Requests for Repair After Home Inspection: What You Need To Know (2023)

You've made an offer, the seller has accepted, and now it's time for the home inspection. The purchase agreement has been signed, and the funds are in escrow. During the home inspection, the inspector will attempt to find as many defects as possible in the home's roof, floors, walls, windows, and structural support members.

After the inspection is done, you can begin to make repair requests with the seller; you generally can't start making requests before that. Once you have the inspection report in hand, you can ask the seller to repair the items/situations found. They may agree or decline; or, in some cases, they might offer you “repair credits” instead. These essentially lower the selling price, giving you more cash to do the repairs yourself once you own the home.

Learn more about serious issues to look out for, tips for making requests after a home inspection, and the different ways to pay for repairs.

Key Takeaways

  • In most cases, home inspections are done shortly after a homebuyer's offer is accepted.
  • The buyer has to decide which issues warrant a repair request with the sellers, and which they'll ask for cash for, handle themselves, or let slide altogether.
  • There are certain repairs that are mandatory for sellers to fix, including issues related to safety.
  • Sometimes, buyers are better off asking for cash credit on a repair item instead of asking the seller to replace or repair something.

Serious Repair Requests To Watch For

Your job as a buyer is to figure out which issues warrant a repair request with the sellers, and which you’ll ask cash for, handle yourself, or let slide altogether. However, if serious issues are found on your home inspection, you should request repairs from the sellers.

Some of the more severe issues you should keep an eye out for in your home inspection report include the following.

Ungrounded Wiring

Homes built before 1960 often have ungrounded wiring and polarized receptacles. These are two-prong outlets that come with a higher risk of electric shock than current standards allow.

There's nothing bad about ungrounded wiring, but it's not a good idea to plug sensitive electronic equipment such as computers or televisions into an ungrounded outlet, or appliances that draw a lot of power, such as microwaves or newer refrigerators.

If a home you’re looking to buy has ungrounded wiring, you might want to request it be rewired before closing. If the sellers don’t agree, you could consider a newer property with modern wiring instead.

Galvanized Water Pipes

Most homes built before 1970 have galvanized steel pipes. Minerals in the water supply can cause a buildup inside these pipes over time. This buildup could become a problem if you notice low water pressure. Galvanized pipes can also rust and leak.

(Video) Requesting Repairs After Home Inspection | Negotiating Repairs After Home Inspection Buyer Tips

Many homeowners don't replace galvanized pipes; they repair them when they leak. It's not unreasonable to ask a seller to repair a leaking galvanized pipe. You may also ask them to replace all galvanized pipes with copper, CVPC, or Pex, although they might be less likely to take on such a large project just before moving out.

Orangeburg Sewer Pipes

Ask your real estate agent whether other homes in the neighborhood have had Orangeburg or "tar paper" sewer pipes. Orangeburg pipes are common in homes built between 1945 and 1972. These pipes can absorb moisture and become distorted, causing poor flow and other issues.

You can hire plumbing specialists to insert a camera down the sewer line to look for tree roots or to find out whether the sewer line is Orangeburg. If so, these types of pipes last about 50 years before they disintegrate. They can also cause a need for thousands of dollars in repairs if a pipe should burst.

When having your home inspection done, you can also ask for a sewer inspection. Replacement of sewer lines is expensive, but it's an item many sellers will replace if asked.

Roofing Issues

If roof issues crop up during your inspection, you can certainly ask for them to be repaired. Usually, sellers will get a roof inspection when these requests are made. These are conducted by a roofing company and are designed to find any issues with the roof, its materials, and its features, such as ridges, caps, and pipes. The roof inspection will give you a complete estimate of the damage and costs to repair.

If the roof needs a full replacement, there’s a chance the seller will replace it or have it replaced under their homeowners insurance policy. Sometimes, they will offer cash credits instead.

Note

Once the repairs are made, the roofing company will issue a roof certification to show that it’s in good condition.

HVAC Systems and Water Heaters

Age is a good indicator for determining when heating and cooling systems should be replaced. The average life expectancy of a central A/C unit is usually 15 to 20 years.

Be wary if a system is nearing its age limit. If your home inspector notes a unit’s old age on your report, have it inspected by a licensed HVAC professional to make sure it’s up to snuff.

It's not unusual for a buyer to request new systems, but they're expensive to replace, so keep that in mind if you intend to request a full replacement.

