The repairs don't have to be fixed prior to closing, however, as mentioned below, you can request the seller fix it. Under NO circumstances are you to pay to fix anything in the house (you don't own it until after the closing). So, what to do if they say NO and the appraiser and lender says it must fixed or you don't close? Well, you have 2 choices, well 3 actually. 1) Walk away and find another house 2) Obtain an escrow up to $5000 for repairs to be completed after closing (you'll have 60 days to complete the repairs). 3) Do a 203K loan if the repairs exceed $5000. The 203K loan allows for up to $35000 in repairs or 110% of the after repair value, whichever is less. My company offers the escrow on all type loans (conventional or FHA) and the 203K non-structural and structural. If your loan officer needs help in getting you financed, let me know and I'll see if I can give him/her ideas on how to get you into the house. The more people own homes, the better are industry prevails, so I don't mind helping fellow Loan Officers.