Buying a new property can be a whirlwind of challenges. One of the most important is handling any repairs that may be necessary. A big question is, “Who is Paying For Repairs”? Dealing with property renovations before you close a deal can be a complicated issue. You might have been attracted to the property due to its amazingly styled pictures online or been awestruck during the open house or showing. But finding something wrong on your inspection can change your perspective in buying a property. Choosing the right Professional Home Inspector is a crucial! A detailed inspector like Barrie Inspections can save you from very costly hidden repairs. Not all Inspectors are detailed and do a thorough inspection!
A property that needs repairs isn’t always a sign of bad advertising or attempts to hide problems, as some people might think. Most sellers don’t know all the code defects that exist in their homes/properties, especially if they have not had any problems. However, it can be some good luck for buyers to help cut down on repair/renovation costs by negotiating the seller of certain ‘unadvertised’ cons to the property.
Figuring Out Who Should Pay for What
Properties with minor issues/damage aren’t always a negative thing or a reason to back out of a sale. Most of the time, small issues such as cracks on the wall or scratches on the floor aren’t worth the battle if the rest of the home is in good shape. Try to ignore the minor cosmetic items as well. Sometimes, seemingly small damages like minor wall cracks can be rooted in more substantial complications like foundation issues, which can be a harder issue to ignore. Inspection reports are often ‘scary’ to new home buyers because they have a LOT of defects listed if the property is older. But that definitely doesn’t mean the property is a bad investment! Ask questions of your inspector to get clarification! Don’t get overwhelmed by all the minor imperfections!
Having a good Realtor in your corner is also essential for most buyers to navigate the negotiation process. Buying without a Realtor, or by using the Listing Agent as your agent, cuts down how much you can effectively negotiate. The Listing Agent as your Realtor is ok in some instances; however, you should remember that they are obligated to the seller rather than to the buyer.
Here are three ways we think will help you to figure out who should be paying for what in negotiating for a property’s price:
1. Understand the type of repair needed
One key to figuring out who should be responsible for a property’s repairs is having a good grasp of how long repairs take to make and their cost. Most repairs/maintenance items listed in Barrie Inspections’ reports are minor in nature. The majority of repairs could be made by a licensed professional for less than $3,000 to $5,000. Typically, these repairs include items like missing GFCI receptacles, broken light fixtures, minor plumbing leaks or faucet issues, and minor wood rot on the exterior.
Buyers and sellers generally have a back and forth negotiation whereby the parties address a property’s issues that are important to the buyer. This negotiation can be a discussion for cutting down the property’s original pricing, asking for repairs to be made, or for concessions that allow for the repair costs to be given to the buyer at closing. This is where having a good Realtor in your corner gives you the best option for a successful negotiation.
Some renovations, such as window replacements due to small cracks on the windowpane, can be challenging to argue due to the extended repair time for sourcing the replacement and scheduling installation. Other repairs that include non-functioning appliances such as ranges (stove), food disposals, leaking air ducting, missing GFCI receptacles, or minor plumbing problems are much easier to get done by the seller.
If the damage to the property in question takes an overhaul and at least a few weeks of construction, such as under-slab broken pipes, major electrical wiring, heating/cooling major repairs, etc., then the repairs will fall almost always to the seller’s responsibility. Sometimes these will be written into an amendment to be done after closing, other times it will be done prior to closing.
As-is properties are sometimes more challenging because the seller is unwilling to make repairs. However, just because a property is listed “As-Is” doesn’t mean there isn’t really some flexibility that can be made. Again, this is where experienced Realtors are able to help!
2. Contact Your Lender/Mortgage Representative
Specific lenders have non-negotiables when it comes to seller-funded repairs, which can be tricky if you’re encountering a stingy homeowner. Most of the time, both your agent and the seller’s agent should have a decent grasp of what applies to certain on repair issues. Veterans Administration (VA) loans are particularly specific with certain repairs, and are not generally flexible on some items.
Often, a seller will be asked to be responsible for fixing issues related to energy and water supply, safety/security, and some building code regulations. Once a credible home inspector has inspected the property and listed certain repairs should be made, the negotiation begins. It’s up to you and your agent to haggle minor repairs, such as reflooring or the addition of electrical and water outlets, and push for the required repairs by your lender where applicable.
3. Trust Your Home Inspector for an Unbiased Opinion/Evaluation
A house inspection before you close a deal is highly recommended, and often times necessary per the lender, for any property buyer. Though your discussions with the owner and his agent might have covered all the nooks and crannies of the typical area in the home for obvious damages, it’s still important to have someone on your side to give an objective analysis to confirm the condition
Home sellers are politely asked to step out during the inspection process so that you can both go through a thorough inspection of the house and to discuss if repairs on your end will be costly. Top-rated home inspectors like Barrie Inspections go through all the problematic areas of the home ranging from plumbing, electrical, roofing systems, and the property’s foundation, to ensure that you get an unbiased report of facts, so you can make sure the purchase is a safe and fair deal. A highly qualified inspector will be experienced and verifiable.
Buying a property is a milestone of investment, similar to buying your car. However, unlike buying something that you can easily tradeoff or sell after a short time, homes are considerable commitments that should be chosen based entirely on its quality and location. Be sure to check out our other blog posts (here) for more helpful tips.
If you’re looking for a thorough inspection to be done in the Victoria Texas area, trust a 5-Star rated inspector with over 15 years of experience! When you want an eye for detail and a service you can trust, James at Barrie Inspections is ready to help you. We are fully equipped and trained in multiple areas that others aren’t. Contact us today at James@BarrieInspections.com or (361) 298-0472 for a detailed and thorough assessment of your property’s condition.