You are most unlikely to get a bank to contribute to the cost of repairs as virtually all REO sales are "As Is". The other thing you need to watch out for is that when the bank accepts your offer, it will almost always be by way of a counter offer that accepts the price etc. you offer (or sometimes counters it) and also has a contract modification. This often changes contingency removals to "passive" rather than "active", frequently with a reduced inspection period to say 7 days. What this means is that unless you state that you are not removing contingencies, they are removed automatically and you are contractually obliged to continue with the purchase.
You really do need an agent to represent you who understands how to stucture an REO purchase.
Bernard Gibbons, Realtor, e-PRO Certified Internet Specialist
J. Rockcliff Realtors, 15 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526
Phone (925) 997-1585
Once the contract is fully executed (seller/bank has signed the contract and addendum) you are likely to be held to the "as-is" clause. The inspections are recommended so you know what you are getting yourself into, not so you can ask the lender to fix anything.
That being said, it's not a bad idea to write into the contract (when first writing the offer) a maximum dollar amount for the seller to pay for repairs, should there be lender required repairs (more typically seen with FHA or VA loans). If this is not asked for upfront, I have seen the seller add the repair cost on top of the purchase price, or reduce the buyer's credit toward closing costs - so in effect, you the buyer truly are paying for that repair. If, however, the repair is something major, say a bad roof, that was revealed by a professional (roof) inspector, the seller may be more willing to renegotiate this.
In most cases the bank has already priced the home taking into account the cost of repairs needed to allow occupancy, so you should never expect any repairs or repair credits. however, If your quailified and licensed home inspector discovered a significant item that may cause any future buyers not to proceed, your request for repair or credit may be considered. If the bank refuses and you part ways, keep an eye on the property, if the item is that significant, you may see a price reduction that may justify placing another offer.
"None" is the most likely answer you'll get from a request for bank repairs. They would be much more likely to give credit for a serious repair found in your inspection, but don't hold your breath.
The bank wants the property off their books and sooner is better than later.
Use a good home inspector. Set yourself a budget for repairs you're willing to do if necessary, and don't set your heart on any one home.