(Video) Request for repairs | Reasonable requests after home inspection

Mandatory Repairs After a Home Inspection

After a home inspection, there are certain repairs that are mandatory for sellers to fix. They include issues related to safety, such as structural damage, mold, and fire code violations.

Important

If you’re a homebuyer, getting a professional home inspection is an important step in the process. Home inspectors are specifically trained to find deficiencies in residential properties. They can also advise you as to what deficiencies are most important or pose safety issues.

Some of the most common mandatory repairs include:

  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • Fire or electrical hazards
  • Chemical hazards
  • Pest infestation
  • Structural hazards
  • Building code violations

If your home inspection report notes issues in those areas, it is the responsibility of the seller to fix them.

Tips for Successfully Making Requests for Repairs After a Home Inspection

When it's time to make repair requests, you’ll generally want to focus on the bigger-picture items. Remember that sellers are on their way out of the home (they may already have a new one), and they probably don’t want to put much time or cash into a property they’re just about to leave. They may also be on a tight timeline.

Here are some general tips for making repair requests as a homebuyer.

Consider Which Repairs the Seller Should Handle

Remember that the sellers will be responsible for any repairs that are crucial to health and safety. But beyond that, how can you know what types of repairs to ask for?

If you're not sure, you can always ask your real estate agent. They should be able to help by letting you know what typically happens in your local market.

Keep in mind that sellers don’t have to agree to any repair requests. In fact, if it’s a seller’s market, and there are a lot of buyers vying for the property, a seller may reject the requests altogether.

Note

Consider asking the seller to pay for a home warranty. Home warranties cover major defects for a year and provide added peace of mind.

(Video) Negotiating repairs after home inspection

Determine What Is a Need and What Is a Want

While there might be a lot of changes you'd like to make to the home, take a step back. Read through the inspection report, and begin to separate out what is a need and what is a want.

Needs are things that must be addressed during the homebuying process to ensure the house is safe and habitable. Wants are things that can probably wait a while—like a new water heater.

It's not a great idea to make repair requests for items that could have been easily noticed during your initial walk-through of the home, such as cracked sidewalks, a bad paint job, or uneven floors.

Get Relevant Quotes and Estimates

When making decisions about repairs, it's a good idea to get a variety of quotes from experts to get an estimate on costs. Your real estate agent can likely point you toward reputable businesses in your area.

Whether the seller ends up making the repairs or you do as the buyer, knowing what to expect from a cost perspective can help.

Approach the Requests for Repairs Carefully

When it comes time to make repair requests, approach the sellers carefully. Keep in mind that they may not have been aware of the repairs that need to be made. They are not required to cover anything that isn't mandatory from a safety perspective.

Being respectful when requesting repairs from the sellers can go a long way.

Know When To Walk Away

Keep in mind that the seller is not responsible for covering every single repair request you may have. But if they are refusing to cover the costs of important repairs—such as electrical hazards or pest infestation—it may be time to walk away from the sale. You deserve a safe place to live, and if the seller isn't willing to give you that, it's likely best to look elsewhere.

It also may be time to walk away if the home inspection report reveals an extreme number of hidden problems. You didn't know about these issues when you agreed to purchase the home, so you may be able to exit the agreement if you have a home inspection contingency.

Note

A home inspection contingency is a clause in the purchase agreement that allows the buyer to back out of the sale if necessary due to the results of the inspection report.

(Video) Reasonable Request After Home Inspection l HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO ASK SELLER TO REPAIR?

Understanding Cash Credit vs. Repair

Sometimes, buyers are better off asking for cash credit on a repair item instead of asking the seller to replace or repair something. The seller has no vested interest in the home after it's sold, and they might not hire the most qualified contractor or do the repair in a manner that's satisfactory to the buyer.

Sellers may have different aesthetic tastes and standards from yours. If it’s important to you to have something repaired or updated a certain way, you may want to wait and handle it yourself.

Ask your lender whether a cash credit is allowed before asking for one, and work with your agent to determine the best strategy for working with the home’s sellers. The current market, the condition of the home, and the exact sellers you’re working with will all play roles.

If the credit is approved, it can work in a few different ways. The seller may pay some of the buyer's closing costs, so the savings can be used to make repairs, or the credit can be included in the final sales cost, which gives the buyers more time to pay off the repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a cash credit?

