Author Topic: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?  (Read 11266 times)

JuniAda

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« on: July 03, 2014, 09:01:59 PM »
hello:

I wanted to see if people asked the seller to fix all issues found in the inspection? If not, what did you ask the seller to fix (only big issues?)? I'm currently in escrow and the home fell through escrow in March so I was given the home inspection report from March and have found some issues with the house. The most concerning being that the electrical panel, which is a fire hazard, so I want to ask the seller to replace this since it is out of date. There are also some other things I feel the seller should pay for, but I'm not sure on the strategy. Should I ask for her to just fix these things, or ask for a dollar amount? AHHHHH this is causing me so much stress. Any advice on home inspections would be great.

Thank you!

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 09:22:48 PM »
The first house we sold, the buyer asked for some annoying fixes and we tried to do some of them and it was a giant pain in the ass and in fact led to more damages that we then also had to fix. The second house we sold, the buyer asked for some annoying fixes and we said, you can pay $1K less for the house but we're fixing fuck-all. They accepted.

I don't know your seller, but personally I've always found it kind of offensive to be asked to fix things. Unfortunately for the seller, they're also at a disadvantage because they want to sell.

That's just my $0.02.

JuniAda

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 09:35:07 PM »
Thanks Cressida. We are not looking for the seller to fix small repairs, but I do want them to replace the Zinsco main service panel, as this is a fire hazard.

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 09:37:52 PM »
Yeah, I guess you did say "only big issues." Apparently I still have a chip on my shoulder about this. :)

MBot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 09:51:02 PM »
We found knob and tube wiring was connected to a new panel. Once we found it, the seller paid half of a complete proper rewire (15k!!) by a top electrical company.

There was a $300 fix to the stack too, but we bit the bullet and just took care of it. 

Primm

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1325
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Australia
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 09:58:02 PM »
I'm like Cressida. Sold a house once where we fixed minor issues that the buyer requested and it was a pain in the arse. Next house, same thing, and we weren't desperate to sell so we said "take it or leave it". They took it...

So my question is, if you ask them to fix it and they say no, what will you do?

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1171
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 10:00:07 PM »
It was a very strong seller's market when I bought my house. There were a handful of items I could have asked for but in the end I only asked for the electrical panel replacement (also identified as safety hazard at inspection).

Your market may vary.

Primm

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1325
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Australia
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 10:20:44 PM »
Doesn't answer my question. I'm not saying don't ask, because if you don't ask the answer is always no. I'm saying if you DO ask and the answer is no, will you continue with the sale or walk away? Not necessarily to get an answer here, just something for you to think about.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5082
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 10:56:34 PM »
I look the property over carefully before I make an offer and my offer has repair costs built in. 

If the seller is not a bank or an agency, I ask for anything major that is a safety or major wear issue.  Also anything the lender would require to make the loan, if there is one.  If the likely buyer is financed, the seller's agent will usually tell the seller to do the work or the property won't get financing.  I generally make a list of the less important items and ask for a credit.  I do not ask for small stuff.

If the seller is a bank, they are trying to sell as is.  I still ask for a credit for big items.  Sometimes you get the credit, sometimes you don't.  If the numbers are good enough anyway, and they say no, I will go through with the purchase.

I buy and sell houses, though, so I am able to keep emotion out of the process, and I'm not on a "need to move by" timeline.


Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6445
  • Location: BC
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 11:14:19 PM »
Safety issues that need to be fixed prior to move in.  Those that are not to code at the time installed.

For us it was a leaky gas hot water tank exhaust and a lack of an auto closure on garage door.  Although less than 500, it was worth less hassle before we could move in.  CO is the silent killer.

Did not ask for roof repair due to life cycle, broken seal on window or soft deck post replacement.  Those were able to be lived with or just due to age and normal for the age of house. Like aluminum wiring and knob and tube in good condition.

As others said, if you are not getting a deal already, why not just ask?

Mega

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 176
  • Location: Burlington, Ontario
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 08:36:30 AM »
Ask for money, not repairs.

I used this as an opportunity to recover the cost of the home inspection. It really depends on the seller's motivation, and if they need to sell, you will get the money.

clarkm04

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 09:29:38 AM »
We purchased a house last year.  We asked the seller to fix everything and she agreed.

I suspect she was comfortable with doing this since we didn't haggle on the home price since it was very reasonably priced and she was motivated to move shortly after the sale and we were eager to move in at the same time.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3033
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2014, 10:10:49 AM »
We've bought 3 houses so far. We never, ever ask the seller to fix anything. The offer we make takes any obvious repairs into account. If the inspection turns up additional problems that need to be fixed, then we re-negotiate a lower price that allows us to fix the problems.

When you ask the seller to fix problems you are guaranteed to get the cheapest, quickest possible fix for the problem since the seller has absolutely no incentive to fix things properly. This is not how DH and I like to do repairs so we make sure we're the ones either doing or supervising the work.

Mr. Frugalwoods

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: Greater Boston Area
    • Frugalwoods
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2014, 10:41:41 AM »
We never, ever ask the seller to fix anything. The offer we make takes any obvious repairs into account. If the inspection turns up additional problems that need to be fixed, then we re-negotiate a lower price that allows us to fix the problems.

