Requests for Repair After Home Inspection: What You Need To Know (2023)

You've made an offer, the seller has accepted, and now it's time for the home inspection. The purchase agreement has been signed, and the funds are in escrow. During the home inspection, the inspector will attempt to find as many defects as possible in the home's roof, floors, walls, windows, and structural support members.

After the inspection is done, you can begin to make repair requests with the seller; you generally can't start making requests before that. Once you have the inspection report in hand, you can ask the seller to repair the items/situations found. They may agree or decline; or, in some cases, they might offer you “repair credits” instead. These essentially lower the selling price, giving you more cash to do the repairs yourself once you own the home.

Learn more about serious issues to look out for, tips for making requests after a home inspection, and the different ways to pay for repairs.

Key Takeaways

  • In most cases, home inspections are done shortly after a homebuyer's offer is accepted.
  • The buyer has to decide which issues warrant a repair request with the sellers, and which they'll ask for cash for, handle themselves, or let slide altogether.
  • There are certain repairs that are mandatory for sellers to fix, including issues related to safety.
  • Sometimes, buyers are better off asking for cash credit on a repair item instead of asking the seller to replace or repair something.

Serious Repair Requests To Watch For

Your job as a buyer is to figure out which issues warrant a repair request with the sellers, and which you’ll ask cash for, handle yourself, or let slide altogether. However, if serious issues are found on your home inspection, you should request repairs from the sellers.

Some of the more severe issues you should keep an eye out for in your home inspection report include the following.

Ungrounded Wiring

Homes built before 1960 often have ungrounded wiring and polarized receptacles. These are two-prong outlets that come with a higher risk of electric shock than current standards allow.

There's nothing bad about ungrounded wiring, but it's not a good idea to plug sensitive electronic equipment such as computers or televisions into an ungrounded outlet, or appliances that draw a lot of power, such as microwaves or newer refrigerators.

If a home you’re looking to buy has ungrounded wiring, you might want to request it be rewired before closing. If the sellers don’t agree, you could consider a newer property with modern wiring instead.

Galvanized Water Pipes

Most homes built before 1970 have galvanized steel pipes. Minerals in the water supply can cause a buildup inside these pipes over time. This buildup could become a problem if you notice low water pressure. Galvanized pipes can also rust and leak.

(Video) Requesting Repairs After Home Inspection | Negotiating Repairs After Home Inspection Buyer Tips

Many homeowners don't replace galvanized pipes; they repair them when they leak. It's not unreasonable to ask a seller to repair a leaking galvanized pipe. You may also ask them to replace all galvanized pipes with copper, CVPC, or Pex, although they might be less likely to take on such a large project just before moving out.

Orangeburg Sewer Pipes

Ask your real estate agent whether other homes in the neighborhood have had Orangeburg or "tar paper" sewer pipes. Orangeburg pipes are common in homes built between 1945 and 1972. These pipes can absorb moisture and become distorted, causing poor flow and other issues.

You can hire plumbing specialists to insert a camera down the sewer line to look for tree roots or to find out whether the sewer line is Orangeburg. If so, these types of pipes last about 50 years before they disintegrate. They can also cause a need for thousands of dollars in repairs if a pipe should burst.

When having your home inspection done, you can also ask for a sewer inspection. Replacement of sewer lines is expensive, but it's an item many sellers will replace if asked.

Roofing Issues

If roof issues crop up during your inspection, you can certainly ask for them to be repaired. Usually, sellers will get a roof inspection when these requests are made. These are conducted by a roofing company and are designed to find any issues with the roof, its materials, and its features, such as ridges, caps, and pipes. The roof inspection will give you a complete estimate of the damage and costs to repair.

If the roof needs a full replacement, there’s a chance the seller will replace it or have it replaced under their homeowners insurance policy. Sometimes, they will offer cash credits instead.

Note

Once the repairs are made, the roofing company will issue a roof certification to show that it’s in good condition.

