When you’re in the market for a new house, it’s rare to come across a home that’s in perfect, move-in ready condition. Repairs and maintenance issues can be an annoyance, but they also give you the opportunity to negotiate on price or ask the seller to take care of issues for you. It can be hard to determine when repairs are necessary and who should be responsible for them, but the tips below can help.
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Know Your Responsibilities
Before doing anything else, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a buyer, since some states have specific rules about repair requests. In Texas, for example, you need to specify whether you want repairs when signing your purchase contract. However, you are still allowed to submit an amendment to request repairs or adjust the agreed-upon sales price, provided you do so during the option period.
Real estate laws can be confusing no matter where you purchase a home. Always ask your realtor for help if you don’t understand your obligations, as your choices during closing can have long-term consequences.
Identify Repairs You Want
After familiarizing yourself with your responsibilities as a buyer, make sure you understand the home inspection process. As the buyer, you are in charge of finding an inspector and, in most cases, paying for his or her services. Many states require home inspectors to be licensed or follow specific regulations, so be sure the person you hire has the right credentials.
Keep in mind that not all issues will come back on a home inspection report. For example, cosmetic damage like a cracked bathroom tile won’t make the report in most cases. The point of a home inspection is to identify issues with major components like electrical work, plumbing, the foundation and the HVAC system.
It might be tempting to ask the seller to fix surface-level damage, and in some cases, you can do so without issue. However, asking for too many minor fixes can frustrate a seller and hamper your ability to negotiate or get the more important repairs taken care of.
Do a Cost Analysis
The maintenance issues that show up on a home inspection report are usually expensive to fix. However, some are more costly than others. You will want to research how much each repair costs so you know how much it affects the home’s value or how expensive it would be to repair yourself.
Understand Your Options
After identifying repairs you want and determining how much they’ll cost, you can communicate your needs to the seller. Your options usually include negotiating on the sales price or having the seller do the repairs before you move in. You can also request a seller credit, which allows you to save money at closing and keep more funds to cover repairs yourself.
Keep in mind that this step (covering things yourself) will also require you to find contractors to handle the repairs you need, which will take some work on your part. For example, you’ll need to use sites like Angi.com to look up reviews and find a contractor (from the hundreds of top-rated available) to address any plumbing issues the property may have. Finding a contractor with great reviews and ratings is essential in getting the job done correctly. You may also be able to connect with plumbing professionals who are offering deals and discounts.
There are pros and cons to each of these options. No matter what choice you make, check that it falls in line with the terms of your purchase agreement.
It’s normal to notice at least one thing you want to be repaired before moving ahead with a sale. As the buyer, you should always make sure major issues are accounted for so that you can get a credit or have the repairs addressed in some other way. The last thing you’d want is to discover maintenance issues after moving in when you no longer have options for getting them covered.
Credit to : Tina Martin | Ideaspired.com