Home Buying in Arvada>Question Details

Arvadabuyer, Home Buyer in Arvada, CO

Our sellers are not willing to budge on our home inspection negotiation. Of the eight items we asked for

Asked by Arvadabuyer, Arvada, CO Mon Jul 13, 2009

(most of which were safety and/or structural) they have agreed to fix only two. We settled on a counter-counter offer of asking price with them paying closing costs, the house is going for a price pretty close to comps in the neighborhood. But there are many repairs coming up in the next few years and we are very frustrated that they haven't budged on any of the inspection objections. The house needs some HVAC work, and they've refused. We've asked that they fix some of the safety issues with the deck, they've refused to budge. They wrote us a personal letter about how they've taken care of the house and done updates and great maintenance over the years (they are the original owners). We are concerned that the roof is showing wear, it will probably need to be replaced within the next few years. The siding is 30 year old hardboard, and will need to be replaced in the next few years. Should we walk away? So many of the Denver area houses seem overpriced, and this one seems fair.

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Another angle:

The purpose of the inspection is to allow the buyer to become aware of ALL (in theory...) the issues a home has before they move in. It is NOT to point out every single little thing 'wrong' wth the property with the intent or expectation of having the seller fix them all before the house can be sold. Too many buyers have the idea that any home is supposed to be made 'perfect' by the seller before they sell - and that's simply not the case.

If you want (or need) a 'perfect' house, then you should probably be looking at a new home that comes with a warranty.

These sellers seem to have made their position very clear - they are essentially asking you if you want to buy their home - or not? If you do, you take it as is, essentially. If you don't want to take it that way, then you need to move on, and perhaps adjust your expectations.

In any case, sellers are under no obligation whatsoever to fix anything at all. Most do agree to fix at least some of the things found in an inspection, especially so-called health and safety issues, but remember that they've been living there, presumably happily, for many years. To them these aren't 'real' health and safety issues, and to be told that their home is unsafe, etc. can come across as somewhat insulting, so yes, they're taking it personally.

In the end, this home appears as if it will be needing quite a bit of maintenance in the next few years. Maybe doing that maintenance isn't your thing. Maybe you can't afford to do it.

Maybe you should keep looking.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 28, 2009
I would have to completely disagree with you. Should you have them change a light bulb or fix a polarity issue on one outlet? Probably not but if the roof is shot, they should help to get it up to par. Not pay the entire bill but at least pay a portion. Especially since that becomes a material fact that needs to be disclosed to the next buyer. They might as well take care of it. Besides we all know appraisers are starting to point those issues out in their reports to the bank and the bank may not write the paper on that.
Flag Tue Sep 24, 2013
You're an idiot....
Flag Wed Sep 26, 2012
Ultimately a seller and buyer have to come together to make a transaction happen, regardless of whether it's a buyer's or seller's market. And regardless of how many people are on your side it's still the seller's decision on what to accept. It's quite possible that these items were taken into account to come up with what the sellers consider a "fair" price. I know if I had to sink a bunch of money into a home right before I sold it then that would affect the price I tried to get.

I think in order to take your emotion out of it you need to incorporate the cost or potential cost of doing these repairs yourself and decide if you still consider the price fair.

I'd definitely try to get some input from your agent here. I have a quick anecdote that kind of relates to your situation: Last time I was in a market for a home I found one I really really liked that had everything I wanted. This was shortly after the Michigan housing market started to decline. It was a little over the top of my price range but I offered as much as I could comfortably afford. The sellers wouldn't budge off of their price. They had lived there 20 years and felt like they put a lot into the house and didn't want to give in at all. I walked away but continued to keep tabs on the house for another couple weeks. Then I had my agent contact them again to see how things were going. They hadn't recieved all those "great offers" they thought were coming and I wound up getting the house for even less!

My point is, it's not over til it's over. And if these items are truly a deal breaker then walk away. If they truly "need" to sell at some point and these repairs are going to get in the way of every deal going forward then maybe you revisit things at a later date.

Best of luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 13, 2009
Your Buyer's Representative is your best source for these questions. Is this a foreclosure? A shortsale? Are you dealing directly with the Seller?
If you're trying to buy this house without the help of an agent, you do have some decisions to make. Did your Inspector/s call out the roof, deck, electrical, siding, HVAC systems stating there is great need for repair or replacement? If so, your lender and/or insurance company will require that someone repair these items prior to occupancy and protect their investment. Talk to your lender and your insurance company.

