If you’re selling your home, you might wonder if there are common repairs needed once you are under contract. In Texas (if written in the contract) the buyers have whats call the “Option Period” which is about 5-10 days after executed the contract. The time period depends on the market and house. Most buyers, after all, won’t commit to purchasing a place until it’s been thoroughly vetted by a home inspector—and rest assured, if there are problems, this professional will find them!
So if your home inspection turns up flaws that your home buyer wants fixed, what then?
In the Dallas/Fort Worth area many contracts are not initially written with repairs, because sellers are getting multiple offers and buyers just want to get under contract. So for starters, make sure to read your contract carefully to make sure you don’t get locked into repairing something you don’t want to fix. If there is no initial repairs then during the Option Period Sellers need to be prepared to receive repair request from buyers or risk going back on the market.
It doesn’t matter if a house is a new contruction or a re-sale the inspector will find something so as a seller you need to be prepared for repairs to cut into your overall profit of selling the home. And rest assured, there’s no need for you to fix everything a home inspector thinks could stand for improvement; a home inspection report is not a to-do list. When I work with Buyers, I tell them to create a “wish list” or repairs and rank them in order of importance.
Basically repairs fall into three categories: ones that are pretty much required, ones that typically aren’t required, and ones that are up for debate. Here’s how to know which is which.
Common repairs required after a home inspection
There are some repairs that will be required by lenders before they will release funds to finance a buyer’s home purchase. Typically these address structural defects, building code violations, or safety issues.
If a home inspection reveals such problems, odds are you’re responsible for fixing them. Start by getting some bids from contractors to see how much the repairs will cost. From there, you can fix these problems or if the repair is not a lender required repair then offer buyer repair credits to fix it after funding. Depending on the required repairs, most likely the home will not get funded until seller fixes it and shows proof of it being done.
Home inspection repairs that are negotiable
Between repairs that are typically required and those that aren’t is a whole gray area of repairs that are up for grabs. How you handle those depends in part on the market you’re in. If you’re in a hot seller’s market, you have more power to call the shots.
“While buyers are always advised to have a home inspection so they know what they are buying, when there are a limited number of homes for sale and buyers need to compete for homes, they are more likely to waive their right to ask a seller to make repairs,” says Lerner.
In fact, “the best contract for a seller would be for the buyer to agree to purchase your home as is or to request an ‘information only’ home inspection, thus absolving you of any need to pay for any repairs.”
However, in a normal market, you won’t be able to draw such a hard and fast line. Work with your real estate agent to understand what items you should tackle and where you might want to push back.
You’ll want to be reasonable—after all, you’ve already put a lot of time into the selling process, and it’s likely in your best interest to accommodate some repairs rather than allowing the buyer to walk away. Also, depending on the magnitude of the requested repair, it’s not likely to go away. Now that it’s been uncovered, you’ll need to disclose the issue to the next buyer.
If you are looking to see what your home market price is just let me know and I would be happy to get you a free market analysis. If for any reason you are not in my area then I can refer you to a great Coldwell Banker agent in your areas.