A cash credit is a way a home seller can pay for home repairs for the buyer without actually having the work done themselves. They may apply the credit to the final sale price or pay some of the buyer's closing costs so that money can be used for repairs.

What do you do if the seller refuses to make the requested repairs?

The right way to handle a seller who won't make requested repairs depends on the type of repairs they are refusing. If they refuse to make mandatory safety repairs, you can walk away from the purchase contract. If the repairs are more cosmetic, you may need to make them yourself.

Are any repairs mandatory to make?

Some types of repairs are mandatory for sellers to make after a home inspection. These include issues related to safety, such as structural damage, mold, and fire code violations.

(Video) Tips for Handling Request for Repairs | Negotiating Repairs After Home Inspection

Is cash credit for repairs a good idea?

Seller credit for repairs often benefits both sellers and buyers. It helps sellers move forward with selling their home without having to spend time making repairs on a property they are leaving. And it helps buyers make the repairs they want and need, in the way they want.

FAQs

How do you get a seller fixed after inspection? ›

Your Options After a Home Inspection
  1. Ask the seller to make the repairs themselves.
  2. Ask for credits toward your closing costs.
  3. Ask the seller to reduce the sales price to make up for the repairs.
  4. Back out of the transaction (if you have an inspection contingency in place)
  5. Move forward with the deal.
18 Jan 2022

What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection in Florida? ›

What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection? The short answer is none. From a legal standpoint, there are no mandatory repairs after a home inspection. That doesn't mean, however, that sellers can dismiss the home inspection offhand or refuse to pay for requested repairs and expect the sale to proceed.

Should the vendor pay for repairs? ›

State laws, including seller disclosure laws, are the only instance where a seller is obligated to pay for repairs after a home inspection. For everything else, it's up to the negotiations between the buyer and seller, and who pays for what depends on what is decided after the inspection report comes in.

What are the most common problems found in home inspections? ›

Dave Swartz
  1. Faulty wiring. ...
  2. Roof problems. ...
  3. Heating/cooling system defects. ...
  4. Plumbing issues. ...
  5. Inadequate insulation and ventilation in attic. ...
  6. Whole house is poorly maintained. ...
  7. Poor drainage around the structure. ...
  8. Air and water penetrating cracks and window perimeters at exterior.

What happens if seller doesn't want to fix anything? ›

If your requests for repairs are refused by the seller, you are likely entitled to a refund of your earnest money on deposit.

What can you negotiate after a home inspection? ›

What is reasonable to ask for after a home inspection? It is reasonable to ask the seller to make major repairs that address health, safety, structural issues, and building code violations. The seller may offer cash or a discount in lieu of making repairs.

Are the sellers of a house liable for repairs after the closing in Florida? ›

Sellers aren't liable for the cost of repairs if they weren't aware of the issues before closing. However, a seller can be held responsible if they knew about the problems and didn't disclose them to the buyer. Sellers are legally required to inform buyers of all known defects.

What should you not fix when selling a house? ›

Fixing cosmetic damage

Sure, peeling paint, a weathered back door and scuffed floors may make things look a little run-down, but if you are looking to save some cash on repairs and renovations, you'll rather want the money to be put to good use.

Can you negotiate price after inspection? ›

You can realistically negotiate for anything after a home inspection, but getting the seller to agree to your terms is the real trick. You will need plenty of evidence such as pictures and repair estimates, as often a seller will actually be unaware of the defect in question.

What happens if a house survey shows problems? ›

If your property survey has thrown up some issues, there's no need to panic. Most surveys will come back with a few problems, especially if the property is older. The results could help you renegotiate the price of the property. Or, you could even ask the seller to fix any defects before moving forward.

What can fail a house survey? ›

We often find that inadequate insulation and ventilation in roof spaces and blocked and overflowing gutters are the two of the most frequent issues. Your survey should include inspection of the roof, chimneys and high level surfaces.

When can I walk away from home inspection? ›

The most common problems that may cause a buyer to walk are: Major mechanical issues with the furnace, A/C, water heater, electrical, or plumbing. Structural issues, like bowing foundation, split rafters in the attic, and rotted wood. Cosmetic issues, like wear and tear to the siding, roof, and decking.

