Home Selling in Novato>Question Details

Prec898, Home Seller in San Francisco, CA

I like to know if the person that is buying can do repairs if the buyers haven't bought the house yet?

Asked by Prec898, San Francisco, CA Sun Jan 8, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


It is not a good idea to let the buyers wok on the house until it closes
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 17, 2012
If the sellar allows it great. But if the deal falls through the buyer is out of luck. Just get a credit and do repairs when you own the property
Flag Sat Sep 14, 2013
The buyer can do anything they want as long as the seller gives permission, but in my opinion it makes no sense for either party to do that.

1. If the deal falls through the buyer is out costs.
2. There is potential liability for the seller and if the deal falls through you are stuck with whatever work the buyer did.

This is the same reason why we always advise sellers to give credits rather than perform repairs - that way all liability is with the buyer.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
Hi - we would never advise a buyer to do any kind of repairs on a property until after the escrow has closed - there is way too much liability involved for all!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 30, 2012
I would like to add to the comment below. As a seller, you are still the owner of the house and while doing repairs, if the buyers or their contractors slip and fall or something else happens to them or an accedental fire etc., you or your insurance are still responsible. I never advice my sellers to allow the buyers to do any repairs to the property before closing.

Meena Gujral
H-U-S Achievers Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
As stated below, anything is possible but not everything is wise. Yes, buyers can do work as long as they have permission from the seller. Although circumstances vary, we usually completely discourage this idea because it is not a good idea for a number of reasons.

If the buyer simply wants to get a jump on things so the property is ready for them when they move in, we typically say NO, regardless if we represent the buyer or seller. This includes painting, installing new flooring, etc.

If the appraiser calls out items that have to be rectified prior to funding (such as peeling paint), we usually get the seller to remedy the issues so we can close, even if the contract states “AS-IS.” If you are buying from a bank, they will not remedy issues OR give permission to a buyer to fix repairs themselves. However, we’ve often seen REO agents willing to pay for work themselves just to get the deal closed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
The simple answer is "Yes", but I would need to know more about the situation to give an across the board answer like "yes". I, for instance could do repairs on your house, with permission, proper permits, skill, etc. It is a multi layer questions and I would need more information to answer properly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
Personally from my experience I know you've got a burning desire to want to start doing things because you have a mind deal brewing. But the real world is S___T Happens! I've seen it many times over. A buyer, even with permission from the seller, starts enthusiastically digging into things and spending money when...........Oops! The deal goes sideways and buyer ends up eating turkey sandwiches. Be very care here. Best to wait until you've got the keys in your hot little ambitious hands.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
Many things are possible if both parties agree and it is spelled out in writing. But, I would steer my clients (whether they were the buyers or the sellers) away from this type of activity until the deal is done. Too many factors could jeopardize the deal, or satisfaction of one of the parties. What if the repairs are not done properly or to code? What if the deal falls through? Who will pay?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
Hi - I represented a buyer where we did the same thing - the buyer needed to get the repairs done to get the loan. We drew up some pretty extensive addendum to cover the risks on both sides.

What's the advise from your agent?

Sylvia Barry, ePRO, MAS
Frank Howard Allen Realtors
DRE 01415544
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin County, CA
Good morning,
Your profile states you are a home seller. If you are referring to the home you are selling, the answer is 'not without your permission. If you are asking about a home you are buying the answer is, 'you need the seller's permission but it is not recommended'. There are many reasons it is not recommended; what if the deal falls through?, what if the repairs are not done correctly?, what if the person doing the repairs is hurt on the property?, what if the repairs are not done to code?, and so on. That said, sometimes you need to work around these issues when there are lender required repairs and the sell won't pay. Just make sure everything is in writing and understood by all parties.
Happy New Year
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012

From a practical stand point, there are many reasons that a tentative deal can fall through. In view of this often looming issue, in our opinion, it would be unwise to take the risk of investing in repairs for property that is not owner by you. Best to wait until you close and there is no risk involved.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
In our area of PA, the buyer is often given permission to make "minor" repairs. We use one of our state REALTOR association provided forms, that allows the parties to agree on what the possession is for, whether the buyer is taking over utilities, whether the buyer needs insurance, a Buyer Default paragraph, Indemnification paragraph, etc. It is important to address what happens if the Buyer does not close - typically the expense of the repairs is the responsibility of the Buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 8, 2012
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