Is Asking The Seller To Pay For Home Repairs The Right Move?

Your home inspection might reveal that repairs are needed on the home you want to buy. You can choose to pay for the repairs yourself or attempt to negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of some or all of the repairs. If you are unsure whether or not to ask the seller to pay the repairs, here is what you need to know.  

Should You Ask the Seller to Pay for Repairs?

Not every problem that is uncovered by the home inspection should be automatically passed onto the seller to buy. You want to ensure that the requests you make of the seller are reasonable so that he or she does not feel that cancelling the sale is the right move.  

Cosmetic repairs are usually not considered to be reasonable requests. Other non-essential repairs that can be repaired for less than a thousand might not be worth it either. Your real estate agent can help you determine if a repair you want the seller to cover is reasonable or not.  

Reasonable repairs tend to be those that are more expensive or that have some bearing on the functioning of the home. For instance, rewiring the electrical wiring or replacing the roof are often considered reasonable. You could also ask the seller to cover the costs if there are significant problems with the plumbing, such as galvanized water pipes that need to be replaced.  

Does the Seller Have to Cover the Entire Cost?

How much you ask the seller to cover is up to you. You can ask the seller for the entire amount, but it is important to note that the seller might back out of the purchase contract if you do. Negotiating for a portion of the cost of repairs could help to keep the deal on track.  

You have a few options for dealing with the repairs. You can ask the seller to lower the listing prices or to have the repairs completed before closing. You could even ask the seller for cash credit towards the repairs. Check with your lender to determine if cash credit is allowed. Some lenders are unwilling to accept the credit.  

The need for repairs is not a reason to walk away from the purchase of a home. Work with your real estate agent to find a solution that allows you to still move into the home, while guaranteeing that you get the best deal possible.