What should you ask the seller to fix? ›

In general, it's reasonable to request repairs for any problems in the home that lead to health or safety concerns. Consider the home's key systems – from plumbing to electrical – as well as the home's main foundation and structure.

What are the three basic safety concerns during the home inspection? ›

There are three main categories that should be evaluated during a home inspection:
  • Structure. The most important item to look at during a home inspection is the structural integrity of the home. ...
  • Safety. ...
  • Deferred Maintenance.

What are 5 very important things that are inspected in a home inspection? ›

The top five things home inspectors look for
  • Foundation. The foundation is the workhorse of a house. ...
  • Roof. Roof quality and performance can also make or break a house deal. ...
  • Plumbing. Is there anything worse than a leak? ...
  • Electrical systems. ...
  • HVAC system.
26 Oct 2021

Can you negotiate house price after offer accepted? ›

Can you negotiate the house price after the offer has been accepted? Yes, it is legal and quite common, especially if the survey of the property reveals extensive damage, to negotiate a house price after an offer has been accepted.

How do you follow up on a house offer? ›

(You can also call, but we recommend emails since they are less intrusive.) If you don't hear back right away, we suggest following up after one week. On the off-chance that a buyer prefers phone calls to emails, leave your number in your signature and note that you'd be happy to talk on the phone.

Can you negotiate after building and pest? ›

A building and pest inspection can actually work in your favour. If it reveals significant damage or a pest problem, then you may, depending on your situation, be able to re-negotiate on the asking price of the house. You could save thousands of dollars off the asking price with the leverage of a building report.

What should you ask at a home inspection? ›

Five questions to ask at an open house inspection
  • Why is the owner selling?
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Are there any known issues with the property?
  • When was the house built?
  • Are you aware of any future developments in the area?
6 Jan 2021

Can you negotiate after due diligence? ›

There are typically two major dates in home buying: the inspection period (sometimes called a due diligence period or something similar) and the closing date. Both of these can be used in negotiations. A seller might be interested in closing as soon as possible or perhaps needs extra time to find a new place to live.

How do you renegotiate a house price after a survey? ›

If you want to renegotiate, you will need to contact the estate agent. Call your agent or visit the branch and explain the situation. Take the survey with you and highlight the areas that are causing you concern. The agent can then contact the seller and get back to you once they have decided what to do.

Do I have to disclose a past problem with my house if it's been repaired in Florida? ›

Under Florida law, home sellers are required to disclose any problems that they actually know about, even if the buyer later thinks they should have known about the problem. (This comes from the court case of Jensen v. Bailey, 76 So. 3d 980 (Fla.

What does a seller have to disclose in Florida? ›

In Florida a seller of residential property is obligated to disclose to a buyer all facts known to a seller that materially and adversely affect the value of the Property being sold which are not readily observable by a buyer.

Can you sue a home inspector in Florida? ›

The simple answer to whether or not you can sue a home inspector for negligence is yes. If they failed to find something that caused you or another resident harm, legal action is an option.

Do you need to patch walls when you sell your house? ›

Re: Home sale etiquette: wall repair

Leave it unless they requested (in the contract) that the holes are patched. This is normal wear and tear and will get fixed when they paint.

Do you have to fill holes in wall when selling house? ›

Should You Fill Holes in Walls When Moving? Again, unless your contract specifies that this must be completed, it's mainly up to you to decide. If there is a “make good of any damage” clause in your contract, then you may be legally expected to fill any holes.

What adds most value to a house? ›

What Home Improvements Add the Most Value?
  • Kitchen Improvements. If adding value to your home is the goal, the kitchen is likely the place to start. ...
  • Bathrooms Improvements. Updated bathrooms are key for adding value to your home. ...
  • Lighting Improvements. ...
  • Energy Efficiency Improvements. ...
  • Curb Appeal Improvements.
24 Mar 2020

How many pages is a typical home inspection report? ›

WARNING - THE AVERAGE HOME INSPECTION REPORT IS USUALLY 25-30 PAGES IN LENGTH.

How do sellers negotiate repairs? ›

Ask For A Price Reduction

Even though you are paying less for the house, you will be out of pocket for the repair. A good way to structure that is to ask the seller to pay some or all of your closing costs that would normally be paid for by you. That is a way to put money in your pocket for the repairs.

