Home Buying in 08081>Question Details

Ladysag64, Home Buyer in 08081

What is reasonable request for seller to replace/repair following Home Inspection?

Asked by Ladysag64, 08081 Fri Mar 12, 2010

I'm a first time home buyer in South Jersey. Currently under contract on a property for $145k and recent home inspection reports "unsatisfactory" comments regarding furnace that 36 yrs old and A/C unit 15 yrs and visible damage to central air unit. Several dbl pane windows with broken seals (6). Sidewalk in front of home has several cracks and bricks on rear patio not properly layed so uneven in spots meaning water would settle up against the home as opposed to natural flow towards the yard. Home also showing signs of wood rot to trim around garage and on rear wood siding.

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Hi Ladysag64,

An inspection provides you the opportunity to learn things about the property that you might not otherwise have known. If there was a disclosure that was available or could have been made available to you through your agent, the seller will have expected that the information contained therein would have been reflected in your contract price.

What is reasonable for you to have known upon your own visual inspection and reading the disclosure is subjective. The scope of what a first time homebuyer may know differs substantially when compared to what a contractor or builder might know.

The fact that the furnace is old, but it is working might fall into this category. Its age is not identified in the report, but a visual inspection with an untrained eye may establish that it is old. If the furnace does not work, you might include that item on a list of requested repairs.

The contract price and steps taken to reach an agreement influences the decisions that both buyers and sellers make regarding how each respond during inspection negotiations.

Is here a CofO required? Has the seller had their CO inspection? There may be items that could be flagged by the town in that process.

Uneven sidewalks present trip and fall hazards in addition to the possibility of pooling water. You may have noticed the uneven sidewalk, but may have been unaware of how it might contribute to improper water drainage. Sidewalks are expensive to fix. The seller might determine that it was tolerable for them, and therefore should be for you.

Nothing in my post is means to be specific advice for you, and supplied only as information. Your buyer agent should be your best source of input since he/she knows the details, the history of the negotiations, and has his/her finger on the pulse of the transaction. While we are all happy to provide information for discussion and hope it is helpful. Your agents advice will be the invaluable and the authoritative guide.

All the best...congrats.

Deborah “Deb” Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - NJ
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
This is great advice. You might be able to negotiate with the seller on some of those problems (such as the AC and the sidewalks), but if the furnace is still working, I wouldn't count on it. The main thing is to talk to your agent and the seller. I'm sure you'll be able to come to a compromise. http://www.adelaideheatandcoolgawler.com.au
Flag Mon Jun 22, 2015
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
A buyer should ask ONLY for things that if not done, they would back out of the purchase of the home. This is a unique and personal choice based on the circumstances.... and that's the type of advice and guidance a good agent can give you because they've been there with you thru the whole process.

Some buyers try to "get something" from the seller just because they think they can. Some Agents try to enhance their buyer's bargain by "seeing what they can get" from the seller. I find both approaches distasteful, dishonest and synonymous with stealing.

The home inspection is designed to give the buyer a chance to back out of a deal if they discover a major problem and to give the seller an opportunity to resolve a major problem that's just been discovered. The home inspection is NOT an opportunity to give the seller your laundry list of repairs or improvements that you want done! This is NOT an opportunity for you to enhance your bargain. This is NOT the time to address repair issues that you could/should have seen with your own eyes before you made your offer. This is NOT the time to cover your own lack of home repair experience, your fear of home repair uncertainty or your lack home repair dollars by trying to shift YOUR responsibilities to the seller. If you bargained for an inexpensive home that needs work, that's what you should get. If that's not really what you want or what you can handle, then you should back out of the purchase and find another home instead of trying to get something for nothing from the seller.

Remember, ONLY ask for the items you're willing to back out over. That's not to say those items will be "reasonable" or even acceptable to the seller, but you will know exactly where you stand on the purchase and you won't have any regrets later if you get the house or not. Good Luck!

