Welcome to San Diego Blog | June 24, 2012
Buyers’ Requesting Repairs – Real Estate Transactions
A prospective home buyer will typically visit a property only once or twice before deciding to make an offer. If they’ve fallen in love with the home, they are likely to overlook minor problems that need repair, and they aren’t likely to perform the type of detailed inspection necessary to uncover non-obvious defects before making the offer.
Fortunately for the buyer, California law gives them a “contingency period” in which to inspect the property and make a “Request for Repairs,” or even to cancel the sale if they change their mind after a closer look.
But sellers are not obligated to make repairs or to bring the home up to the standards of current-day building codes. The standard California residential purchase agreement states that property is sold “as is,” in its present physical condition.
In California, a buyer typically has 17 days once the offer is accepted to conduct a “due diligence” investigation into the condition of the property. At the end of this 17-day period, the buyer must either release the contingency and move forward with the purchase, or cancel the transaction.
Real estate agents routinely advise their buyer clients to have a property inspection performed by a qualified, licensed home inspector during this contingency period. An experienced inspector will thoroughly examine the property and prepare a detailed written report identifying potential problems that require repair or further attention. If the inspection reveals significant issues that were not obvious at the time of the offer, such as a leaking bathroom sink pipe, the buyer can request repairs or try to negotiate a credit from the seller.
Being Selective in your Repair Requests
A realistic buyer will not expect a seller to correct every single item listed in the inspection report. No home is perfect, and a prospective buyer who presents a seller with a laundry list of minor repairs runs the risk of losing his dream home to an equally qualified but less demanding buyer. On the other hand, buyers who are selective and reasonable in their repair requests are likely to find sellers who are willing to accommodate them in order to complete the sale.
For more information, please call Margaret Irving (619) 246-8400.