How do you ask for repairs after a home inspection? | Partin Real Estate


How do you ask for repairs after a home inspection?

A home buyer talks to a home inspector about necessary repairs for a house she's considering buying.

You’re shopping for a home, you find the house you’d like to buy, but once the inspection comes back you find out your potential dream house needs some repairs. How do you ask for repairs after a home inspection?

Your real estate agent should be able to help you out here but we understand that some of you may be house hunting on your own or would just like to double-check your options. So, let’s take a closer look!

How do you ask for repairs after a home inspection?

A home inspection is an examination of the physical structure and various systems of a home by an inspection professional to find any issues a home buyer may have not been able to find themselves. An inspection is protection for you and your mortgage lender because any issues the inspector finds could impact the home’s value.

If an inspection unearths any serious issues, you have three options:

  • Request the home seller to lower the overall price or offer a credit on the purchase
  • Ask the seller to pay for repairs
  • Back out of the purchase

It’s completely reasonable to request repairs for any problems in the home that lead to health or safety concerns or if the damage is at risk of becoming worse and significantly impacting the value of the home.

Do home sellers have to agree to repairs after a home inspection?

No. Although negotiating repairs is common in the sale of a home, sellers do not have to agree to make repairs to any issues a home inspector finds. Most of the time, it’s in the seller’s best interest to make the repairs but they can decline if they wish.

How to ask for repairs after a home inspection

OK, so you know it’s reasonable to ask for repairs and know that the seller doesn’t have to make them. But – literally – how do you ask for repairs after a home inspection? Well, the best course of action is to sit down with your realtor and tell them:

  • Which repairs you require to move forward with the purchase
  • Which ones you would like them to make
  • Which, if any, are not important to you at all

Then, your agent can handle the messy business of requesting the repairs.

However, if you’re on your own the best course of action is to stay as professional and understanding as possible. The home sellers are likely just as stressed out as you are during this process. They also likely have competing offers to consider. If they say no to your request, trust that it wasn’t the right situation for you and move on.

What repair requests are unreasonable to ask for?

There are a few types of repairs that are likely to annoy real estate agents and home sellers. We would leave these off of your request:

  • Cosmetic damage including stains
  • Repairs to garages or extra buildings
  • Driveway issues
  • Cracks in the basement floor
  • Issues with fixtures

The best course of action when asking for repairs following a home inspection is to give the selling agent a short list of crucial to semi-crucial repairs that you would need to have to feel safe and comfortable with your purchase. If there are issues you can do yourself or hire out cheaply, we recommend not asking for those repairs.

We get that you want your new home to be as perfect as you’ve imagined, but depending on the price range you’re looking in and market factors could make that difficult or even impossible. A trustworthy agent will be able to tell you if you’re expecting too much.

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