I hope that's helpful... if so, click the "thumbs up" below,

Joe
---------------------------------
Joe Montenigro REMAX Home Team
Broker, GRI (856)374-2800 x106
Serving Gloucester Twp, Washington Twp & South Jersey Real Estate Markets
Read my Blog at http://hometeamNJ.com/blog
Meet me at http://www.facebook.com/JoeMontenigro
My Tours: http://hometeamnj.com/search/virtual-tours
27 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
You hit the nail on the head!!!! Thank you for saying this. Our home is currently under contract with a couple who are both in their mid 20's and I swear, they want the world from us. We have been more than generous with them, paying all their closing costs, a home warranty and more. They had their inspection done and the report on the house came back with very few minor things on it. As if the 12k in concessions we are giving them are not enough, they asked us to replace a completely functioning water heater because they want a bigger one in the house! If it weren't for the fact that we are in the process of purchasing a house that we really want, I would tell them to .... off! The other few things that they asked for are all things they would have seen when they came to look at the house initially. They are getting a very nice house that has been 90% remodeled. I guess that they think that they should have exactly what they want on our dime!
Flag Thu Feb 25, 2016
JOE! I feel like I know you. Doing Peak Producers and am in week 5. Thanks for all the great advice!
Flag Fri Feb 19, 2016
This just happened to me as a seller. The buyers want a random cash amount off at closing because of items they feel "Might" need to be fixed based on the inspection. We offered a full house warranty to cover over a year and they said, no, it's cash or we're backing out. Your comment: "Some buyers try to "get something" from the seller just because they think they can. Some Agents try to enhance their buyer's bargain by "seeing what they can get" from the seller. I find both approaches distasteful, dishonest and synonymous with stealing." IS VERY APPRECIATED BY US AT THIS TIME. We cannot back out since we have to close on our new house and don't have time to find another buyer. Their agent worked this with them against us and I find it very unethical myself. At least now I feel validated. Thank you.
Flag Wed Dec 30, 2015
This is an excellent response! I have to say that most of the comments made by the "NOT experts" on homes SHOULD listen to the "Experts" on this issue. I don't recall reading anywhere in this that you should not negotiate items that NEED to be addressed. The way I see it is exactly how this agent does. If your "laundry list" is made up of minor repairs, there should be no demand on fixing these items OR asking for monetary value of those repairs IF your are not willing to walk away from the purchase because of that "laundry list"! Now, if you feel so strongly that the leaking faucet be repaired OR ELSE, then by all means, let that Seller know how strongly you feel. However, if your goal is merely for "positioning" purposes...save that for Drama Class. You will no doubt end up looking foolish by making a big deal out of nothing!
Flag Tue Nov 3, 2015
Sorry Joe, but it IS the time to use towards negotiating a lower price especially if a trained HVAC technician discovers leaks which indicate problems with either required maintenance or functioning.
Flag Thu Oct 29, 2015
YOU WROTE THIS ELOQUENTLY! THANK YOU. and yes, I am shouting because it is just what I needed articulated.
Flag Thu Oct 22, 2015
amazing advice Joe....I agree with you 100%.....great blog as well...I have linked up with you on facebook.

Trisha Ghergo
Flag Wed Nov 19, 2014
Exactly!!! We have the price of our home priced for needed repairs. We just had a buyer that we negotiated with on the price of our home. We agreed to pay all her closing costs, and a 500.00 warranty. She gets the inspection, and instead of negotiating once again, her agent send a list of DEMANDS for repairs and for other "minor" repairs. Wants a whole new HAVAC system, when if fact the ones we have are working properly and have all service records for the last 5 years. She wanted a foundation inspection and all repairs if anything was found. All of that and no negoitation on repricing. Give me a break. This a well sought after area, our home is priced for the needed repairs. We are NOT unreasonable. I find it unethical waving demands on an AS IS contract and then get butt hurt when we wont replace the HAVAC system. It seems everyone is against sellers when in fact so many buyers want something for nothing. If you want a new home go buy one and pay for it.
Flag Fri Jul 4, 2014
That is the WORST advice I have EVER heard about buying a home!!!

This is what you sound like Joe "When I represent a buyer I recommend to push for almost all repairs, when I represent a seller I act opposite."

To say things like "This is NOT the time to address repair issues that you could/should have seen with your own eyes before you made your offer. This is NOT the time to cover your own lack of home repair experience"

MAKES YOU SOUND LIKE A SLIME BALL.

99.99999% of people and home buyers are NOT experts on homes. Every home buyer should get an expert to look at such a HUGE purchase.

If a seller wants full value for their property then they have to maintain it to a good standard.

