How to Handle Homebuyer’s Repair Requests

If you are selling your home and have gotten an offer, you may concerned about the prospective buyers asking you to make costly repairs that potentially could cut into your profit.

Repair requests can be negotiated under most circumstances, but it’s important to recognize that your ability to negotiate depends on the contract proposed by your buyers. You and your listing agent need to carefully read and understand the implications of that contract.

Home Sale Contract Options

Standard real estate contracts vary by location, but all of them are completely negotiable.

As a seller, you should never sign a contract until you fully understand its obligations, particularly where it concerns your responsibility for repairs. The best contract for a seller would be for the buyer to agree to purchase your home “as is” or to request an “information only” home inspection, thus absolving you of any need to pay for any repairs.

In most cases, though, your contract will include a clause that says the purchase is contingent upon a home inspection. Some contracts will expressly state that the buyers cannot request any cosmetic repairs to be made and can only ask for fixes to structural defects, building code violations or safety issues. State laws may also impact your liability as a seller for any issues uncovered during an inspection, so it’s important that your REALTOR® understands these regulations. If you are uncertain about the contract, you can also consult a real estate attorney.

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