Risky But Powerful Tactic For Home Inspection Repair Requests

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: I’m selling my property, the buyer just did an inspection and I got the inspection report with a ton of items they want me to repair. What should I do? Henry, San Diego, CA

A: Real estate negotiations don’t necessarily end when you sign a purchase contract. Most real estate contracts contain an inspection clause that allows buyers the right to have the home they’re buying inspected for soundness. That way, if the inspection reveals a serious issue, you and the buyer can address it through renegotiations.

After the inspections are complete, you have to decide if any problems found are worth renegotiating. Here’s the risk and opportunity to you as the seller: you are not obligated to address any of the repair requests your buyer has made, but, if you don’t address the repair requests, the buyer can normally pull out the purchase contract–it’s like a game of chicken. So the question is, how badly do you want or need to sell the property and how confident are you that you can find another buyer at a higher price?

If you are not currently receiving income on this property, then it’s costing you money every day that you own it to the tune of property taxes, utilities and other holding costs, however, if you get a higher offer from the next buyer, the costs may offset the additional expenses and you may even make more money. In general, because you get the most action from buyers on a residential property the first 30 days it’s on the market, I’d normally suggest you work out an agreement with the buyer to either fix some or all of the repair requests or offer a credit to the buyer, but it really depends on your current situation, how motivated you are right now to sell, and how much losing this buyer would affect you.

Thanks for your question, Henry. Good luck.

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