You, Joe, are passing the buck (literally) on to someone else.
Flag Sun May 11, 2014
Joe Montenigro has provided an excellent response and his advice should be carefully considered by buyers and agents alike.
Flag Thu Dec 5, 2013
Its funny that most of the people responding to this post are agents. I guess they have a lot of time on their hands in a market like this. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Its a buyers market! Don't let any agent tell you differently...they are just after the highest commission possible!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 11, 2011
I sold my house and i am in escrow to buy another one.
Both Joe and Michaelclimbs have valid points.
I do however agree with Michael that a report is a necessity any realtor that does not insist their client have the home and land inspected is not doing their fiduciary responsibility to look after their client. . A home buyer that refuses and does not get one when advised to is simply being foolish. However careful some inspectors lie or price gouge to make money in real estate transactions. I experienced this in my sale when a chimney inspector claimed i had a crack that needed a brand new chimney a 25,000 repair . I shared the photos with another inspector and found out that there was no crack. I was also asked to put in a retaining wall all across my property and I refused. I did agree to cover the cost of termite repair and my own inspector cost 1,500 less. .As a buyer exposed electric that should be underground and isn't and the heater does not work credit?
Flag Wed Apr 27, 2016
I sold my house and i am in escrow to buy another one.
Both Joe and Michaelclimbs have valid points.
I do however agree with Michael that a report is a necessity any realtor that does not insist their client have the home and land inspected is not doing their fiduciary responsibility to look after their client. . A home buyer that refuses and does not get one when advised to is simply being foolish. However careful some inspectors lie or price gouge to make money in real estate transactions. I experienced this in my sale when a chimney inspector claimed i had a crack that needed a brand new chimney a 25,000 repair . I shared the photos with another inspector and found out that there was no crack. I was also asked to put in a retaining wall all across my property and I refused. I did agree to cover the cost of termite repair and my own inspector cost 1,500 less. .As a buyer exposed electric that should be underground and isn't and the heater does not work credit?
Flag Wed Apr 27, 2016
You should expect that the seller will address matters that present structural, safety, or environmental risks. This would include any structural issue with the foundation, safety would involve things like electrical/wiring issues, and a good example of environmental would be a high radon level. The home's mechanical systems and appliances are to be in working order. If the furnace is old but functioning, then I do not think it likely that they will replace it, ditto for the air conditioner. Now if either is not working, then I would expect them to repair. A standard seller's disclosure includes the age of the mechanicals, and so you should have known that the system was old and possibly near the end of its useful life when you made your offer. Windows with broken seals is not an uncommon issue, and I would add it to the list of requests - they may replace or throw some money your way for this. Sidewalk cracks - I doubt they'll do anything here, unless it presents a safety issue, then I'd surely ask. I have seen requests for grading to take water away from the home - the case for action is more compelling if there is water in the basement than if not, but you can certainly ask.

Another idea for the furnace and A/C issue is to request a one year Home Warranty, paid for by the Seller and being put in your name at the time of the sale. Be sure that coverage is adequate to cover the furnace and a/c. This will also cover the appliances.

What I advise my buyers is this - a handful of items that you really care about is far more likely to get action than a laundry list of every deficiency noted by the inspector.

Good luck,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
My Blog: http://www.trulia.com/blog/jeanne_feenick_-_new_jersey/
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
If I can buy a new house for $160/SF (all new mechanicals, appliances, etc) then I should expect to get good mechanicals, appliances, etc if I pay $160/SF for older house. If the inspection shows problems or such things as an air conditioner 10 years old with 60% efficiency, furnace 20 years old, appliances over 8 yeasrs old, hot water heater over 8 years old, then I expect to negotiate the price down or the seller replace the HWH and AC with 85% efficiency and make sure the furnace is still operating efficiently and without emmiting CO into my basement. Then provide a warranty. The idea that the seller will provide a warranty for your 10 year old HWH, etc with deductables for the buyer to pay, is bogus nonsense. You may never win and may not be able to extend the warranty after one year. Some real estate is doing a disservice to promote warranty over having solid systems.
Flag Mon Feb 22, 2016
Your agent hopefully reviewed the contract with you to explain what repairs are required to be repaired by the seller and what repairs are general maintainance items. Generally, a heater and a/c must be working properly for a system of their age without being defective in any way. Sidewalks and tripping hazards are usually not part of the contract, but may be required by the township. Sicklerville does not require sidewalk repair, but you can try to ask for it anyway. your agent may be able to ask for escrow to be held for the a/c that has visable damage, until spring when the unit can be tested.
Web Reference: http://www.njrealtorjan.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
It depends, doesn't it?

