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Repair Requests You Should NOT Make

With any real estate transaction, whether buying or selling, requires negotiating of some sort. The negotiations can be monetary or fixing issues found in the inspection such as “you give in here and I’ll pay the closing cost, you pay closing and I don’t have to fix this, etc.

As a buyer and seller, be sure that you are educated in what repairs are actually necessary and what are not required. In a seller’s market, asking for a minor unnecessary repair on something that is easily repairable can be something that can completely break a deal if the seller feels the buyer is being unreasonable. Check out our list of repairs you may not want to request in order to make your deal go smoother:

  1. Cosmetic Issues
    1. Buyers are advised against noting issues with paint, baseboards or stained floors unless it’s a brand-new home. Every home that has been lived in for any period of time will have normal wear around it, this should not be a negotiating tool, again unless it’s a newly built home.
  2. Repairs Under $100
    1. When an inspection report comes back, oftentimes buyers will be quick to say that the seller needs to fix everything identified on the report. This can be seen as petty to the sellers, save yourself the hassle and do not use these in your list of items to be repaired before closing as they are easily fixed by you or a friend who is handy. Sellers will be more likely to agree to give you a credit to replace all small $100 and under repairs rather than fixing them.
    2. Additionally, most inspection reports include a list of very minor electrical and plumbing issues such as ‘upside down outlet,’ now it’s time to dig into your do it yourself knowledge and fix these yourself. Fixing these types of things is as simple as using a screwdriver and flipping it over. There are times that this can be noted as a safety hazard, this is a time to use this for negotiating for anything unsafe.
  3. Outdoor Factors: Landscaping, Fences, Porches
    1. You saw these when you viewed the home online and when you saw it in person and they did not deter you from putting in an offer. During negotiations is not the time to ask for fence restoration or porch railings since it was obvious from the very beginning of viewing this listing. There are exceptions to everything of course if a loan, such as USDA, requires it.
  4. Concrete Cracks
    1. As a house settles, so does concrete in driveways and basements, especially since it naturally contracts and expands. If the cracks are less than a quarter inch these are often called hairline cracks and there is no need to request for these to be repaired. If the cracks are more than a quarter inch we recommend having a structural engineer or inspector come in and take a look as this could mean there are structural issues with the home and this can be a major negotiating piece.

Our rule of thumb at Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group is, if it’s a simple fix, just put on your do it yourself hat and pick your battles when negotiating for your new home. Looking to buy a home? Call us today at 803-985-1240 to get set up with one of our stellar agents!

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