credit to buyers closing costs

Asking for a Nose Job When Your Leg is Broken

home inspection repairCan you imagine a client telling her agent she is so frustrated and angry with the buyer and his agent that if they nitpick over one more home inspection repair, cause one more problem, produce any further grief, she will buy a gun and shoot them? I like to think of myself as a problem solver, even better, a problem predictor and fixer of future issues before they sprout, but the thing is we never know what each day might bring to us. There’s always a fresh new hell in real estate. That’s partly what makes working in Sacramento real estate so fascinating.

Several years ago, when most of the real estate sales in Sacramento were short sales, there were no home inspection repairs but, today, it’s a different story. Depending on the attractiveness of the home, its price point and location, there are situations in which the seller can deliver to the buyer a flat-out NO when she asks for a repair after a home inspection. In fact, that’s precisely what a client reminded me yesterday that I had advised her to do when she instead decided to complete the requested repairs. She now must deal with the consequences, and it’s rough. She is joking about the gun, though.

I don’t make decisions for my clients. I advise them as to what I believe is best and, fortunately, I am generally correct. But I’m paid to be correct, and my decades in real estate have added up to enough experience that I should possess some kind of wisdom in the matters of home inspections.

A buyer asked for a series of trivial repairs in another transaction, and I advised the seller to reject that request for repairs. However, I added it was not my decision to make. Her selections in that particular event were to:

  • do the repairs
  • reject the repairs
  • do some and not others
  • throw some money at the buyer, or
  • any combination thereof.

She decided to give the buyer a little break and credit dollars toward the buyer’s closing costs. It’s not my home, so I can’t make those decisions.

Then, there are the buyers who want beaucoup bucks for imaginary updates who, unfortunately, may overlook necessary repairs because they’re fixated on how they want to remodel the home. They believe the seller should pay for their future remodel. These types of buyers may not understand the home is already priced for its condition. Further, they think if they ask the seller to give them money for a nose job, they can also get more money to fix a broken leg.

Sellers may be sympathetic to fixing a broken leg. They aren’t going to pay for cosmetic surgery. In some ways, they think like an insurance company. In other words, don’t ask for a 50-year warranty tile roof when the roof does’t need to be replaced but subterranean termites are swarming in the basement. The bottom line is buyers should make sure to obtain competent advice before asking a seller to make repairs after a home inspection, because they won’t get it in all cases. Homes are sold AS IS. If they love the home, it won’t much matter.

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