Reasonable, by definition, is anything you can justify.

The Seller, on the other hand, has the exact same point of view - maybe the price is so good I'll get everything fixed, maybe the price is so "competitive," that it's essentially a scratch-and-dent sale, take it or leave it.

Certainly, if you're paying new construction prices for a ten-year-old house, there'd better be something really special about this one. But, if it's already selling at a steep discount, maybe you should count your blessings.

Best of luck,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
Here again agree with Deb - the broken seal, while I see it on many inspection request lists, fact is it is visible to the eye and not a structural matter. And so you should build the issue into your pricing. While it is unsightly and will grow with time, it does not impact the working of the window.

Focus on the important things and do not use this as an opportunity to renegotiate - if you do that you will make it to the closing table, if you do the later, it is anyone's guess. I'm find a bit of a back-lash as sellers are growing weary of heavy handed buyer response to inspection issues. Of course, it is cyclical, we all remember the headiness of sellers refusing to do anything when the market was flying - ah, what a world!!

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
My Blog: http://www.trulia.com/blog/jeanne_feenick_-_new_jersey/
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
Reasonable is what you think is reasonable due there is no standard to this requests. I take this is standard sale, not a short sale. If it is a short sales, this are normally being sold "AS IS" If this being sold on standard sale, you could ask the seller to repair. You just have to negotiate with the seller. I believe a sale should always be a WIN WIN transaction for both of you. If you are working with a realtor, ask your agent to help you to negotiate. Good Luck and let us know how it goes!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
I would be careful when dealing with stuff like that. Furnace repair in Denver, at least, can get a little pricey.
Web Reference: http://www.303plumber.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 2, 2013
My advice to buyers - focus on the handful of items that are most important rather than a long laundry list of inspection deficiencies. I think the prior poster hits the nail on the head - issues that if they are not resolved would cause you to back out/not buy the house. That is why you have the Inspection Contingency.Think Structural (like foundation problems as an example) Safety (like electrical issues) Environmental (like radon remediation as an example...). The home should have functioning mechanicals - so if the furnace is not working, then I would expect that it would be addressed - and that will likely come as a repair rather than replacement, unless there is no ther choice. Ditto on A/C. The age of mechanicals is something that should have been factored into your offer. If old but working you might consider a Home Warranty for peace of mind - not that expensive for the seller to buy....be sure it covers what is concerning you - can cover most major appliances and mechanicals, like furance and a/c.

To negotiate your specific situation, work with your attorney and agent. Good luck to you.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 15, 2011
I am also in the process of buying a home and the furnace does not work at all. It is so old you still need to light the pilot, there is no gas valve, no filter and the thermostat does not work. I got 3 bids to fix and all of the technicians say it is better to buy a new one then to put money in the old unit. I bid companies like Payless costco's affiliate and the lowest bid repair bid came in at $1585.00. I am already paying top dollar for the home. The inspection also found an open seam in the roof that needs to be sealed or with heavy rain and wind it will leak. $300.00 to repair , an unstable car port held up with wood to hold 2 of the 4 poles in place. There is also an electrical pole going across the property that should be under ground ( I just found out the electric company will fix within 18 months). I received bids to bury the poll in the mean time that range from 2,400 to 3,900 and requested that the owner at least split the cost of the lowest bid so i can have the pole put under ground too .
Last but not least the remodel that the owner did last year included laminate wood floors that run the entire house and are lifting in two different rooms.

A request was sent to the homeowner yesterday to agree to have her floor guy repair the floor on her dime (after i move in )and pay a total of $2,935 for the rest and i will fund ( all cash deal) tomorrow. I am still waiting for a response. The frustrating thing is how my own agent argues with me every step of the way. If it were up to him i would have paid 20k more for the place and i would pay for all of the things in the report myself. As it is I am only requesting the credit for the important ones. My appraiser said I am paying the max it would not appraise for 20k more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Yesterday at 11:25am
...Some agents push the fact that the sellers offer a "$500 1-yr Home Warranty" will be the answer to all your worries for things arising on a home inspection should the sellers not want to address anything on the inspection report - but buyers beware, this 'home warranty' works VERY differently regarding aged/used/old appliances and specifically doesn't cover MANY if not ALL items that break or malfunction 'under normal wear and tear'...which, we all know, an insurance company would certain find for appliances that are 20+/yrs old!

