7 Repair Requests Buyers Should Never Make
Repairs unrelated to a safety issue or the breakdown of an expensive system are better left alone
Most buyers and sellers understand that buying and selling a home requires negotiation. You give a little here, and they concede a bit there. But what do you do when you have a buyer who demands unnecessary repairs after a home inspection?
Educating buyers so that they better understand which repairs are necessary and which may annoy the seller enough for the deal to shatter is part of the job of a real estate agent.
Here is a list of seven repair requests that buyers should think twice about before making.
1. Easily repaired items under $10
Whole house inspectors often come back with a list of items that cost under $10 to repair or replace. Save yourself the hassle, and omit these things from the list of requested repairs. If repairs are not related to a safety issue or the breakdown of an expensive system, it’s better to refrain from listing them.
2. Replacement of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Sometimes buyers are adamant they want missing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors replaced. Although these are safety items, unless local codes say differently, it is better if the buyer installs the smoke and carbon monoxide indicators after closing. That way, they can make an informed decision on the type of alarms they feel most comfortable using in their new home.
3. Cosmetic issues in a resale home
Unless the home is brand-new construction, advising your clients against noting uneven paint or stained baseboards on a repair request is a good idea. Normal wear and tear should be expected in any resale home and should be a factor in the original price negotiations.
4. Repairs related to minor plumbing and electrical issues
Often, a whole-home inspector will list in the report issues with simple electrical and plumbing items such as an upside down outlet or corrosion on a fitting. Unless the problems cited are a safety concern, a buyer should not list them as a requested repair. Simple issues such as an upside down outlet or a corroded water line to a sink are simple DIY repairs or matters easily handled by a handyman.
5. Repair of hairline cracks in the basement or driveway
Concrete expands and contracts naturally, and over time, cracks will occur. As long as the cracks are minor, don’t list them in a request for repairs. However, if the breaks are over a quarter inch, it’s an excellent idea to have a structural inspection. Structural cracks are a whole new ballgame.
6. Outdoor landscaping, porch and fence repairs
These items were visible at the initial showing and will be a factor in the initial offer and negotiations. It’s not a good idea to ask for things that were obvious at the beginning such as sod replacement, fence restoration, loose railings or loose hinges.
The exception is if the repair is necessary as part of the loan process such as in an FHA or USDA loan.
7. Replacement of failed seals in windows
Unless the window is under warranty, most sellers will refuse to fix a failed seal. Window seals fail over time with use, and depending on the age of the window seal, failure can be expected. It’s another simple fix, and sometimes you need to choose your battles.
For all items on this list that your buyer would like to have fixed and are not safety or related to the failure of an expensive system can be included in a request for credit at closing.
Sellers are more likely to agree to a $300 credit for the buyer to replace 30 $10 items than they will to repair or replace the 30 issues themselves.
Missy Yost is a Realtor with Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties in Hilton Head, South Carolina. https://www.inman.com/2017/11/30/7-repair-requests-buyers-should-never-make/?utm_source=weeklyheadlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sundaysend&utm_content=20171201_readmore
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Just Moved? 7 Tips for Making Your New Community Feel Like Home
Moving into a new house involves more than arranging furniture and getting your kids acclimated to a different school. To feel truly comfortable and settled in another city or state, you'll want to make connections with neighbors and community members.
Sure, it can feel awkward extending a hand to introduce yourself. But if you dive right in, you'll soon get beyond the "new guy" label and feel welcome.
Here are seven ways to settle in after a move and make your new community feel like you've been there for years.
1. Network before you move
It's much easier to go from one friend to two than it is to start from zero, points out Ali Wenzke, a blogger at the Art of Happy Moving.
"Reach out to your network of friends to see if anyone knows someone in your new city ... and then reach out via email and maybe meet up for coffee" once you're there, she suggests.
If you hit it off, great. But if you don't, at least you've met someone who can possibly steer you toward fun things to do in the area—where you can meet your new BFF.
2. Host an open house after you move in
Throwing a party for a bunch of strangers may be the last thing you feel like doing, but it's a great way to meet a ton of new people in one shot. Plus, your neighbors are probably dying to see the inside of the place you just bought.
Make your open house casual and easy by scheduling it for a few hours on a quiet Sunday afternoon and offering simple fare (think beer, chips, apple cider, and brownies). Your new neighbors will have a chance to meet you, and you'll get to hear some news about the community.
3. Venture outside
Still dealing with a ton of cardboard and packing peanuts? Rather than work in the garage, take your box cutter out to the lawn or driveway and break down your boxes outside. Bagging recyclables and tying up cardboard bundles are more fun when you can take a break to chat with passers-by.
Or do a little gardening such as potting hardy mums, raking leaves, or planting bulbs. Time these tasks for when people are picking up kids at the bus stop, and you'll create an easy meet-and-greet opportunity.
4. Hit the local shops
Sure, you'll shop at Target and the other big-box stores for new throw pillows, but make an effort to patronize the smaller shops in town, too. And do the same at restaurants—because who wants to cook after days of unpacking?
Frequent a couple of cafes or diners and get to know the servers and owner by name, suggests David Meek, a broker at Keller Williams Arizona Realty. "Restaurateurs are well-networked members of their community," he points out.
5. Grab the dog's leash
Your pup might be able to run out the back door to exercise, but you can also use it to your advantage when it comes to meeting new people.
"Dogs allow you to make quick and smooth introductions to other pet owners," Meek says. "Plus you'll meet more community members if you hang out at the local dog run."
6. Join a group
Love to fish? Or is pottery your jam? Indulging in a hobby might not be top of mind right after a big move, but now's the time to make yourself have a little fun. Try a site such as Meetup.com to find folks with similar interests.
In Phoenix, "hiking is really popular here and there are hundreds of Meetups on the trails for singles, seniors, and beginners," Meek says.
7. Stuff some mailboxes
Theresa Jones, a Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway in San Diego who's moved a half-dozen times in the past decade, suggests putting together a fun letter or postcard.
"Write a little bit about your family in the note and then leave it in your new neighbors' mailboxes," she says. You'll spread the news of your arrival and inform people of your contact info.
Or bake a batch of your house specialty and share it, suggests Lorrie Cozzens, communications manager at Help-U-Sell Real Estate. "Pick up inexpensive containers and make little gifts to drop off as you introduce yourself," she says.