The cost of home repairs vary from anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a new dishwasher to thousands of dollars to replace flooring, a roof, or structural damage.
When you’re buying a new home, the last thing you want to do is get stuck paying for these repairs right after you’ve shelled out a lot of money on a downpayment.
But requesting repairs after home inspection isn’t always as easy as it seems.
Keep reading to learn what repairs are reasonable to request, and which are not worth asking for.
What’s Reasonable to Request
When you’re deciding what repair requests to make and which to skip, a few choices will be obvious.
Things that fail a home inspection are obvious repairs to request. If you receive a bad home inspection report that’s choked full of problems, you might even reconsider buying it entirely.
But if the repairs are minimal, yet serious, you’ll want to ask the owner to make changes before you sign the bottom line.
Unless the price of a home has been reduced to account for a bad roof, this is one area that you’ll definitely want to request repairs for.
Missing shingles, signs of leaks, and any other roof damage is always tricky to deal with. Sometimes tough to spot on your own, your home inspection will certainly catch them.
If water gets in, you could be dealing with a serious mold problem, not to mention water damage in your walls, flooring, and on anything else that it gets to.
Missing shingles leave your roof exposed to the elements. A bad storm can turn your missing shingles into a roof leak in no time.
If you’ll be paying less than the home is worth, you might choose to take a risk and repair the damage yourself before it gets any worse. But if you aren’t getting a discount to allow you to do so, think twice before placing an offer.
If you end up having to replace your roof, you could end up spending anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. This significantly increases the price of your new home.
Replacing Old Water Heaters
Another expensive repair that you don’t want to get caught paying is replacing an old water heater.
If the homeowner is open about the age of the appliance and offers to reduce the price on their home to give you some room to replace it yourself, go ahead with the sale.
Otherwise, ask that the water heater be replaced before you sign that bottom line. Fail to do so and you could be out thousands of dollars, and taking a few ice cold shower in the meantime.
Cash Credit in Place of Costly Repairs
If you notice that a home is in need of a number of repairs or updates on your own, or you find out after your home inspection, you might be thinking twice about paying full price for the property.
Maybe the kitchen has a broken appliance or all of the appliances are very out of date. Or the floors in every room are in desperate need of an update.
Other costly repairs you don’t want to get stuck with are a full house of drafty, broken windows or a deck that’s structurally unsound.
Asking the homeowner to make these repairs is unlikely to get you a positive response. These repairs are costly, not to mention time consuming, and will delay a sale.
Rather than asking for a repair, consider asking for a cash credit. In other words, the homeowner forgoes the repairs, but reduces the price of the home. The buyer gets a better deal, and the money saved can be put towards the necessary repairs and updates.
What’s Not Worth Asking For
While there are plenty of repairs you’ll want to address with the homeowner before going forward with a sale, there are also plenty you’ll want to overlook.
The repairs may be necessary, or simply something you’d like to see fixed. But asking for too much can make a seller lose interest in you, especially in a competitive market or if they’ve had other offers.
Unless you’re buying a brand new home, odds are the property is going to have cosmetic issues.
Spots on the wall where furniture has bumped or hands have left grease spots. Nicks in wooden flooring. Old stain on a deck that needs to be replaced.
Even a new build may have these.
But before you start making a long list of little problems you’d like the homeowner to fix, think twice. Nitpicking a property is a great way to annoy a homeowner. If they’ve had other offers on their home, they may turn down your offer and accept a buyer who doesn’t annoy them with endless requests.
Plus, you’re probably planning to make changes to your new home anyway. You’ll repaint walls and cover up those marks. You might even be thinking about building a whole new deck.
Moving into your new home is likely to cause a few more bumps and marks you’ll need to fix anyway.
Repairs to Extra Buildings
If a home comes with a detached garage, sheds, or other outlying properties, you might be tempted to include repairs to these on your list of requests.
But unless these buildings are a featured part of a sale and you know you’re paying extra for them, think twice.
Sheds and garages see a lot of wear and tear. Odds are if a few repairs are needed, you’ll find more soon enough. Don’t risk losing a sale over them.
You won’t be living in these buildings, so you can always push back repairs for months or even a few years to save up money.
Requesting Repairs After Home inspection
When it comes to requesting repairs after home inspection, it’s a good idea to choose your battles.
If serious or costly repairs are necessary, you should never ignore them. But nitpicking small cosmetic problems will only annoy the seller. If the market is hot and the seller has other offers, they’ll move on to a less picky buyer.
Before you can decide what repairs to request and which to let go, you need to find out what a home needs. We can help with that! Schedule your home inspection today!