Home Selling in Montclair>Question Details

Muffy6a, Home Seller in 07042

Selling reasonably priced, renovated home (99 years old!). What is reasonable as seller to repair after the home inspection?

Asked by Muffy6a, 07042 Fri Feb 18, 2011

I am under contract selling a 99 year old renovated home. I live in Montclair New Jersey and houses of this age are the norm. I have meticulously renovated the house, updated the electrical, new kitchen, new windows, new floors, lighting fixtures, doors. Finished the attic and the basement as well. All work was done with licensed contracts and proper permits/inspections. I am under contract right now. I am selling the house for 70K below assessed value. The buyer had there inspection and came back with a list of items to repair. Some were really small items such (main bath drain running slow). Others were pricey (installing a damper on the chimney). I have agreed to make some repairs and in addition to the repairs provide a credit at closing of 2000. My agent is telling me that buyers are expecting HUGE 10 - 20K credits at closing. What is really reasonable for a seller to repair or offer credit at closing?

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Marc Paolella, Relo Director’s answer
By the way, this is where a weak agent can cost you big money. If your agent is not going to advocate strongly for your position and at least try to make the other party blink, you hired the wrong agent. It's very easy for a weak agent to give away your money. Not saying this is happening in your case, but I've seen it many times. When I list a house and accept an offer I make it very clear that if they can see it, we won't fix it. Some of it is posturing, but it works. It cuts down the list of items to negotiate after the home inspection.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
Looks like those who have responded to you already have made good points. WIth old houses, each different from the next and with different levels of repair and renovation, there's no one way to approach inspection repairs. I have found that certain flash points from the nineties, before the high market -- knob and tube wiring, chinmey and roof issues, to name a few -- now are taking center stage againas buyers seek perfection where it doesn't exist. However, I also want to point out that the little things -- broken window panes and windows that don't open or close properly; loose exterior wiring, lack of handrails going to basement and attic, unprofessionally wrapped asbestos -- i.e., all the stuff the last generation took "as is" when they bought and never fixed or upgraded...these are also flash points in home inspection negotiations and can bring a deal to a halt. So, although you did a lot of great upgrades on the house and are giving them $2000, it may not be enough to close the deal and the fact that you are selling $70,000 under assessed value really isn't salient here. Assessments were made in 2006; it's 2011, a totally different market, with totally different seller responsibilities. Hope you successfully navigate through to closing! You sound sensible enough to figure it out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011

As stated before there is no black and white in this area of a transaction. It really depends on your situation and motivation. If you HAVE to move then you are behind the 8 ball and will probably have to make some concessions. If you dont have to move then simply say no to any non lifesaftey issue on the inspection list. If the sellers wont budge , you dont either and let them walk away from the deal. As always consult your attorney and realtor beforehand

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
I haven't read answers from other Realtor, and just will give you my PERSONAL opinion:
You have done a lot to the house; your offer to a buyer is generous. I don't know your reason of selling home, but if you are really Must sell you are in difficult situation, because your buyer maybe just looking for a way to go out of contract or getting this home at much lower price, and being in contract it is possible by getting a credit after home inspection. Again, this is my PERSONAL opinion. You have to talk with your attorney, with your Realtor. I don’t know all home inspections issues, but based on what you have said $2,000 and some repairs done is generous. Please, don’t take my answer as an advice; this is just what I think.

Yelena Tsuladze
Advanced Realty Group
Boonton, NJ 07005
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
There is no black and white answer to any negotiation in a real estate transaction. Each deal is unique and needs to be negotiated skillfully on its merits. There are many factors in play - finances, legal advice, personalities and emotions to name just a few. At the end of the day it is a matter of reading the cues correctly and finding the number that you and your buyer are willing to settle for.

Some inspection items are considered serious enough that the seller would need to fix them for any buyer; others are negotiable. We in the Montclair real estate market are noticing more extensive inspection requests these days, that is true, but in any market, credits can range anywhere from zero to the tens of thousands of dollars. It depends on the house, the buyer, and of course, on the seller's motivation.

Good luck!

Karin Carson
Keller Williams Realty NJ Metro Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
If they could see it visually before making the offer, I would NOT offer a credit. If it is a HIDDEN structural or functional defect, I would negotiate. If it is cosmetic, no credit. The buyers can "expect" anything they want, it is up to you whether it is reasonable to make a concession. Yout agent should be telling you the same thing.


Marc Paolella
Relocation Director/Appraiser
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
201 Route 10 East
Succasunna, NJ 07876
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
Coolest map-based home search: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
I can only tell you that each house is differant and I would think that anything that is structual should be addressed. I cant believe that a realtor would say what these buyers are expecting if she doesnt represent them. I would discuss this with your lawyer. I think that during attorney review, along w your sellers disclosure that you told them that the house is 'as is'. If you got permits for everything than the town passed any 'new item' that you renovated. I am sorry you are going thru this at this time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
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