Repair Negotiations: Myths and Tips

Dated: October 11 2019

Views: 615

One of the topics that causes the most anxiety in the sale of a house is the dreaded repair negotiations. Let me clarify a few things.


·       MYTH - the seller is required to make repairs if something is clearly dangerous, or not up to building code. 

·       TRUTH - the seller is never required to make a repair, in fact the standard NC real estate contract specifically states “The Property is being sold in its current condition”. While this means a seller is not obligated to make repairs, the buyer is not obligated to complete the sale if they are unhappy, but of course they will lose their due diligence fees.



·       MYTH - the buyer must wait until after the contract to request items to be repaired. 

·       TRUTH - It is not only possible but a very good idea to ask for obvious repairs during the contract negotiations - your Realtor will have a form specifically for this request



·       MYTH - a seller must use licensed contractors to make repairs requested. 

·       TRUTH - In most repair agreements, repairs are to be made “In a good and workmanlike manner”. Allowing enough time for the work to be re-inspected I a very good idea to be sure the repairs are done.


Here are a few tips if you are looking to purchase a home that has needed repairs:

v  If you see a needed repair up front and want it done, ask up front

v  Use repair requests for unknown issues that come up during inspections.

v  Consider a financial negotiation rather than a repair request. This will allow the buyer to have it repaired their way by the contractor of their choice

v  Have repair items re-inspected before closing to be sure that are done right. Leaving them until the walk-thought he morning of closing creates major negotiating stress if there is a remaining issue to resolve.


Over-all my advice to both parties regarding repairs is this: Inspections are designed to find problems you wouldn’t normally see during a showing. If there is an obvious repair item noticed up front, include it in the contract negotiations. Save Repair Requests for issues that are un-seen. Sellers are far more reasonable with items they didn’t know existed often because they would then need to be either repaired or disclosed if the contract doesn’t close.


Our team is expert at dealing with these issues and even has a licensed remodeling contractor on our team to help you work through these issues, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a question!

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Rob Wachter

Rob has been a Realtor since 2004 and founded The Wachter Group in 2013, and joined JPAR Carolina Living in 2019 as both a team leader and a franchise co-owner. Rob’s team specializes in First-Time ....

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