Home Selling in 99362>Question Details

Looking Ahead, Home Seller in 99362

I accepted a full price offer on my house with 4% for the buyer's closing costs. Inspection states the sewer line must be replaced. My options?

Asked by Looking Ahead, 99362 Fri Mar 9, 2012

I accepted the full price offer less the 4% for the buyer's closing costs. A plumbing inspection found that the sewer line is failing and must be replaced, as well as some minor fixes on the rest of the house. My agent is pressing me to pay for just about everything which will cost several thousands of dollars. I feel like I'm taking all of the beating on this. What are my options?

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Certainly there are a lot of good responses here. . .I always tell my clients that once we have the inspection report we go back to the negotiating table with the goal to find a happy medium. You should not have to give 100% - it should be a give and take and both parties should feel good about the negotiations when it is all said and done. Maybe refer your agent to this page for some suggestions!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Any lender, whether this one or the next, will probably insist the the sewer line be fixed prior to closing. This is a major fix. Check with the sewer company and the county/city to see if anyone else is responsible for it. An expense of this nature would be worth talking to a RE attorney, first. Ask your agent to request an extension of your time to decide, before you try to negotiate for more time with the buyer. All parties to the sale should be sensitive to the ramifications of this problem.

Good Luck,
Jean Bradford, Managing Broker
John L. Scott
Silverdale, WA
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
Thanks for this answer! Would you be able to recommend a good sewer line repair company? I've been searching around lately, and found these guys http://www.lavendersedm.com/en/sewer_and_water_line_replacement.html but I don't know if they're any good. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Flag Thu Feb 14, 2013
Lots of good responses here -- a sewer line is going to need to be fixed for most Buyer's to be satisfied as well as most loan types. But, it's still a time to negotiate: get a couple bids for the necessary repairs - no more than necessary. It occurred to me that 4% towards the Buyer's closing costs was a little high. Maybe the Buyer can accept less towards their closing costs and some of that money can go towards that sewer repair.
It can definitely feel like you're taking a beating. If your market leans towards a Buyer's market (over 7 months of inventory in your price range), then you are not positioned to have as much negotiating power. If your Realtor has shown you how many home are available in your price range and you have less than 5 months of inventory, then you are probably in a Seller's market. Know what your market specific position is before making any final negotiating decisions.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
I think many sellers are feeling as if they are "taking all of the beating" these days. A damaged sewer line is something that has to be fixed whether for this buyer or the next and the next buyer may not be willing to pay full price (or even 96% of your list price).

I would definitely make sure that the inspector is correct - verify it needs repair and then do it.

Good luck! This will all be behind you soon enough.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
It would probably help to have a bit more information. Are you talking about a sewer line under the house? That would possibly be relatively inexpensive to fix. If it's the side sewer, the line from your house to the road, that could be a few thousand dollars.

BTW, as to Jirius' answer, it probably depends on the home warranty company, but the only pre-existing conditions I'm aware that they will fix is the furnace, and only if you were signed up before it failed.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
In re-reading my answer to this old thread, I realized my answer was ambiguous. When I said that a problem "under the house" would be relatively inexpensive, I was referring to a crawl space situation, not under a slab of concrete.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 6, 2013
IF I were the buyer I would not buy it unless you did as recommended. Years ago I purchased a house that was on septic. Couple of months after i moved in we discovered what was undisclose to us, that the seller had been told that she needed to hook up to the sewer line. She chose to ignore the recommendation and she sold it as it was fixed. After courts and all, it cost me $30,000.00 dollars to fix the problem, plus another $40,000.00 thousand in court and attorney fees. I say, buyers beware. I still fume when i think of how unfair the court here in Walla Walla ruled in this case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 6, 2013
You can get estimates and either fix the problems, credit the buyer with the cost or negotaite with the buyer to pay a percentage of it. The question is how bad do you want to sell your house? Is it worth losing this buyer an starting over still being stuck with a sewer problem?
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
Thank you all for your input on this. Everyone has pretty much agreed, and I must admit, I could see that it had to be fixed if the house was going to sell. So I ended up putting money into escrow for the buyer to use to fix the problems. That translated into the realtors making all the calls, getting the bids, and schedulling the repairs to be done next week. The sale of the house is on track, and will soon be behind me.

One lessoned I learned was to ask for a thorough plumbing inspection before I buy my next house.

Thanks again for the input from all of you; Jackie, Jean, Jirius, Mike, Nina, Kary, Jennifer, Jim, and Scott.
Flag Thu Mar 15, 2012
Make the repairs, if you don’t do that for this buyer you start over looking for another buyer that is going to need the repairs made before they can finance the home. If you don’t sell the house you are going to need to replace the sewer line for yourself soon. Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
Since you are contributing 4% toward closing costs, ask the buyer if he will split the cost of replacing the sewer line. If he balks, just bite the bullet and get it fixed. Whether it 's this buyer or the next, the issue has to be addressed. There's no guarantee that your next offer will be as high as this one and based on history, it probably won't be.

All the best
Web Reference: http://ninaharrishomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
Man, what a downer! Basically you have three options....walk away from the deal (assuming the repair exceeds the amount specified in the contract, make all required repairs, or re-negotiate the purchase price. This appears to be an unforseen item..... I would recommend getting estimates from at least two reputable repair companies to determine what the cost of the repair would be. Then you have to ask yourself, is it worth making the repair to be able to sell the home...only you can answer that question!

Wish I could be of more help, but the course of action really lies in your hands, and acting on what you feel is best for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
At the end of the day, the sewer line needs to be repaired, not necessarily replaced. Get as many bids as you can from reputable companies & then get it fixed. Or, better yet, buy a home warranty for your home & let the home warranty fix it for $60 plus $around $400 for the full year warranty. Your agent should have discussed that option with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
At the end of the day it comes down to what you are comfortable with. The fact that the offer is full price would put some of the leverage in the buyers hands since they are paying full price for your home with the expectation that things are in good working order. However, if an inspection is showing that the sewer line is failing whether it’s this buyer or another one down the road, you still have that issue that will need to be fixed. A repair as significant as a failing sewer line will most likely have to be fixed before a buyer will proceed with the sale unless you completely disclose it up front and advertise the home "AS-IS". Be prepared though that if you advertise it this way the offers you receive are going to be lower than what you are aiming for.

You can always negotiate with the buyer as to who does the work. For instance, you could subtract the cost of the repair from the purchase price with the stipulation that they do the repair after closing in exchange for a reduced purchase price.

I hope some of what I suggested today helps the situation you are facing.

Thank you!

Jackie Bafus
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 9, 2012
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