Dealing With Unreasonable Buyers After a Home Inspection

Home in Elk GroveA home inspection is only for a buyer’s edification and not a license to ask for repairs after a home inspection, but what do buyers know? When it comes to advising clients in a real estate transaction, this Sacramento real estate agent is direct with her advice. There is no skirting around the issue. I try to present a balanced picture for clients, pros and cons of actions they could take or ignore, especially when it comes to the dreaded Request for Repairs, which are often a buyer’s response to a home inspection. I wish often that agents would provide a better education for their clients, but then that would involve recommending top-notch home inspectors at all times, and that’s just not a reality.

Sometimes, the buyers don’t want to hire the agent’s home inspector because they don’t trust their agent. Which is always a lovely situation. They might think their agent is likely to recommend some doofus home inspector who won’t do a thorough job or who will gloss over some stupid repair, which is idiotic thinking, but what are ya gonna do? You can’t easily change how a stubborn person thinks, especially if they won’t listen. Therefore, often what perpetrates a problematic request for repair is a home inspector’s bad home inspection report.

It’s not bad in the way that a buyer would think in that a home inspector was covering up an issue. To start with, home inspectors don’t cover up issues. They expose issues. The main problems are some that home inspectors expose issues that don’t exist or insist that items are broken / need repair when said whatchamacallits are perfectly fine.

One can also throw into that mix an agent who whips out a pad and starts writing down all of the buyer’s concerns without so much as lifting the pen from the page or discussing them. Being an order taker is not what a buyer’s agent is all about. I would shrivel up and die if I presented a Request for Repair to a listing agent like some of the documents I receive. Some of the requests are just a list of every defect from the home inspection. What that tells me is the buyer’s agent either has absolutely no guts or else no clue — either way it’s bad. Sometimes agents behave like they are order takers and not real estate agents.

Maybe they’re simply exhausted and worn down by the buyer? That can happen. But then the rest of us are stuck with explaining why the home inspector was wrong in the report and why we can’t perform the repair requested. Besides, sellers are not required to fix anything the buyer complains about. Every home in California is sold AS IS. But most sellers want the buyers happy with their new home, so we try to find a way to keep everybody on the path to closing.

I just wish buyers would select one or two major issues like most sensible buyers would do. But then, this is Sacramento real estate wherein expecting things to make sense could render one a crazy person. You know the definition of insanity, right?

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