The negotiation process can be difficult. Remember,
1) you want to buy, they want to sell. Give and take is key.
2) any written report you have given them noting inspection issues (like roof and siding at then end of their material lives, or plumbing and electrical items not performed to code) is information they have to divulge to future buyers,
3) Wouldn't they rather reduce their price, or repair items for you? Why would they want you to walk and have to start over with another buyer?
4) Lastly, try to be detached. Be prepared to walk... they may ask you to come back later.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 13, 2009
Arvada Buyer,

Good question. The seller has no obligation to repair any of the items. And of course you have no obligation to purchase the home without being satisfied with the condition of the home. If it really is priced well in this market you should decide where you want to draw the line with what you want the to repair and if they won't budge as to where you drew the line, you should walk away. The main things are the safety concerns, the roof certification, and a furnace certification. If you are doing an FHA loan, the FHA appraiser may address some of these things and require them to be done in order to close. Good luck with your decision and your purchase.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
Thats a personal decision, so weigh the pros and cons. Is there a reason they won't fix more items, do they need to sell for a certain amount to break even, or are they just being lazy?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 22, 2009
I actually live right near 80th and Wadsworth - in Pomona Lakes. This area does seem to have turned the corner. It's easy for someone to say it doesn't matter if it's a seller's or buyer's market, but they're not the ones who have to face getting back out there and look at who knows how many more homes, and possibly lose out to other buyers who are also wanting that $8000 tax credit before time runs out. All I know is, I do all the research I can for my clients, then they have to decide whether or not to take that plunge. You still have the appraisal to be done, right? If that comes in low, you'll have a lot more fuel for the fire.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 13, 2009
I ran out of space for my question. :)

Yes, we are working with an agent. They have an agent too. This is not a short sale or foreclosure. They have already had one contract fall through after inspection, I'm not sure of the entire story, but they did do some repairs after that inspection (added a radon fan and redid the walls around a shower).

We've given them all the data from our inspector. They did not disclose all information to us before we made the offer (our realtor confronted theirs about this). The inspector brought up the issues with the furnace, issues with the deck, water getting into the basement (and one part of the attic).

The sellers seem convinced it is a seller's market in Arvada now and that another buyer will come along soon if we walk. I think other buyers would be turned off by two contracts that fell through after inspection, but they seem very willing to let the house sit on the market, since they are original owners and have a very low mortgage payment, if any.

I don't think they have permits for the work they did. Do you know where I could get those? Any idea if we can use that against them in negotiation?

We looked at about 25 houses before this one. Two were under contract before we even got the chance to make an offer. One had another offer right after we saw it, but it was priced $25-$30K over comps and we didn't want to over pay as much as the other buyers. The market does seem really hot in JeffCo where we've been looking. The good houses go under contract very quickly and we've seen many go for asking price.

We are first time buyers and I honestly didn't know anything about hardboard before I went into this. The roof was not cedar shingle (which has been the case for many we've seen in area around 80th & Wads), so I thought it would be okay. Good point about the hail damage, though. That's how they replaced their current roof. I think many of the homes in the area from the 1970's will also be needing siding and roofs soon, would you agree?

The location is pretty much perfect. Low crime, good schools, nice large yard. The location, the re-done kitchen and the size were the reasons we made the offer in the first place. This has been the first house we liked in this neighborhood which I didn't feel like I'd need to bump out a few walls to make it large enough (or the first one which wasn't already under contract by the time we saw it).

We are so torn about this house. The sellers are really bringing emotion into it, which makes it even more frustrating. It is at the top of our price range, which makes us even more hestitant to follow through on a deal where lots of repairs are necessary. We are tired of looking and just want to move in and move on. Thanks so much for any input!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 13, 2009
Wow - I don't know if you're working with a buyer's agent but if you are, have they done a trend study for you? In other words, does it appear that this neighborhood is turning around, or heading down some more? No one can tell the future, but there are certain indicators - how are the schools? Crime rates? Foreclosure notifications (you can find these on the county website)? How many homes in the neighborhood are rentals? Is the neighborhood close to future light rail? Did you get copies of the permits that have been pulled, to see if work was done with permits or not?

Once you've done all the 'due diligence' you can, it boils down to how much you like/want the house. Did you look at many before you made on offer on this one - how hard would it be to find another one? Is your agent willing to show you a couple of homes before you decide whether to stay or walk?

Any older home is going to need some maintenance. If all the work you mention was done already, the price would likely be higher. After all, you knew the siding was original when you made your offer, and nearly all roofs will need to be replaced "within the next few years" (most from hail damage) - is any of the work things that you can take care of yourself at low cost? It's pretty impossible to answer this question for you - just be careful that you're not letting nerves get the best of you, and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 13, 2009
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