What Should I Ask the Seller to Fix?

We are often asked to prioritize the repairs that should be made to a home, or suggest which repairs a buyer should ask the seller to handle.

First, everyone is different, so that depends on how handy you are &/or who you know – if your brother is an electrician, then electrical problems aren’t quite as important to you – if your cousin is a roofer… you get the idea.

My best recommendation is to have that conversation with your Realtor. Only he/she knows all of the aspects of the deal; how motivated the seller is, what items were already in the sellers disclosure &/or figured into the sales price, what comparable properties are currently selling for, etc.

I like to use the following analogy:

If you’re buying a Maserati for the cost of a Volkswagen, then who cares what the tires look like?

Finally, I should remind you to take another look at What Really Matters at the top of your Inspection Report (usually page 3).

All of the above covered, let me do my best to answer you the best way I can…

Once you have prioritized the list of “things to do” based on what’s most important to YOU, and spoken with your Realtor about what’s realistic vs. excessive, then take another look…

Is your list in order of the cost of repairs? That’s what most buyers end up with. However, I suggest that the following items should be at the top of your list (regardless of the cost of repairs):

  • Any problems that are a safety hazard or health risk (exposed electrical wires)
  • Any problems that keep you from financing or insuring the property
  • Any problems that will cause further damage if left alone (roof or plumbing leaks)

Repair / Replace – What’s appropriate, adequate, and reasonable?

Often times, systems can be repaired rather than replaced. However, sometimes new, more efficient equipment is worth an additional investment. So, seller concessions may be preferred over repairs to something that is old / out-dated. More expensive options are not always the best choice, and sometimes less expensive parts are just as good.

Re-Inspection After Repair:

Repairs made by a licensed professional usually include a warranty. If so, you may not need a re-inspection. However, if the seller, seller’s friend, handyman, etc. have done repairs they should be inspected to be sure that the repairs were done completely & properly. Call for pricing.

Hope this helps!