When you ask the seller to fix problems you are guaranteed to get the cheapest, quickest possible fix for the problem since the seller has absolutely no incentive to fix things properly. This is not how DH and I like to do repairs so we make sure we're the ones either doing or supervising the work.

This.

Look at it this way: If you pay a higher price for the house but have the seller fix things, you are effectively financing those repairs via your mortgage.  Would you normally put those repairs on a credit card?  If not, then just ask for the overall price of the house to be reduced.

Also sellers will fix things the absolutely cheapest, shittiest way possible.  Every time.  There's just no incentive.

This all depends on the type of market in your local area.  Around here, in the Boston area, the market is so hot that plenty of offers are made without inspection clauses.  Seems nuts to me, but it's a great time to be a seller!

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3609
  • Location: Texas
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2014, 08:15:58 PM »
I negotiated an extra $1,200 off the house price after the inspection found some things - primarily that the shingles weren't nailed on correctly

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3199
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2014, 09:31:40 PM »
I wanted to see if people asked the seller to fix all issues found in the inspection?
As others have mentioned, always ask for money instead of repairs.  Not only will the seller be tempted to do a crappy job, but when you're taking care of the repairs as the owner then you'll know that they're done right. 

It's also a big help if you can write an offer that has home inspection contingency escape clauses, although that's tough in a seller's market.

Stachesquatch

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Location: Austin, TX and Deadhorse, AK
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2014, 10:54:29 PM »
We've bought 3 houses so far. We never, ever ask the seller to fix anything. The offer we make takes any obvious repairs into account. If the inspection turns up additional problems that need to be fixed, then we re-negotiate a lower price that allows us to fix the problems.

When you ask the seller to fix problems you are guaranteed to get the cheapest, quickest possible fix for the problem since the seller has absolutely no incentive to fix things properly. This is not how DH and I like to do repairs so we make sure we're the ones either doing or supervising the work.

This X2

We just negotiated $4500 off asking price in the red hot Austin housing market for roof damage, air conditioner repair and appliance replacement.  The house had heavy smokers, but because I do a full paint out on properties we buy we didn't try to negotiate a clean up fee - the extra cost to us for the Zinsser BIN primer (unbelievably effective at covering up smoke) instead of regular primer was around $300, but the risk of effectively telling the sellers 'you stink' wasn't worth it.  We didn't want to alienate sellers in a market where offers often go $20,000 OVER listing price.  Our real estate agent said that the only reason we got the house under appraised value, and under listing price after our negotiations was because of the smoke smell put off other buyers, otherwise the house would have sold on the first day it was listed. 

In these situations pick your battles, in this case picking the flaws to ask concession for paid off nicely, and  we know the fixes are being done properly. 

SnackDog

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Latin America
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2014, 08:39:04 AM »
It all depends on what you are trying to achieve and the situation.  If the seller is in a weak position, you may choose to wallop him with the inspection report, either demanding repairs or a price reduction. I once asked for a $60,000 price reduction.  It didn't fly, which in retrospect was good as I don't think it was enough. My realtor was relieved as she hated the house. The joint eventually sold for $200,000 less than I offered.   In another situation, with a weak seller, I demanded they fix everything I thought was reasonable and they did.  They had lived in the house 40 years so their equity was astronomical.  In my last purchase, the seller had pre-inspected and invested a fortune in repairs to make everything perfect (for example, there were a few quibbles about the furnace so he bought a brand new one).  I didn't even bother to inspect.  A week before closing, the kitchen range died.  He emailed a choice of several comparable high-end ranges, I chose one, and he purchased and installed it before closing. I was amazed!

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2014, 09:15:06 AM »
When I bought, my realtor just pointed out the problems the inspector found (roof needed work, hot water tank was dead) and asked the sellers what they could do about it. They gave me cash for the roof (about half the cost of doing it), and they replaced the hot water heater.

In hindsight, I would have preferred cash for both, for the reasons people have mentioned above. I would never have chosen the replacement water heater that the sellers chose (I would have either paid more for on-demand or paid less for a smaller tank).

happyfeet

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2014, 10:10:50 AM »
No.  I prefer to offer the fix by lowering the price. 

steadierfooting

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Home Inspection: did you ask seller to fix everything?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2014, 06:08:59 PM »
We bought a 70 year old house and there was a laundry list of things on the inspection that at first I wanted fixed, but then our realtor convinced us to only have them repair the big issues of things not up to code.  Like the hot water heater installed incorrectly, an asbestos panel in the basement, and 2 other things that I can't remember but could have been one of those things that you open up and could be a $75 job or $7500.

For the asbestos, I wanted them to do it.  They could do it right and pay the $1000, or have been cheap and just rip it down themselves and risk the consequences.  I didn't care either way as long as it was out.

They say the fixer upper parts are baked into the costs you are paying for it, yes it's an old house, but it still 2 years later pisses me off that I am shelling out money left and right for their neglecting it.