Does a Sacramento Seller Need to Do Home Inspection Repairs?

home inspection repairs

Telling sellers they do not have to perform home inspection repairs can fall on deaf ears.

When I send home inspection repairs and findings to a seller, it is for the seller’s records only. I tell them this. But still, some home sellers react in unexpected ways. Some sellers take the home inspection very personally. They want to call the home inspector and chew off his ear. (For some reason, more men than women opt to become a home inspector.) Sellers find the composition of the report offensive. Many don’t like the “repair” or red flags noted.

Often, these are the very sellers who tell me at the time of listing that there is nothing wrong with their home. In their mind, they have the perfectly maintained home. I chuckle to myself because I know better. But I don’t argue with them. It’s not always so much that there is a lot of stuff wrong as it is buyers may feel as though they paid all this money for a home inspection, there better be some actual discoveries. Otherwise, why did they pay $450 for nothing?

So there are home inspectors who go out of their way on the well maintained homes to find a handful of defects, regardless of how small or insignificant. A chip on the edge of a roof shingle. Water marks on the windows. Scuff marks on the screen door. Which is really amusing when you think about this. Instead of a buyer feeling relieved to discover no major problems, some buyers openly choose irritation.

Funny story to interject. When I sent a recent file of home inspection repairs to a seller, the seller thought he was supposed to fix everything. Why? I dunno. He ordered delivery of light fixtures and lined up workers. It’s a good thing he checked with me because I told him to cancel the order and the workers. He sold his home in AS IS condition. Just like every California Residential Purchase Agreement states in paragraph 11. The home is sold AS IS.

Now, one of the problems lies with buyer’s agents who don’t want to alienate buyers. So, when their buyer makes noises about not buying a home with defects, the buyer’s agent has a go to. That go to is to write a request for repair and to ask the seller to fix things. I always tell my sellers they don’t have to fix anything. Especially when receiving a petty request for repairs. Instead, I lay out the options. They can just say no and take a chance the buyer will get her knickers in a twist and cancel.

But then again, the next set of buyers won’t ask for things. Pretty much guaranteed. If it’s a substantial sum of money, we might want to sell the house again to a more reasonable buyer. I do not mind selling a home twice and getting paid once if it helps the seller. Or, the seller can agree to give the buyer a credit or renegotiate the price. Or, fix some things and not all things. It’s all negotiable. But generally, my sellers just say no. It’s their right.

A list of home inspection repairs and suggestions is for the buyer’s edification. It’s not to reopen negotiations. And I have to admit, when I work with experienced buyer’s agents on the other side of the transaction, I almost never get a request for repair for my seller. Why is that, do you think?

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