Trulia Fort…, Other/Just Looking in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If a home inspection shows that an old water heater needs to be replaced, is it reasonable to request sellers replace with a tankless water heater?

Asked by Trulia Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL Mon May 20, 2013

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Old water heater.
What about this water heater merits the replacement request?
Is it leaking?
Does it fail to heat?
Is it just not pretty?
What about the 'old' range or the old compressor or even the old garage door opener?
Is a buyer REALLY expecting the seller to jump through hoops for things that are not pretty?
Where do you draw the line?
If it is broke, it shouild be fixed. If it's old, it is just old. If it has reached the end of service life, the buyer needs to BUDGET!
Like so many have stated, a buyer can set the stage for that back up offer to look REALLY, REALLY good. A buyer should proceed with caution when re-opening negotiatons. Very often that back up actually comes with a higher negotiated price. In Florida in general and south FL in paticular, an inspector can cause the wheels to come off the wagon when they go goofy, and place old things on the 'Need Repair' list. These things need to be on the 'Need to Budget' list.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 21, 2013
I agree with what he's saying, you have to know this stuff before you can just replace it. I think it would be reasonable to have the seller replace it, or at least lower the price of the home because you have to replace the water heater. Installing it can be the most difficult part, but with the help from a professional, it will be up and running in no time at all.
Flag Wed Aug 6, 2014
It depends upon the contract you are using. If you have a FAR/BAR contract with 1.5% of the selling price built in to cover repairs, you should certainly specify that you would like that repaired. That's because the seller has already agreed upon an amount for fixing minor problems

If, however, you have an AS IS contract on the home in Fort Lauderdale, then you would be side to forget about that relatively minor repair.

In today's tight seller's market, you have to decide whether you want the house or not. You can safely assume that there are half a dozen back-up offers on the house, especially if it's priced under $450,000.

With an AS IS Contract, the seller in today's seller's market is basically saying, "take it or leave it" to buyers.

If you think you can locate a similar home within the time frame you need to move, and you're willing to take a chance on losing the house over an item that will cost you less than $1,000, then go for it.

But if you don't have some other homes in Fort Lauderdale lined up as alternatives, eat the water heater. You'll still have the house.

Marc Jablon, The Jablon Team
RE/MAX Complete Solutions

Or, if you have
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
I disagree completely about back up offers. Unless it's in Miami, many homes are sitting on the market longer as inventory is increasing. This isn't CA and homes are not flying off the market with multiple offers. Sellers don't like you reducing prices due to old components prior to inspections, though you know they eventually will need to be replaced. Buyers are hoping they have sometime for it to last and with a home warranty they will be covered. I think iit's very realistic to ask for the water heater to be replaced if there is a problem. An inspector works for you to give an independent opinion and he is telling you it's no good and needs to be replaced. The home is off the market as a contract has been signed and the seller surely wants the sale to go through. Unless you are picking at every little thing and a water heater is a larger component and warrants a request for replacement. Asking to upgrade to a more expensive unit isn't going to work.
Flag Thu Aug 7, 2014
Dear Buyer,
It really depends on your offer details, inspection, property, etc. Several variables can go into it. Is it a foreclosure, shortsale, regular sale, estate sale?
As the market is right now in South Florida, if the property is in very well desired location, the sellers may not go for it since they know there are more buyers out there ready to take the property as is. And as Bev pointed out, if you are rrequesting a tank less, make sure you tell them you will pay the difference. I would just ask for a $500 credit towards closing costs. Make it easier and then put one in yourself. Sounds better than "please install a new water heater to my standards"....Good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
I think it's reasonable, but the seller doesn't have to. They could easily find someone else to buy their place, so I think you should just take what you can get. It's probably a pretty good deal already, anyways.
Flag Fri Aug 8, 2014
You can ask but usually the seller will replace with water heater similar to the one in house. You could ask for a tankless water heater with you paying for the difference. It would also depend on what the inspection report states in reference to a new one being installed. Hope this helps and feel free to check my website at

Thanks and have a great day.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
Depends on what kind of contract you have. If you have AS IS contract, then forget about any repairs to be done by seller.
But with FAR/BAR contract, the owner signed to contribute 1.5% for minor repairs. If that's not enough, what I would suggest is offering to split the cost with the sellers, or pay for the additional upgrade cost.
Flag Thu Nov 14, 2013
If the inspection reveals the water heater is not performing and should be replaced and the buyer decides they want to replace it with a tankless, it's called negotiation time. The seller is not obligated to be responsible for upgrading the system. I had this happen and the seller offered my buyer a credit at closing equal to the cost of replacing with a similar water heater. As it turned out, after my buyer started digging into the initial expense of what the tankless system would cost, he stuck with a new water heater.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
If the water heater is old but working it is unlikely the seller will replace it. If there was a decision to replace it I am sure the seller would not do an upgrade to a tankless water heater. You could ask for a credit and then do the upgrade later
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
If it needs to be replaced I would certainly request the seller pays to replace it. The tank less heater is more expensive and I doubt a seller is going to pay extra to upgrade something for your benefit. You can ask for a credit for the amount a similar water heater would cost and than purchase the more expensive one you want. I don't see any homeowner upgrading a water heater or other component for a buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
It depends on the prices for the water heater. I'd find some people who do water heater installation and present the seller with some quotes. Hopefully that works out for you. It would be pretty great for you if you moved into a home with a brand new water heater.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
Jesus hit it on the head...if you want to upgrade, ask for a credit and hope to get something that you can put toward replacing/upgrading after you move in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013

Technically, you can request anything you want but typically you request something of the same type and quality. What I would suggest is offering to split the cost with the sellers, or pay for the additional upgrade cost.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
First , review your contract. Then proceed to discuss the issue with your Realtor. Ask your Realtor to present the issue to the seller. However, don't be surprised if it is declined.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 21, 2013
You will hit a brick wall if you are dealing with a short-sale or a foreclosure but, in a regular, non-distressed sale, you can always ask; the worse a seller can say is "no".

I have seen similar situations in my real estate career when sellers are just the nicest people on earth and they have gone beyond what is reasonable and customary in relation to their sales contract to accommodate buyers just to ensure that the sale go through like not only replace defective items but replace those items with the best quality possible. Old sellers tend to do so for young family buyers because young people remind them of their own grand children or simply because they want to make sure that the children of young family buyers will be safe.

On the other hand, there are sellers who have no sympathy, none whatsoever. It's a crap shoot.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 20, 2013
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