Buying a home can be a precarious business. When money and emotions are involved, things can get dicey (and ugly). So when issues pop up during a home inspection or initial walk-through, it’s important to request some repairs — especially if they’re related to safety concerns or would cost a mint to fix once the property is yours.
In almost every home sale, the buyer will request the seller to make some fixes and repairs. Sometimes these are reasonable and should be done, but other times not. This means that there are fixes you should do and those you shouldn’t do when selling your house. The difficulty for most sellers lies in knowing the difference – with some being too accommodating and doing more than they need to and others refusing to do enough. To help you out in this situation, we offer this brief guide on what you should and should not fix at your buyer’s request when selling your house in Seattle.
Repairs You Should Make When Selling Your House
The things you should fix at the buyer’s request when selling your house in Seattle are most of the time the major issues – things that the inspection typically turns up. These include . . .
A roof in need of repair can decrease the value of a property. And if left unattended, it can lead to water damage and other problems that are expensive to put right. It’s reasonable, then, for your buyer to request roof repairs or even replacement if needed, and you should be accommodating here.
Foundation issues and flaws are pretty major can even threaten the structural integrity of the entire home. In addition, foundation repairs can be very pricey, a fact that could jeopardize the sale. So if the buyer asks for fixes in this area, you should do that when selling your house.
A plumbing problem, which usually means a leak or leaks somewhere, can easily result in water damage and mold problems. A plumbing problem often isn’t a big fix, but mold abatement can be a lengthy and costly process. Fixing plumbing problems, then, is another reasonable buyer request.
Electrical Problems/Outdated Wiring
Electrical issues, especially outdated, old wiring, are a fire hazard. In fact, electrical problems are responsible for over 50,000 fires every year. So when selling your house and in order not to lose the sale, you should take of these issues (even if not requested by the buyer).
A faulty or poorly functioning HVAC is an energy eater driving up utility bills, not to mention the fact that it can drastically impact comfort. So if there are problems here, your buyer will likely ask you to address them, and you should. Sometimes all it takes is having the system serviced, not a costly replacement.
Although in most cases you should probably do these fixes, there are exceptions. So be sure to contact a Seattle agent at (206) 578-3438 before you spend a bunch of money on any of them.
Repairs You Should Not Make When Selling Your House
The repairs and fixes you should not make at your buyer’s request when selling your house in Seattle are usually relatively minor when compared to the ones you should do. They are . . .
As long as there isn’t an underlying, more serious problem causing the issue, normal wear and tear are to be expected. Whether it’s a deck that needs staining, a cracked tile, or nicked-up paint, these are issues relatively easy [for the buyer] to repair,” and you don’t need to worry about them. “This is especially true in older homes.”
“Termites are a big issue”. “Some lenders or insurance companies will not write on a property that does not have a clean termite inspection report. This is one such item that most sellers are going to have to fix for any buyer who needs mortgage financing in most cases. But seek the advice of your real estate agent and lender, because if the property had multiple offers, the seller could easily just say no, put the property back on the market, and sell it to someone else who isn’t asking for repairs.”This one you not only should, but will probably have to, take care of because “[s]ome lenders and insurance companies will not write on a property that does not have a clean termite inspection report.” But if that’s not the case and you’ve had multiple offers, you can simply “put the property back on the market, and sell it to someone else who isn’t asking for repairs.”
Minor Electrical Problems
So there’s a light switch that doesn’t work. Do you risk the sale by asking the sellers to fix it? This may only tip them off to your various other minor electrical issue concerns, which can be easily repaired post-closing. Unlike bigger electrical problems like faulty wiring, you shouldn’t do anything about minor electrical issues. You won’t be risking the sale if don’t fix a light switch that doesn’t work.
Poor Curb Appeal
Yes, you should improve curb appeal when selling your house, but you don’t have to, even if the buyer requests it. Cosmetic issues (as we mentioned), especially exterior ones, just aren’t something to worry about.
Minor Plumbing Issues
Much like minor electrical issues, problems with plumbing will most likely be laid out during a whole-home inspection. This is, of course, unless it’s a safety issue. Sellers have to make sure plumbing is up to code, but a minor faucet drip is something you shouldn’t worry about.
As with minor electrical problems, you shouldn’t be concerned about fixing minor plumbing issues. As long as the plumbing is up to code, it’s just not reasonable for a buyer to ask you to fix, say, a dripping faucet.
But, again, it’s a good idea to consult a Seattle agent before you decide to ignore a problem your buyer wants you to take care of.
Your Seattle Agent Can Help
Common sense can go a long way toward helping you determine what you should and should not fix at your buyer’s request when selling your house in Seattle. Still, variances in local markets, particularly differences in local codes and regulations, can impact what you should and shouldn’t do. That, of course, is why it’s so important to work closely with a local [market-city] agent. And our experienced agents can provide the help you need. So when it’s time for selling your house, be sure to contact us today at (206) 578-3438.