HVAC Systems and Water Heaters

Age is a good indicator for determining when heating and cooling systems should be replaced. The average life expectancy of a central A/C unit is usually 15 to 20 years.

Be wary if a system is nearing its age limit. If your home inspector notes a unit’s old age on your report, have it inspected by a licensed HVAC professional to make sure it’s up to snuff.

It's not unusual for a buyer to request new systems, but they're expensive to replace, so keep that in mind if you intend to request a full replacement.

(Video) Request for repairs | Reasonable requests after home inspection

Mandatory Repairs After a Home Inspection

After a home inspection, there are certain repairs that are mandatory for sellers to fix. They include issues related to safety, such as structural damage, mold, and fire code violations.

Important

If you’re a homebuyer, getting a professional home inspection is an important step in the process. Home inspectors are specifically trained to find deficiencies in residential properties. They can also advise you as to what deficiencies are most important or pose safety issues.

Some of the most common mandatory repairs include:

  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • Fire or electrical hazards
  • Chemical hazards
  • Pest infestation
  • Structural hazards
  • Building code violations

If your home inspection report notes issues in those areas, it is the responsibility of the seller to fix them.

Tips for Successfully Making Requests for Repairs After a Home Inspection

When it's time to make repair requests, you’ll generally want to focus on the bigger-picture items. Remember that sellers are on their way out of the home (they may already have a new one), and they probably don’t want to put much time or cash into a property they’re just about to leave. They may also be on a tight timeline.

Here are some general tips for making repair requests as a homebuyer.

Consider Which Repairs the Seller Should Handle

Remember that the sellers will be responsible for any repairs that are crucial to health and safety. But beyond that, how can you know what types of repairs to ask for?

If you're not sure, you can always ask your real estate agent. They should be able to help by letting you know what typically happens in your local market.

Keep in mind that sellers don’t have to agree to any repair requests. In fact, if it’s a seller’s market, and there are a lot of buyers vying for the property, a seller may reject the requests altogether.

Note

Consider asking the seller to pay for a home warranty. Home warranties cover major defects for a year and provide added peace of mind.

(Video) Negotiating repairs after home inspection

Determine What Is a Need and What Is a Want

While there might be a lot of changes you'd like to make to the home, take a step back. Read through the inspection report, and begin to separate out what is a need and what is a want.

Needs are things that must be addressed during the homebuying process to ensure the house is safe and habitable. Wants are things that can probably wait a while—like a new water heater.

It's not a great idea to make repair requests for items that could have been easily noticed during your initial walk-through of the home, such as cracked sidewalks, a bad paint job, or uneven floors.

Get Relevant Quotes and Estimates

When making decisions about repairs, it's a good idea to get a variety of quotes from experts to get an estimate on costs. Your real estate agent can likely point you toward reputable businesses in your area.

Whether the seller ends up making the repairs or you do as the buyer, knowing what to expect from a cost perspective can help.

Approach the Requests for Repairs Carefully

When it comes time to make repair requests, approach the sellers carefully. Keep in mind that they may not have been aware of the repairs that need to be made. They are not required to cover anything that isn't mandatory from a safety perspective.

Being respectful when requesting repairs from the sellers can go a long way.

Know When To Walk Away

Keep in mind that the seller is not responsible for covering every single repair request you may have. But if they are refusing to cover the costs of important repairs—such as electrical hazards or pest infestation—it may be time to walk away from the sale. You deserve a safe place to live, and if the seller isn't willing to give you that, it's likely best to look elsewhere.

It also may be time to walk away if the home inspection report reveals an extreme number of hidden problems. You didn't know about these issues when you agreed to purchase the home, so you may be able to exit the agreement if you have a home inspection contingency.

Note

A home inspection contingency is a clause in the purchase agreement that allows the buyer to back out of the sale if necessary due to the results of the inspection report.

