Sacramento Home Sellers Asked to Provide Receipts for Repairs

receipts for repairs

Sacramento home sellers rarely understand why a buyer expects receipts for repairs. I know this because some sellers think it’s unnecessary. The buyers can see the new A/C unit in the yard, sellers say. Or they ask: should we take a photograph and email the photo? But I suspect sellers think it is very odd and peculiar that buyers ask for receipts for repairs because they are not a buyer. Further, they are probably still reeling from the unexpected cost. Because nobody installs a new A/C unit unless it is required. Spending large sums of money out-of-pocket that was not anticipated can throw some people for a loop.

Hard to focus on where the buyers are coming from when a person is staring at a depleted bank account. Not only that, but it’s generally not the buyers who ask for receipts for repairs. It is the buyer’s agent. The reason the agent wants the receipts for repairs in part is to partially transfer liability. They crafted a request for repair, generally, and expect to see verifiable results after completion of the agreed-upon work.

Also, the receipts for repairs tell the buyer who did the work and how much it cost. That invoice probably won’t disclose whether the contractor pulled a permit, though. Many contractors and handy men/women do not get a permit because it’s a hassle or they don’t know if it’s required. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that some permits require other types of upgrades the home owner does not want to pay for.

I’ve had escrows in which the seller shot a cellphone pic of the invoice but it was rendered unreadable or too small to enlarge. Scanner apps tend to work better than taking a cell photo. But not every seller wants to fuss with downloading an app. They could mail or fax or ask the contractor to drop it off their agent’s office. But no matter how you cut it, buyers still need receipts for repairs when a seller fixes or installs something new during escrow.

If it’s a sudden repair, the seller might also want to update her seller disclosures for the buyer. This can be accomplished through an addendum to the SPQ. I understand why sellers are reluctant to produce receipts for repair, but it’s better than having the buyers try to track them down after closing to ask who did that work?

Elizabeth Weintraub

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