for everything found in the inspection report. That is just laziness in my opinion. I encourage buyers to pick-and-choose. Select the items that they are very concerned about and leave the small stuff off the list. Regarding the small stuff… if a buyer is a handy person I suggest that they only ask for things they may not be particularity good at doing. If they are good at drywall repair but not good at shingle replacement then I may suggest for the buyer to handle fixing the hole in the drywall behind the bathroom door and ask the seller to take care of replacing the missing shingle. I also encourage that the entire inspection report be submitted along with the repair request. This creates some good-will when the sellers see that the buyers could have asked for a lot more than they did. That good-will encourages the seller to step up and take care of the items asked for.
Sellers should be aware that there are certain issues or defects that any reasonable buyer will ask to be corrected. Even if the seller is willing to lose the deal with one set of buyers because they think they were too picky, some issues like roof leaks, faulty HVAC systems, broken windows, etc. will most likely be requested by the next potential buyer. Even with a stubborn seller, I will encourage them to bite-the-bullet and fix those types of major defects.
The thing to take away from this article is that the repair request is 100% negotiable. Buyers can walk away if certain things are not agreed to by the sellers, but on the other hand, buyers can agree to continue with the transaction even if the sellers don’t agree to do anything. If the buyers are selective when choosing which items are asked for and the sellers are reasonable when it comes to issues that any buyer would ask for… it’s a good bet both parties will make it to a successful closing… and isn’t what we all want.
For more information please visit http://www.KevinBurrusHomes.com or contact me directly at (919) 889-1766.