Real NEastate: What do when the buyer wants a repair the home may not need

Q: I am in the process of selling my home in Brookhaven and the buyers have asked me to get some items repaired before settlement. One of these things was a heater issue the home inspector questioned but when I had an HVAC guy look at it, he said it was working fine. The buyers are not happy with that answer and threatening to walk. I am so mad. What can I do?

A: Buying a home means taking on a big responsibility. You can’t blame someone for being worried about something that was brought to their attention. The only thing you can do is either let them walk, or try to find a way to calm their fears.

Before you start arguing with the buyers, see what solution would work for them. Despite the professional opinion of your Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning contractor, the saying “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” obviously won’t satisfy your buyers.

Discuss the possibilities. Try one, or a combination of, the following suggestions:

  1. Ask the Home Inspector for clarification. Did he just question this issue or did he say it was actually broken? What is his suggested fix?
  2. Get a second opinion from another HVAC contractor.
  3. Have an HVAC company certify in writing that the heater is in proper working order.
  4. Offer to buy them a One-year Homebuyer Warranty that covers HVAC from a reputable company . At the cost of about $500, this consumer warranty could save your sale.

If the buyers are still unhappy, you could lose them. But depending on what type of legal agreement you have made with your buyers, they could be in danger of forfeiting their deposit if they walk. Check with your contract and/or real estate agent to know where you stand legally.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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