Even if the equipment/appliances are 'new' - what the HOW will cover is 'prorated' to the usage and current price for an item. Hence, if it was discontinued, a 'similar' item may be used as the benchmark to gauge the best cost and then reduced from there for any wear and tear.

Those $2600 Samsung refrigerators, for example, at 5 yrs old will get you $500 toward another purchase using the Home Owner Warranty -- per the example given by one agent whose personal experience for his own home refrigerator that died and HOW response.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 21, 2016
A buyer is foolish to not have a professional home inspection prior to buying a home, whether an end user or an investor. Obviously, some investors are contractors with the expertise to assess a property before purchasing it. However, this is not the average buyer.
If a buyer is going to "finance" with a traditionally, the things they should have the seller address are the following: 1. Structural defects
2. Electrical issues
3. Plumbing issues
4. Heating/ A/C problems
5. Roof problems (leaks)
You cannot expect the seller to replace items because of their age, or do all minor things mentioned on an inpection. Obviously, when a buyer makes an offer, things that are apparent should have been considered. However, hidden defects involving the big 5 should be likely be asked for by the buyer. Keep in mind that the seller does not have to do anything. Once you make a request, the seller has three options, agree to the requests, counter with what they are willing to do, or simply walk away. The buyer has the same option. they can accept what the seller is willing to repair or walk away. One consideration is that most lenders will not lend money on a home if they know that it has defects in any of those 5 critical items so even if the buyer wants to buy the house without repairs, they may not be able to finance it. I prepare the buyer prior to an inspection and tell them the inspector's job is to find even the most minor things and will have a "laundry list" of repairs & not to expect that the seller will do all of them. Keep the repairs request to items that you were not aware of prior to making the offer. You cannot expect the seller to make the house new or perfect.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 16, 2015
It sounds like the unit at that home is in pretty bad shape. I would say it needs some repairs at least. If it still runs fine than I would think that that would be acceptable by the owner. http://www.onehourairwestpasco.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2015
It's not hard to replace windows. That is something sellers should do before putting their house on the market. I would make sure that that gets fixed. Getting replacement windows will help keeps energy costs down.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
Sounds like quite the old home! Home inspection could cost a lot depending how much is needed to be done. Best bet would be to call a local company and get a quote.

Will Jenkins | http://www.windowsgaloreal.com/services
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 29, 2014
We this is why you have Home inspections, it allows you a chance to discover faults in the home, which can then bring to the sellers attention, if they do not wish to address these issues then you can by right to inspect ask to be released from the sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
A handful of meaningful requests has a far better chance of response than a laundry list of items. Fact is, you have the right to ask, and the seller has the right to respond. Generally the acid test is structural, safety, and environmental.

Mechanicals are expected to work, so if the furance and/or a/c are not working, then they must be repaired/serviced so that they are. Replacement would only come if they are not working and cannot be repaired. But a functioning mechanical that may be at or near the end of its useful life should be a pricing consideration as opposed to an inspection request for replacement. What you might consider is requesting a home warranty that will cover these items - purchased by seller and transferred to your name at closing, good for one year. This will give you some peace of mind.

Broken window seals - unlikely that they will be addressed unless it is affecting the functionality of the window, which it generally does not. It is unsightly and will only worsen with time, but it does not affect functionality. Here again, replacing windows is something to be on your budget list for future expenditures.

Cracked Sidewalk - if the seller's responsibility to maintain and the cracks are a safety issue, request it be repaired.

Bricks on rear patio - if issue is causing drainage issues which result in water in the house, then you have a case.

Wood rot - I'd put this on the list.

Remember that you can ask for anything you want, but you will likely be most successful with the seller resposne if you ask for a few important things. You can also consider a credit in lieu of repairs. Your attorney shoudl be able to guide you as well on this exercise.

Good luck,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 5, 2010
Great news lady!

Glad it all worked out............enjoy your new home!!