(Video) Tips for Handling Request for Repairs | Negotiating Repairs After Home Inspection

Understanding Cash Credit vs. Repair

Sometimes, buyers are better off asking for cash credit on a repair item instead of asking the seller to replace or repair something. The seller has no vested interest in the home after it's sold, and they might not hire the most qualified contractor or do the repair in a manner that's satisfactory to the buyer.

Sellers may have different aesthetic tastes and standards from yours. If it’s important to you to have something repaired or updated a certain way, you may want to wait and handle it yourself.

Ask your lender whether a cash credit is allowed before asking for one, and work with your agent to determine the best strategy for working with the home’s sellers. The current market, the condition of the home, and the exact sellers you’re working with will all play roles.

If the credit is approved, it can work in a few different ways. The seller may pay some of the buyer's closing costs, so the savings can be used to make repairs, or the credit can be included in the final sales cost, which gives the buyers more time to pay off the repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a cash credit?

A cash credit is a way a home seller can pay for home repairs for the buyer without actually having the work done themselves. They may apply the credit to the final sale price or pay some of the buyer's closing costs so that money can be used for repairs.

What do you do if the seller refuses to make the requested repairs?

The right way to handle a seller who won't make requested repairs depends on the type of repairs they are refusing. If they refuse to make mandatory safety repairs, you can walk away from the purchase contract. If the repairs are more cosmetic, you may need to make them yourself.

Are any repairs mandatory to make?

Some types of repairs are mandatory for sellers to make after a home inspection. These include issues related to safety, such as structural damage, mold, and fire code violations.

(Video) Reasonable Request After Home Inspection l HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO ASK SELLER TO REPAIR?

Is cash credit for repairs a good idea?

Seller credit for repairs often benefits both sellers and buyers. It helps sellers move forward with selling their home without having to spend time making repairs on a property they are leaving. And it helps buyers make the repairs they want and need, in the way they want.

FAQs

How do you get a seller fixed after inspection? ›

Your Options After a Home Inspection
  1. Ask the seller to make the repairs themselves.
  2. Ask for credits toward your closing costs.
  3. Ask the seller to reduce the sales price to make up for the repairs.
  4. Back out of the transaction (if you have an inspection contingency in place)
  5. Move forward with the deal.
18 Jan 2022

What are the most common problems found in home inspections? ›

Dave Swartz
  1. Faulty wiring. ...
  2. Roof problems. ...
  3. Heating/cooling system defects. ...
  4. Plumbing issues. ...
  5. Inadequate insulation and ventilation in attic. ...
  6. Whole house is poorly maintained. ...
  7. Poor drainage around the structure. ...
  8. Air and water penetrating cracks and window perimeters at exterior.

Should the vendor pay for repairs? ›

State laws, including seller disclosure laws, are the only instance where a seller is obligated to pay for repairs after a home inspection. For everything else, it's up to the negotiations between the buyer and seller, and who pays for what depends on what is decided after the inspection report comes in.

What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection in Florida? ›

What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection? The short answer is none. From a legal standpoint, there are no mandatory repairs after a home inspection. That doesn't mean, however, that sellers can dismiss the home inspection offhand or refuse to pay for requested repairs and expect the sale to proceed.

What can you negotiate after a home inspection? ›

What is reasonable to ask for after a home inspection? It is reasonable to ask the seller to make major repairs that address health, safety, structural issues, and building code violations. The seller may offer cash or a discount in lieu of making repairs.

What happens if seller doesn't want to fix anything? ›

If your requests for repairs are refused by the seller, you are likely entitled to a refund of your earnest money on deposit.

What should you ask the seller to fix? ›

In general, it's reasonable to request repairs for any problems in the home that lead to health or safety concerns. Consider the home's key systems – from plumbing to electrical – as well as the home's main foundation and structure.

What are the three basic safety concerns during the home inspection? ›

There are three main categories that should be evaluated during a home inspection:
  • Structure. The most important item to look at during a home inspection is the structural integrity of the home. ...
  • Safety. ...
  • Deferred Maintenance.

