Home Buying in 95023>Question Details

Darlene, Other/Just Looking in

Even though seller stated "as-is", what can be done for repairs found through FHA appraisal?

Asked by Darlene, Thu Jul 14, 2011

We are in escrow for a short sale home and using FHA mortgage. The seller has stated "as-is" and we have (with reservation) made about $1k in repairs before the appraiser comes. There were obvious things that needed repair and would be a "red flag" right off the bat so after we were told the sellers wouldn't repair anything, we choose to do a few. There are 3 other things to be fixed. Wood rot around the outside of the window trim, I believe the oven needs a new relay board (it won't turn on) and there is a little leak from the drain pipe in the garage sink. I cannot repair anymore BEFORE the appraiser comes (as we don't know the full extent of what else he will find). We just repaired the pool pump, the garbage disposal and the broken faucet in the bathtub. At this point, can we try to negotiate anything with the seller or the selling agent? Can the price of the home be negotiated with an approved short sale? Can we ask for a portion of the closing costs to be paid?

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Hi Darlene,

As Tammy mentioned short sales are difficult when it comes to requesting repairs be made by the seller since their is no money in the sellers budget to pay their loan let alone any and all costs to sell the home. As you know the bank with a short sale must agree to cover all the Seller's costs to sell the home along with excepting less than what is owed on the Trust Deed. That being said, you certainly have the right as a prospective Buyer to request that repairs be made or compensation be given to cover these certain repairs. However, there is no gurantee or obligation on the Sellers part to agree to your request. You must ask yourself how much do you like this property? Is this the dream home you have been looking for and must have? If the answer is yes then I recommend that you wait to see what the appraiser has to report. They may not mention any additional items. On the other hand the dry rot may be an issue, the appraiser may mention it in their report. If they do the Lender will require the repairs be made prior to close of escrow. At that point your Realtor will have something in writing that they can take to the Listing Agent and request that the bank be willing to cover the cost for repairs. For the bank to refuse they will be jeopordizing the transaction with you for work that will come up again with any future potential Buyers. This could end up costing the Bank even more money in the process. This will give you a little more leverage in the transaction. Then you must ask yourself the questions I mentioned above again and after speaking with your Realtor you will be able to make the best decision for you and your family. As for the oven and small leak in the garage. I would be surprised if the Appraiser mentioned these items. Usually the Appraiser will mention issues that relate to safety and soundness in their report. I hope this helps to answer your question. Good luck!

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
Why on earth are you repairing a house you do not own? What kind of agent do you have that with knowledge of this action, doesn't immediately throw up a red flag ans ask you to reconsider putting money into the house?

What happens if the sale falls through? You are out the money and no one is going to care.

Just because a sale is "as is" doesn't mean you can't negotiate. Everything is negotiable, everything. That doesn't mean things will go your way but not trying just means you take up the slack.

Asking for money from the seller after you've spent it is like buying food at Safeway, going home and then going back and asking for a discount.

Sorry for your situation but you have basically put yourself into a position of no leverage. The leverage the buyer has is BEFORE money is spent, not after and before all contingencies are removed, not after.

Your agent has failed you miserably. The best you can hope for is to make your case and hope you get some money back or that some closing costs get paid by the seller.

Now here is something that will help. Since your agent failed so miserably, ask your buyer agent to accept less commission (in reality YOU the buyer pay all commissions - read my blogs). Thats right, ask your agent to take 1 - 1.5% and reduce the money you need to pay to buy that house. You aren't asking for money back from anyone, that commission is not yet paid. By the way, the idea that the listing agent pays the buyer agent is pure 100% nonsense. Every penny of commission comes out of your pocket, it might change hands once or twice but it all comes from you. Don't believe the agent double talk on this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 20, 2012
Definitely do not spend any more money on repairs until your lender has cleared all your conditions and your loan docs are ready to go out. Why not just first see what the appraiser asks to be fixed? You can always try to ask for anything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
Bottom line: negotiations, motivation and your agents skills/knowledge.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011

Typically, an FHA appraiser will only require repairs that are safety or code related. More often we are seeing them mention additional, more functional issues. If they do not see evidence of termites, for example, they may not call for a termite clearance. Most lenders will default to the appraiser's comments and if there is no mention of a termite report the lender may not require one.

Your mentioned of the "wood rot around the outside window trim" - if the appraiser calls that item, it could trigger the need for a termite inspection and clearance. The short sale bank typically will NOT pay for any termite repairs.

Again, if the appraiser doesn't try the oven or notice the "little leak from the drain pipe in the garage sink" you may get by without those repairs being required by the lender.

If you are already in contract it is not likely that the bank will change the agreement. If you are not yet in contract you can have your agent ask for $X credit toward your normal, buyer's costs.

Feel free to e-mail or call me with any further questions.

Mike Walters
Loan Officer, Community West Mortgage
Web Reference: http://CaHomes411.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
You need to discuss these options with your real estate agent and lender. It is difficult when the property is sold "as is" and the seller doesn't have the funds to make the repairs. The short sale lender could possibly allow the repairs, but then again they may not and the property is placed back on the market.
What you are asking for is certainly within reason...but needs to be addressed as part of the negotiation.
Best of luck to you~
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
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