All the best,
Debbie
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Both A/C unit and furnace already exceeded their life expectancy and they need to be replaced. It seems you have a lot of issues with this house. My personal recommendation is to ask for replacement and repairs which is going to have structural problems.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
Hello, I wanted to again, thank everyone for their thoughts on the matter and to provide an update. Home was appraised $10K more than what seller is netting. Agreed to repair brick patio and sidewalk, providing $100 credit for each window with broken seals, making repair to soffit trim on rear of home but not to rotted wood siding (fine with that as I planned to replace with vinyl siding) or frame around garage...but are required to scrape away chipped paint and repaint garage and window near front door per Lender. No repairs to Furnace/AC unit, but I have good connections for those to be replaced when time comes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
I wonder if you could put up a tarp tent and run a salamander to heat up the outside a/c unit. That would increase heat and allow it to be tested. No sure, just an idea.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Well you certainly can ask. The question is did you receive a seller disclosure prior to your offer and was your offer based upon what you read in it? It is the unforessen that must be considered first. The wood rot and broken seals. Also if there is a home warranty on the home, some of those items may be covered for the first year and extended. If the seller won't replace, ask for that seller to buy you a warranty.
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Everyone, I'm truly appreciative of your thoughts on the matter. It's definitely been informative and educational!

To sum it all up...The property was only on the market 4 days before I saw and decided to put an offer in, without seeing the conditions of the yard and back of the home (mistake on my part) when I expressed concerns over it agent didn't feel it an issue so I'm trusting agent, also highly doubt listing agent new conditon of brick patio and A/C unit since the photos were taken at the time of recent snow storms and evident by photo of front of the home posted with the listing. Nothing in contract is stated that property is being sold "AS IS" and when asked if aware of any current or past problems with "driveways, walkways, patios" on the property, seller checked NO also checked "unknown" as to the age of furnace and A/C but surely they had to know the A/C unit was visibly damaged. Question: How can one know if A/C unit functions if can't be turned on when outside temps below 65 degrees????

Only visible defects to the home at the time of showing was to the wood trim around the garage door as well as side entry door to the garage, wood rot to siding is in the rear of the home, and at the time of showing yard covered with few feet of snow...still I wouldn't have been able to make that determination since to the untrained eye, looked as if it needed painting. Busted window seals was missed by myself and agent. Honestly don't recall checking, considering agent has pointed that out as something to watch for when touring other properties that were vacant and windows not covered. Seller was not home during initial showing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Reasonable is subjective. What is reasonable to you might not be to the seller. However, if there was a sellers' disclosure, you should have read it, signed it, and would be aware of the condition of the house as represented by the seller. That should have disclosed the age of the furnace and A/C system. The broken double window panes should have been visible to you upon touring the property, as well as gthe sidewalk and bricks and the rotting wood trim and siding, too.
So, did you base your offer taking the obvious into consideration? Was there a sellers disclosure that revealed this information, or was the information erroneously reported by the seller on a disclosure?
If the sellers' misrepresented the condition of the house on the disclosure, I would say you have a very good argument for a price reduction. If however, it was noted in the disclosure, the assumption is that your offer was based on that information.
The bottom line for buyers is you can ask for whatever you want. The seller will respond on what they are willing to correct/give credit for. Then you have to decide whether or not to proceed with the sale.
Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Hi Ladysag 64
It really depends on what you stated in your contract when your offer was accepted. If you bought a house that is being sold " as is" then you have to make a decision whether you want to buy it in this condition & do the work yourself after you close or not. Every home inspection report will have a list of some unsatisfactory comments on it. Since you are a 1st time buyer you should ask for assistance from your realtor or your lawyer to address this report & ask them what is reasonable to do. Typically anything structural is a reasonable request, cosmetic is not. For reference structural items would include items such as: roof, plumbing, heating air, termite damage,foundation problems & windows.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 14, 2010
Hi, I have not heard back as to what concessions, if any, seller is offering. My reasons for posting this question was simply to see if my requests in general are reasonable and not, as one response states "an opportunity to give the seller your laundry list of repairs or improvements that you want done!" or " NOT the time to cover your own lack of home repair experience, your fear of home repair uncertainty or your lack home repair dollars by trying to shift YOUR responsibilities to the seller" (as a buyer, the same statement could be said about the seller). By the way, my father is a SKILLED GENERAL CONTRACTOR by trade...and attended the home inspection with me... Yes, C/O is required. Don't know if seller has had that inspection.