What every home inspector should know? ›

Learning and understanding these standards will allow the inspector to effectively recognize defects in condition and installation.
...
You will learn the following:
  • Electrical Panel.
  • Electrical Subpanel.
  • Roofing Underlayment.
  • Glazing.
  • Garage Firewall.
  • Garage Drywall.
  • Emergency Egress.
  • Drainage.

What should you not fix when selling a house? ›

Don't Bother Fixing These Things When Selling Your Home
  • Fixing cosmetic damage. ...
  • Updating kitchens and bathrooms. ...
  • Doing partial fixes. ...
  • Repainting in trendy colours. ...
  • Renovating beyond your suburb's norm.
23 Jul 2020

What is a repair allowance? ›

An allowance usually refers to a repair , replacement or refurbishing -- often related to issues that arise from the home inspection. A concession is more often used to reduce the closing costs due from the purchaser.

What is included in repair and maintenance expense? ›

The term maintenance expense refers to any cost incurred by an individual or business to keep their assets in good working condition. These costs may be spent for the general maintenance of items like running anti-virus software on computer systems or they may be used for repairs such as fixing a car or machinery.

Are the sellers of a house liable for repairs after the closing in Florida? ›

Sellers aren't liable for the cost of repairs if they weren't aware of the issues before closing. However, a seller can be held responsible if they knew about the problems and didn't disclose them to the buyer. Sellers are legally required to inform buyers of all known defects.

Can you negotiate price after inspection? ›

You can realistically negotiate for anything after a home inspection, but getting the seller to agree to your terms is the real trick. You will need plenty of evidence such as pictures and repair estimates, as often a seller will actually be unaware of the defect in question.

Can you sue a home inspector in Florida? ›

The simple answer to whether or not you can sue a home inspector for negligence is yes. If they failed to find something that caused you or another resident harm, legal action is an option.

Can you negotiate after due diligence? ›

There are typically two major dates in home buying: the inspection period (sometimes called a due diligence period or something similar) and the closing date. Both of these can be used in negotiations. A seller might be interested in closing as soon as possible or perhaps needs extra time to find a new place to live.

How do I make a good impression at a home inspection? ›

When attending inspections, be sure to make a good first impression. Introduce yourself and be polite, friendly and enthusiastic. This, along with your neat, tidy and presentable appearance, will help you stand out and be remembered when agents / landlords are looking through all the applications.

How do you negotiate seller repairs? ›

Ask For A Price Reduction

Even though you are paying less for the house, you will be out of pocket for the repair. A good way to structure that is to ask the seller to pay some or all of your closing costs that would normally be paid for by you. That is a way to put money in your pocket for the repairs.

Are you liable for repairs after selling a house? ›

It is the seller's responsibility to inform the buyer of any damage. It is however the buyer's responsibility to insure the property from the date of exchange of contracts and to have the repairs carried out. The buyer will then have to make a claim on their insurance policy.

What to do if sellers leave things behind? ›

If you have an issue with items being left behind, experts recommend that you consult with your legal counsel. “Discuss state- and town-specific guidance regarding removing with your attorney,” says Kostiw. “Ask if there is guidance or a penalty provision laid out in the contract.

How do you write a repair addendum? ›

Here are some tips when writing a repair addendum.

Be as clear as possible about what the issue is and how you want it remedied. Outline who should do the work (even if it's in the boiler plate language, it doesn't hurt to reiterate it). Have a deadline for when the work is to be done.

Should you fix your house before selling it? ›

Keeping a home in good repair can pay significant dividends when it's time to sell. Buyers often look for homes that require few repairs, and no one wants a deal to fall apart because the home inspector found an issue the buyers can't stomach.

