Managing Buyer Repair Requests to Buy a Home in Elk Grove

Managing buyer repair requests

Managing buyer repair requests is an art form. I can always spot that experienced buyer’s agent who invests the time to educate her buyers. It’s as plain as day. Some buyer’s agents simply take orders from their buyers. Don’t know why. Who is the professional and who is the client? I suspect some agents don’t know the answer to that question, so they allow their insecurities to bubble, to thrive and to rule. Agents don’t want to tell a buyer to back off or calm down or listen to reason, not in those words, of course. They want to be a buddy. And that’s the problem.

If an agent can’t find a way to explain to a client why the buyer’s chosen plan of action is harmful and a really bad idea, then how is a buyer’s agent representing that client? What kind of service is that? I tell you what it is. It’s called lip service, for some of you younger guys. Lip service is a disservice. Just like agreeing for the sake of harmony when the agent knows it is wrong. The best way to engage in managing buyer repair requests is to have a conversation with the buyer prior to inspections. To review other types of inspections and to prepare the buyer for the inevitable: The fact their dream home has things wrong with it and damages the seller might not fix.

This is never time “wasted” on behalf of the buyer’s agent. Yet so few set aside time to discuss aspects of the transaction with their clients.

I’ll give you a case in point. Yesterday, I closed a listing in Elk Grove. A sale which I sold twice and got paid once. Nobody likes to do that, albeit it is less work for me than the poor buyer’s agent who now has to hit the street to show more property or, worse, lost a client over it. In this scenario, a buyer’s agent begged me to show compassion toward his buyers. The agent made a plethora of promises he ultimately could not keep. When I hear from that agent in the future, I shall no longer hold a high opinion of that agent. The opposite. He lied. Repeatedly.

— Which is unacceptable in my book. Other agents say, hey, we all huff and puff and fluff, get over it. But, no. We all don’t huff and puff and fluff. —

After promising his buyer would purchase AS IS, he sent the sellers a 14-item request for repairs. It included things like replace all the fixtures and faucets in the house, replace the siding, install new windows. Crazy-ass stuff. The one thing he should have focused on was replacing the leaking water heater and he might have closed. Focusing on one major item is a sign of a smart agent. But no, they tend to get caught up in drama.

I tell sellers not to do repairs after they get a home inspection. But they take it personally. They actually want to fix broken things. It’s hard to get them to back off and wait for a request. Because what they think a buyer will want fixed and what a buyer really wants are two completely different viewpoints. No sense fixing stuff the buyer doesn’t care about. No two buyers are ever the same. After the existing buyers canceled, we found another buyer right away. Of course, this new buyer did not care at all about the home inspection. Just like I said. Those buyers had an agent who was adept at managing buyer repair requests.

Also, in this particular transaction, when our winning offer arrived, we already had a counter offer out to another buyer. That buyer was slow to respond. His agent did not appear overly motivated, either. While that counter offer was out and awaiting buyer approval, we received the offer we really wanted. Bay area buyer. Cash. $5K over. So we sent the second buyer a withdrawal of offer, withdrew that counter offer, and accepted the offer we preferred.

The sellers had already decided at that point to replace the water heater. It was expensive. Cost $1,400 to replace a 40-gallon water heater. Yikes. For that price, one may as well go tankless, but I digress. Last water heater I helped a seller replace was $750. Only a few years ago. However, these particular buyers had paid for a pest report. The first set of buyers did not. See? They don’t always get a pest. The pest showed $7,500 of Section 1 work, plus more for Section 2.

We had bumped up the sales price by $5,000, so we reduced it by $5,000, which made the sellers even. Even Steven. No pest work, and we closed with a cash offer. 9089 Paseo Grande Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758 closed escrow on September 12, 2018 at $339,999.

Elizabeth Weintraub

 

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