Uneven/cracked pavement wasn't noticed by me or realtor at first becasue it's located further down the sidewalk some towns that may be flagged and they are expensive to replace. Brick patio is an issue for me because it was clearly improperly layed by someone inexperienced and only asking that it be corrected. Damage to A/C unit is to the fins and coils of the lower front corner section (mangled, coils exposed) Inspector commented may have been caused by weed wacker. The furnace, very well may have few yrs left just want it inspected since burner chamber showing signs of rust and based on that assessment would be more than willing to accept Home Warranty, I surely don't want to find myself having to incurr the cost of replacing HVAC in 1- 2 yrs or less. Windows I'm asking for replacement or credit. Ask that rotted wood pieces be cut away and replaced...loose T-111 wood siding opened joints be sealed. I was already planning to paint front and back siding and shutters.

Amount of seller credits they're willing to give is likely to be low considering they rejected first offer of $140K with $5 back towards closing stating anything below that would be a short sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
I personally would ask for the furnace/AC to replaced and let the smaller things go. Pick your battles wisely as they say. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
Hey Dan - with the frigid winter we have had so far, how could you forget the outside temps!! haha (especially up there in Maine!) :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
(oops) I forgot about the outside temps.

Actually. I did not realize that. The inside parts would work with the heat. <blush>
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Dan - AC can't be tested if the outside temps are under 60 (or 65) degrees, or it could cause damage to the compressor.
.............................
Lady - I understand your concerns and desire to have these issues addressed.
Just so you know, most home inspectors use common verbiage that says systems are "beyond their life expectancy" if something is older - even if it seems to be in fine working order. They will rarely list anything as satisfactory if it is aged.

Now....to sum up....

Broken window seals are unsightly, but still structurally sound. I highly doubt the seller will give you an allowance towards that - although, they should have listed the windows to be sold "as is" - those broken seals are clearly visible, and I assume they are displaying a cloudy or foggy appearance..

It would be good to have a heating expert assess the furnace. This will give you a firmer position to negotiate. The AC is a difficult issue, since it can't be tested...not sure what the" visible signs of damage" are, but, here too, you can more than likely ask the heating expert for an opinion, as they often handle AC, too.
The wood rot incvolves some carpentry work - not sure of the extent of the damage (you might get a credit towards repair there)......imo, you probably have a slim chance of them correcting the way the patio settled, or the sidewalk.

Now, obviously, you have an agent to guide you...and hopefully you will resolve these issues with the offer of some credit issued by the sellers.

If all else fails, Jeanne's suggestion was a good one.
Look into a Home Warranty policy.
American Home Shield is a large national company. They offer some flexible plans, and should run around $500 a year - perhaps you can get the seller to take the policy out for you. It won't cover wood rot, but it will cover a functioning AC and furnace. If certain, covered items, can't be repaired, they are replaced, depending on the policy. I am sure you agent will have information regarding the warranty company her office recommends.

Best wishes to you.............I certainly hope all of this works out !

Good luck......
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Lady, turn the heat up high, you can check the a/c that way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
I thank you all for feedback! My agent has in as much stated the same. As far as did I know the age of the home? Yes, based on MLS listing as well as the fact my brother also owns home is same development. Seller has lived in the home since 2001, but checked the age of furnace and A/C as unknown on disclosure statement. Looking at the furnace, assumption can be made that it's the original. Did it work during inspection, yes. However, report didn't list it as being in satisfactory working condtion for it's age. When first looked at the home...back yard was still covered with a lot of snow so unable to see condition of A/C unit and neither myself or agent sched appt to back...damage to it was only detected during inspection and due to cooler temps unable to run A/C. Hoping to be able to get estimate of life expectency for both and go from there. Fully aware to expect to have some costs associated with buying a home but none to the extent of having to purchase new HVAC unit or windows.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hello!
What can I say you?
Well I see this kind of situation almost in every transaction. When I represent a buyer I recommend to push for almost all repairs, when I represent a seller I act opposite.
What can I say in your case:
did you know the age of the house, furnace, C/A, etc before making an offer? You should get a seller disclosure where all this info is written. If yes, you know that all that is old and probably is in a need of repair/replacement. So, in a seller opinion you new all this stuff before making your offer and your offer is based on this information. I believe you are buying an old house, and you can expect older appliences, and seller don't have to replace it if they work OK. If they are not working at all, ask the seller for a credit or replacement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hello Ladysag64,
Thanks for your question.
There is no standard response from the seller. One seller may say yes to some of these repairs and other will not. Each person has different motivations. Review in detail what the agreement that you signed says. If you have a Realtor helping you through the transaction. He/She can advise you. In paragraph 23 of our contract states the items that you can ask the seller to fix unless you are buying it as is, then would be your responsibility. The agreement also have an amount that seller is willing to take on for repairs.
You could ask for the main and big ticket items and not so big items, thinking that the seller may say yes to some and no to others.
Best of luck to you in your purchase!
Ines De La Cruz
RE/MAX Connection
inesdelacruz@remax.net
Web Reference: http://www.inesdelacruz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Windows need to be replaced.
I would push hard to replace the furnace and A/C.