What are 5 very important things that are inspected in a home inspection? ›

The top five things home inspectors look for
  • Foundation. The foundation is the workhorse of a house. ...
  • Roof. Roof quality and performance can also make or break a house deal. ...
  • Plumbing. Is there anything worse than a leak? ...
  • Electrical systems. ...
  • HVAC system.
26 Oct 2021

What are the 4 possible safety issues at home? ›

Some of the most common hazards at home include fire, poisoning and allergies. There may also be risks posed by your home's contents, such as falls, choking, cuts and burns. This is not an exhaustive list, so you may find it useful to do your own research and conduct a risk assessment of your home.

What are three 3 things a manager should do during an inspection? ›

A manager should accompany the inspector so the manager can see and correct any violations found.
  • Be Assertive and Proactive during a Health Inspection. ...
  • Be Prepared. ...
  • Do Self-Inspections. ...
  • Manage the Inspection.

Should I take notes during home inspection? ›

Try to be present so you can find out as much possible about the home's condition, take your own notes and photographs, and ask about anything that concerns you.

Should I be nervous about home inspection? ›

As a seller, there is no point in being worried. The facts will be facts, and a good home inspection will back up the findings with photos. Even if there are serious issues, these issues are facts you would have to deal with even if you were not selling the home. It is just best to know and be informed!

Do Home Inspectors check light fixtures? ›

Outlets (or receptacles): They'll use a handheld device, a multimeter, to probe the outlet and check the voltage and ground wire. Light switches and fixtures: They'll take a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, receptacles, and switches.

What is the most common reason a home fails to sell? ›

The most common reason a property fails to sell is an unreasonable asking price by the seller. An asking price that's too high is the surest way to increase your days on market and have a "non-starter" listing that buyers simply ignore.

Do you need to patch walls when you sell your house? ›

Re: Home sale etiquette: wall repair

Leave it unless they requested (in the contract) that the holes are patched. This is normal wear and tear and will get fixed when they paint.

What should you not fix when selling a house 2022? ›

Your Do-Not-Fix list
  • 1) Normal wear and tear. ...
  • 2) Windows and window accessories. ...
  • 3) Minor HVAC, electrical, or plumbing issues. ...
  • 4) Partial upgrades to bathrooms or kitchens. ...
  • 5) Carpet or flooring. ...
  • 1) Light landscaping to increase curb appeal. ...
  • 2) Neutral paint. ...
  • 3) Anything glaringly broken.

What's considered a major repair? ›

Major repairs involve large expenditures that extend the useful life of an asset. For example, the replacement of a building roof is considered a major repair if it allows the building to be used beyond its normal operating life. Or, the engine in a forklift is replaced, thereby extending the lifespan of the equipment.

What qualifies as repairs and maintenance? ›

The costs incurred to bring an asset back to an earlier condition or to keep the asset operating at its present condition (as opposed to improving the asset).

How much should I put aside for repairs? ›

Even a small amount can quickly add up. A rule of thumb is to set aside 1%-4% of your home's value for a home maintenance fund. For example, for a home valued at $200,000, you would budget $2,000 to $8,000 per year to spend on annual upkeep.

Is painting considered a repair or maintenance? ›

Repainting the exterior of your residential rental property: By itself, the cost of painting the exterior of a building is generally a currently deductible repair expense because merely painting isn't an improvement under the capitalization rules.

What is the difference between repair and maintenance? ›

Repairs are restoration work for when something gets broken, damaged or stops working. Maintenance are routine activities meant to prevent damage and prolong the life of appliances, fixtures, and the property itself. Examples include regular cleaning of air-conditioning units, grease traps, repainting, and the likes.

How do you determine maintenance costs? ›

Total maintenance costs are often taken to be the total annual maintenance, repair, and operation (MRO) costs. However, the total maintenance costs formula takes into account each of the components that are part of the daily maintenance work: Labour costs + Material parts price + Other invoices.

Can you negotiate price after inspection? ›

You can realistically negotiate for anything after a home inspection, but getting the seller to agree to your terms is the real trick. You will need plenty of evidence such as pictures and repair estimates, as often a seller will actually be unaware of the defect in question.

