Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

What Do I Do if the Seller Won’t Negotiate Repairs?

Posted in Financial,Inspections,What do I Buy? by Jeff Dowler on May 21, 2007

As mentioned before (see What Do I Do When Problems Arise in an Inspection?), there is a good chance you will encounter some defects or repair needs during the inspection for the home you are attempting to buy. 

What do you do if the seller will not negotiate the repairs?

Unfortunately this does happen, even if the home was not listed as “as is.” There may be a number of reasons:

  • Seller doesn’t want to hassle with making repairs
  • Offer was lower than seller wants or feels is reasonable, so as a trade-off they will not do repairs
  • Seller bought the home with those issues and has lived with them
  • Seller feels the repairs are minor or insignificant

Regardless of the reasons, you have some choices.

  • Move ahead with the home as is, knowing you must deal with the repairs. If they are minor it is probably is not a big deal and you have the assurance of getting them fixed the way YOU want.
  • If there are serious issues, more due diligence is needed to ascertain the costs of the repairs so you know what you are dealing with
  • You can propose that, in lieu of repairs, the seller offer a credit to offset the cost of repairs (having estimates of expected costs is smart rather than simply pulling a number out of a hat). Keep in mind the seller may not be willing or at least may consider negotiating this credit.
  • You can decide to walk away from the deal

This is always a tough part in the process, so stay objective and focus on your goal. Try not to let minor issues get in the way of getting the home you want. Consider whether you or the seller are not being reasonable regarding the issues. And talk with your agent.


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