Can you lower your offer on a house? ›

Answer: Yes, absolutely! Your offer to purchase a property is 'subject to contract' and this includes the results of any survey that is undertaken.

Can you negotiate price after inspection? ›

You can realistically negotiate for anything after a home inspection, but getting the seller to agree to your terms is the real trick. You will need plenty of evidence such as pictures and repair estimates, as often a seller will actually be unaware of the defect in question.

What should you not fix when selling a house? ›

Fixing cosmetic damage

Sure, peeling paint, a weathered back door and scuffed floors may make things look a little run-down, but if you are looking to save some cash on repairs and renovations, you'll rather want the money to be put to good use.

Can a seller back out after appraisal? ›

No, the seller can't back out of escrow based on the results of an appraisal. If the appraisal is higher than the sale price, the seller can't nix the contract to pursue a better offer — unless they have another valid reason.

Who is responsible for repairs before exchange of contracts? ›

It is the seller's responsibility to inform the buyer of any damage. It is however the buyer's responsibility to insure the property from the date of exchange of contracts and to have the repairs carried out. The buyer will then have to make a claim on their insurance policy.

When can I walk away from home inspection? ›

The most common problems that may cause a buyer to walk are: Major mechanical issues with the furnace, A/C, water heater, electrical, or plumbing. Structural issues, like bowing foundation, split rafters in the attic, and rotted wood. Cosmetic issues, like wear and tear to the siding, roof, and decking.

Can you negotiate after due diligence? ›

There are typically two major dates in home buying: the inspection period (sometimes called a due diligence period or something similar) and the closing date. Both of these can be used in negotiations. A seller might be interested in closing as soon as possible or perhaps needs extra time to find a new place to live.

How many pages is a typical home inspection report? ›

WARNING - THE AVERAGE HOME INSPECTION REPORT IS USUALLY 25-30 PAGES IN LENGTH.

Do you need to patch walls when you sell your house? ›

Re: Home sale etiquette: wall repair

Leave it unless they requested (in the contract) that the holes are patched. This is normal wear and tear and will get fixed when they paint.

Do you have to fill holes in wall when selling house? ›

Should You Fill Holes in Walls When Moving? Again, unless your contract specifies that this must be completed, it's mainly up to you to decide. If there is a “make good of any damage” clause in your contract, then you may be legally expected to fill any holes.

What adds most value to a house? ›

What Home Improvements Add the Most Value?
  • Kitchen Improvements. If adding value to your home is the goal, the kitchen is likely the place to start. ...
  • Bathrooms Improvements. Updated bathrooms are key for adding value to your home. ...
  • Lighting Improvements. ...
  • Energy Efficiency Improvements. ...
  • Curb Appeal Improvements.
24 Mar 2020

What if offer is higher than appraisal? ›

If the buyer can't come up with the difference but you know your home is worth more than what it appraised at, you can offer them seller financing for the difference — assuming you have enough cash. You'd essentially loan them the money, taking payments either in regular installments or in a lump sum down the road.

How often do appraisals come in low 2022? ›

How often do home appraisals come in low? Low home appraisals do not occur often. According to Fannie Mae, appraisals come in low less than 8 percent of the time, and many of these low appraisals are renegotiated higher after an appeal, Graham says.

What happens if appraisal comes back higher than selling price? ›

What happens if the appraisal comes in above the purchase price of the home? You're in a good situation if this happens. It simply means that you've agreed to pay the seller less than the home's market value. Your mortgage amount does not change because the selling price will not increase to meet the appraisal value.

What happens if you sell a house with a leak? ›

Potential buyers will find it. Whether they notice it during a viewing or it gets discovered by a surveyor, they'll find it and they will be very unhappy that you misled them. It could scupper the deal, or worse, lead to a court case.

What happens if you buy a house and something is wrong? ›

Let an Attorney Help You Resolve Concerns Over Home Defects

This is considered a breach of contract, and you have legal rights. A demand letter can explain what you need to be fixed or the money you want to be returned to you.

What is gazumping in real estate? ›

Gazumping occurs when an agent or seller accepts an offer you make to buy a property at an agreed price but the property is sold to someone else. This usually happens when the vendor sells the property for a higher amount.

Videos

1. What Are Realistic Repair Requests After A Home Inspection? Tips from a Nashville broker & Realtor.
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3. Home Inspection Repair Requests
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4. Home Inspections and Repair Requests
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