My real estate broker told me I did not need to do any repairs to my home to sell it, so I did not do any. And I listed it for a low price, as suggested. A week after I signed a sales contract, the buyer of my home asked me to do some repairs — said something about an inspection. I don’t mind doing the repairs but would I have gotten more money for the house if I had done repairs in the first place? Why didn’t the buyer ask up front instead of waiting until a week after we signed the contract?
While it’s true that many homebuyers like to see their future home in the best shape possible, the average buyer does not know exactly what to look for in a property besides aesthetics. The requested repairs may not have been immediately noticeable items to the buyer or yourself. You may not have necessarily been offered more money for your home had you completed some random repairs prior to the sale since you may not have even known what repairs were of importance.
To ensure their investment is worthy, most homebuyers will (and should) elect a Home Inspection Contingency in the Agreement of Sale. Home inspections take place within a set time after the contract is executed. And it is quite common in this area for a buyer to ask for repairs to a property after a home inspection. If your buyer’s home inspection report noted several areas of the home that needed corrections or repairs, then those repairs are what your buyer may be asking. These repairs can sometimes be negotiated, depending on the resolve of the buyer.
Another reason you may be asked to do repairs after an Agreement of Sale is in place, is the result of a lender appraisal. Usually seen with FHA appraisals, the lender will require certain repairs to the home for the sale to move forward, but even if your buyer has secured a conventional loan the lender may notice something that needs to be addressed prior to delivering a mortgage for the buyer. If the lender requires the repairs be done, these repairs cannot usually be negotiated, and you will not be able to go to settlement until they are completed.
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.