This is really a case of choosing your options. Go for the expensive and maybe let the small things slip. Windows cost a lot, replace them. Probably $1,000 or more for replacement. HVAC is expensive AND inefficient. Trust me, a new furnace would pay for itself in less than 8 years (maybe 5) from oil use. Find out if the a/c uses freon or the new gas. It should say r-22 if the old freon. I think like cars it is r-134a if new. R-22 (like r-12 for cars) is a very expensive gas. It can no longer legally be made. Definitely an issue.

Rear wood siding, do you mean a whole wall needs replacement siding? That could be expensive.

A weekend or 2 with a shovel and rake with sore arms can fix the bricks for little or no money (likely). Laying bricks is just labor and time.
Here is the smart way to look at it. Take the estimated cost of repairs. Add 20% for overruns. What is the house worth fixed up? How much will it cost to fix? Offer a bit less than the repaired value if you have to do the repairs. Hopefully Don Tepper can explain it better. He covers this aspect very well. If not look for his Q&A on his profile and go back 2 weeks. You will find an answer perfect for you somewhere there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Depends on:
(1) Your contract wording regarding the Home Inspection.
For example, my contracts (and most) have Home Inspection as it pertains to (A) HVAC, Plumbing, and elec systems are in "good" operating condition; (B) Foundation and structure are sound and there is no water instrusion (C) Roof and flashings do not leak and are sound; (D) Doors and windows (including seals), fireplaces and chimnets are in good operating condition; (E) There are no adverse environmental conditions, such as toxic mold, radon, asbestos, et cetera...
Under those guidelines and based on what you're telling us, the age of the HVAC is not enough to ask for it - it has to be "not in good operating condition", which it very well might be. The a/c unit may not have been able to be tested, which means the visible damage may or may not be an issue that causes it to "not be in good operating condition". Window seals are pretty spelled out with my contracts so that I would ask for. Sidewalk cracks, uneven bricks, and wood rotting would have to be accompanied by water intrusion to be "a given" so to speak. Also, regarding the wood trim and siding, I would like to know what the termite inspection finds - the problem(s) may fall moreso under the termite inspector's scope.

and
(2) Your contract terms regarding cost to cure limits and whether or not it is an "as-is" sale. Its probably going to get hairy if the seller listed it at a great price because of the issues as they really do not seem to be concealed.

In any case, its going to be a negotiation and a decision on both sides to work through it, or walk away from it. All depends on everyone's motivation and position. I wish you the very best with it and keep us posted, if you would, as to the outcome.


Thank You,
Kevin Dougherty
ReMax Preferred
KevinSouthJersey@Yahoo.com
609-517-4014 (Direct or Text)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Congratulations on your purchase! Hopefully the seller will be cooperative and you will be able to get this to closing! There are some things that you might have to assume as a homewoner; personally, I have never had a seller (whether I was representing the buyer or the seller) make accomodation for grading or uneven patios/sidewalks. If water isn't currently a problem, you can't expect that they will remedy those issues. Regarding the furnace - well, you probable knew the age of the unit when you negotiated the contract. 15 years on an A/C isn't so bad, but if there is damage that impacts it's funciton then you are within your right to ask for some remediation. I have mixed feelings about the window seals - did you notice them before you negotiated? is $145,000 a great price or did the seller push you up? I typically recommend to sellers that they fix broken seals before they list the house - or at least be prepared to fix or credit for them after inspection. I hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
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