You may not be able to ask for a credit for the roof, it will probably be more than your lender allows, however you can request they have it replaced or fixed.
Depending upon the type of loan that you have, however, you cannot exceed a certain amount of seller credit. If you have an FHA, you may ask for 6% of the sales price in seller credit (assist). However, if you have an FHA loan, and the roof is as bad as you say, the appraiser may want the work completed, prior to closing.
If you have a conventional, 5% down loan, then you may ask for 3% credit.. 10% and 20% will allow for 6%.
No matter what, if you are seeking credit for repairs, I would make sure that that money is listed as Seller Assistance on a Change in Terms Addendum, making sure that the Seller understands what the credit is for.
My best advice is, if the time is there, and you can get a quote from a roofer that you trust, ask the Seller to replace the roof, in accordance with the proposal from the reputable roofer.
If you are getting a loan most lenders will not allow the seller to pay you for fixing the roof. There are ways to handle this but the type of loan you use has some influence on how is the best way to handle it. Ask your loan officer what to do.
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Also the credit depends upon the type of financing (if any) and the total amount of all credits you are receiving from the Seller. The lender (if any) probably will not permit a credit for repairs but will require the repairs be completed prior to closing. So any credit may need to be in the form of a closing cost credit and their are limits to the amount permitted. On FHA mortgages the Seller may pay up to a maximum of 6% of the sales price as a closing cost credit for the Buyer, on conventional mortgages with a 5% to 9.99% down payment the Seller may pay up to a 3% closing cost credit , on 10% to 24.99% down payment up to a 6% closing cost credit and with a 25% down payment up to a 9% credit closing cost. But be careful not to exceed the actual amount of the closing costs. Of course there are other types financing and limitations but these are the most common. On cash sales it may an actual repair credit and it may be for the total amount.
Also you could obtain bids and have the contractor completing the work paid directly from the closing.
Good luck negotiating the repairs.
Yes, it never hurts to request a credit for a roof replacement after an inspector has determined that it is in poor condition. You are correct that the seller will have to acknowledge the issue with any other buyers who show interest in the home.
If the seller's asking price does not reflect the condition of the home then asking for a credit for roof repairs or replacement is a good idea.
Good luck to you!
Prudential Connecticut Realty
We do not know the Seller, or his despiration.
When you have this happen, there are three options:
You negotiate with the Seller,
You accept the house As-Is and do the repais yourself
You walk away.
It sounds like you have a good Realtor advising you; what do you need us for?