Why are there any repairs when selling a home? After all, isn’t a home sold in “as is” condition?
The buyer has three main contingencies in a purchase contract and the biggest unknown is the inspection contingency. (Read: What Are The 3 Contingencies Of A Home Sale?). The reason it is the biggest unknown is a homeowner may be unaware of mechanical or structural systems that are damaged or already failed and the consequences can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The buyer will do a thorough and complete set of inspections. If they find problems they will ask the seller for credits or repairs.
Most Frequent Repairs When Selling
These are the most frequently asked for repairs when selling a home. If you are a homeseller you might want to consider a pre-sale inspection to avoid last-minute surprises. Read: Pre-Sale Home Inspection
Buyers will ask for anything that is actually broken, leaking or a critical safety issue. The most frequent “surprises” are things that function on the surface, but are actually broken or hazardous at the source or underneath.
- Electrical outlets that are hidden by furniture
- Water heaters
- Plumbing leaks under the house or under sinks
- Pool Equipment
- Circuit Breakers
- Sewer and drain lines
- Landscape drains
- Chimney and fireplace
- Leaking shower pans
- Present wood rot and wood-destroying organisms (like termites)
- Systems recalled for safety hazard – (certain furnaces and electric circuit breaker systems)
Buyers will also focus on items that are considered a hazard in today’s world, but were not an issue when you bought the home or when the home was built. They might still ask the seller for this repair as part of selling the home.
- Chimney and fireplace safety
- Earthquake bolting and retrofit
- Some older electrical wiring systems like knob and tube.
Who Pays For These Repairs?
The solution for who pays for repairs in a home sale are highly negotiable. As a very general rule homeowners are more open to repair or compensation for a repair if an important system has completely failed or there is an urgent safety issue.
A homeowner is likely to refuse to pay for anything that upgrades their vintage home to modern standards, even when an inspector recommends the fix for safety reasons.
These are very general guidelines on expected repairs when selling (or buying) a home. Variables include market dynamics, mortgage industry standards and unique seller or home conditions.