Sacramento Home Sellers Can Reject a Request for Repair
I am not afraid to admit that as a top listing agent in Sacramento, I am sometimes regarded as being very hard on buyer’s agents when it comes to negotiating a Request for Repair. In part, it’s probably because those agents are used to dealing with listing agents who just want to close the transaction and get paid. They call those kinds of agents “easy to work with.” Getting paid is nice but it’s not my focus. If the sellers do not care if the transaction cancels, neither do I. Because I want what my sellers want. That’s my success formula. Not every seller will reject a request for repair, either. However, a seller is absolutely under zero obligation to accept.
The California Residential Purchase Agreement states the sale is sold AS IS. There is nothing in the purchase contract that says a seller must renegotiate the price, make any repairs or out of extreme generosity agree to hand the buyer cash at closing toward closing costs. Buyers are allowed to do inspections and perform due diligence for the buyer’s edification only. A home inspection report is not a license to ask for repairs.
One such buyer recently asked for 4 pages of repairs. Four pages! She listed nearly every item in the home inspection report and asked the seller to fix it, which was absolutely crazy insane. You never know what a buyer might demand during escrow. Buyers are just as likely to be mentally unbalanced as they are reasonable; they need guidance, which is why their agent is so important to the transaction. Yet, some agents are either unable or uncomfortable educating their buyers. Some buyers don’t listen to professional advice, either. They will listen to a co-worker or uncle who sold a home a while back and did things this way or that way, which means nothing, but they won’t accept advice from an agent who has sold hundreds of homes. Go figure.
Some buyers can also be unethical. They might make a full-price offer thinking once they have been in escrow for a few weeks, the seller will agree to a Request for Repair because the sellers do not want the buyer to cancel. Sellers resent this strategy. Especially when the buyer asks for things that were readily viewable during the initial showing. Sellers feel deceived. Like the buyers are trying to hold them hostage. But buyers don’t think about that. They tend to think about what they want, and what they want is not carrying a lot of weight in today’s Sacramento seller’s market.
It’s not uncommon for a Request for Repair to cause bitter feelings. Buyers might think, oh what’s the harm in asking, the seller might say yes, but that’s because they do not see the pettiness nor annoyance. They live in their own world. They would be wise to consider ramifications. For example, when I bought our house in Hawaii earlier this year, the living room vault was cracked at the seam. A previous earthquake had rattled the structure. We asked the sellers to repair it upfront as part of our purchase offer. The sellers appreciated that approach and we worked it out.
Later, when the home inspection revealed a few minor things, I asked the sellers to fix those things but I didn’t do it in a formal Request for Repair. I wanted to enlist the sellers’ cooperation, and let them know they didn’t have to do anything but since they were in Hawaii and we live in Sacramento, we would be grateful if they would. It was just an email to the listing agent. Very low key. The sellers fixed the stuff. Goodwill goes a long way.
But don’t be astonished if you send a Request for Repair and the seller says no.
If you would like to hire a top producer listing agent in Sacramento with 40+ years of experience, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.