What should you not fix when selling a house? ›

Don't Bother Fixing These Things When Selling Your Home
  • Fixing cosmetic damage. ...
  • Updating kitchens and bathrooms. ...
  • Doing partial fixes. ...
  • Repainting in trendy colours. ...
  • Renovating beyond your suburb's norm.
23 Jul 2020

Can a seller back out after appraisal? ›

No, the seller can't back out of escrow based on the results of an appraisal. If the appraisal is higher than the sale price, the seller can't nix the contract to pursue a better offer — unless they have another valid reason.

Who is responsible for repairs before exchange of contracts? ›

It is the seller's responsibility to inform the buyer of any damage. It is however the buyer's responsibility to insure the property from the date of exchange of contracts and to have the repairs carried out. The buyer will then have to make a claim on their insurance policy.

Can you decline offer after inspection? ›

Most of the time, the purchase contract will allow you an "out" if, after completing your home inspection, you decide the house just isn't right for you. First, it's important that you read your purchase contract carefully and determine when the deadline is for your home inspections to be complete.

Does inspection add value to the product? ›

Inspection does not add any value. Processing is the act of transforming raw materials into useful products, and/or assembling products. Processing adds value for the customer. The focus of process improvement should be to reduce non-value added time and effort to the lowest level possible.

When can I walk away from home inspection? ›

The most common problems that may cause a buyer to walk are: Major mechanical issues with the furnace, A/C, water heater, electrical, or plumbing. Structural issues, like bowing foundation, split rafters in the attic, and rotted wood. Cosmetic issues, like wear and tear to the siding, roof, and decking.

What is the most common reason a home fails to sell? ›

The most common reason a property fails to sell is an unreasonable asking price by the seller. An asking price that's too high is the surest way to increase your days on market and have a "non-starter" listing that buyers simply ignore.

Do you need to patch walls when you sell your house? ›

Re: Home sale etiquette: wall repair

Leave it unless they requested (in the contract) that the holes are patched. This is normal wear and tear and will get fixed when they paint.

What adds most value to a house? ›

What Home Improvements Add the Most Value?
  • Kitchen Improvements. If adding value to your home is the goal, the kitchen is likely the place to start. ...
  • Bathrooms Improvements. Updated bathrooms are key for adding value to your home. ...
  • Lighting Improvements. ...
  • Energy Efficiency Improvements. ...
  • Curb Appeal Improvements.
24 Mar 2020

Can an appraisal hurt the seller? ›

Fortunately, most house appraisals do not ruin a sale. However, there are some common myths that sellers believe that need to be dispelled. The more you know what to expect, the less likely you are to be unpleasantly surprised.

How often do appraisals come in low 2022? ›

How often do home appraisals come in low? Low home appraisals do not occur often. According to Fannie Mae, appraisals come in low less than 8 percent of the time, and many of these low appraisals are renegotiated higher after an appeal, Graham says.

Can buyer walk away if appraisal is lower than offer? ›

An appraisal contingency clause is included in purchase contracts that allows buyers to back out of a deal if the home appraises for less than the purchase price agreed to with the seller.

What is the right to repair? ›

The right to repair law, called the Digital Fair Repair Act, will mean customers no longer have to take their damaged or broken electronic products back to the original makers to get an authorized repair, and can instead fix things like phones or laptops themselves, or take them to lower-cost independent repair shops.

What is covered under right to repair? ›

Only certain types of repairs are covered under the right to repair scheme. These are called qualifying repairs. They include insecure windows and doors, unsafe power sockets or electrical fittings, leaking roofs and broken entry phone systems. A full list of the qualifying repairs is set out at the end of this page.

What would right to repair do? ›

It will require original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to provide consumers and independent repair businesses equal access to repair documentation, diagnostics, tools, service parts and firmware as their direct or authorised repair providers.

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5. Not Making THESE Repairs Could COST YOU the Deal! (Common Repairs After a Home Inspection)
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