Roger  & Chr…, Real Estate Pro in Lexington, KY

How do you handle buyers that ask for the moon on inspection items?

Asked by Roger & Christal Browning, Lexington, KY Sat Jun 16, 2012

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Trey McCallie, Agent, Lexington, KY
Sun Jun 17, 2012

I think buyers now want to make sure they are getting a good deal and protecting themselves at the same time. I ask all my buyers to meet with me in the office before we start looking at homes. I find that if I can set their expectations for the process, they are a little more poised when critical moments come like the home inspection.

I make sure they understand that our contract only covers major system problems and not minor issues. sometimes, no matter how much I coach them, they still want everything.

I also think it is important to work with a home inspector that is thorough but not an alarmist.

I have some good scripts that I use that I would be glad to share with you. Call me and we can set up a time to meet and go through them.


1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Jun 16, 2012
Isn't it the buyer's OBLIGATION to continue to seek concessions until the other side says, 'NO"?

Here in the Tampa Bay area, one inspection organization 'GUARANTEES' the buyer will get concessions at least equivalent to their fee as a result of the report they will create. The report even comes with an 'estimate of repair' costs. It would serve the homeowner and listing agent well to know who is coming before granting access to the home for inspection.

Finally, the buyer and their agent may find benefit in knowing what the seller will consider, beforehand. Such as clearly defining what are considered cosmetics are and how such requests will be handled. It may be beneficial to the homeowner to advise the buyer the home will not be removed from the market until all inspection issues are resolved.

Again, buyers are obligated to keep pressing until they find a NO. Representing the seller you need to advise the home owner when NO or Meet You Half Way is appropriate. Too often I've witnessed the home owner bend over backwards in accommodation of the buyer only to be rewarded with the other party not negotiating in good faith. The buyer agent, also, was working on their last remaining nerve. "So I've got to schlep these folks around more because they were bent over a reverse polarity outlet."

As a listing agent, it is imperative to prepare the home owner in regards to what is most likely to occur and knowing ahead of the event how it will be handled. It is our task to keep the emotion out of the equation. But it's hard when someone calls your baby ugly then wants you to pay for it!!

I've just got to think of rainbows and say to myself...."IT's a wonderful world."

Best of success to you,
1 vote
Terry Bell, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Sat Jun 16, 2012
Well, as all agents know, negotiations is where we really earn our keep! You don't have to be on the defensive all the time. Provide what's legally required, and depending on the desireability of the property involved will determine whether it's in the best interest for the seller to pay for some extra reports to help the deal move along.
1 vote
Carla Muss-J…, , Portland, OR
Sun Jun 24, 2012
These type of buyers handle it all themselves . . . and kill the deal all on their own! LOL I had client a few years back ask for the stars AND the moon . . . the seller wanted to know why they didn't ask for a round-trip to Hawaii as well. The seller started to say "no" . . . the minute sellers start to say "no" they don't stop. And these clients, who I warned, cautioned, counseled, NOT to do that, didn't listen. They lost the home they liked, and their lost the money they spent on the inspection.

I LOVE Scott Hulen's answer and wish more sellers would do a pre-inspection and take care of these things that WILL show up on the buyer's inspection report. And his examples of the deal killer inspectors are classic.
0 votes
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Sun Jun 24, 2012
It really depends on the deal but generally speaking we have a pre-inspection done to cut down on that kind of BS. We state other inspections are welcome and if safety related issues are discovered we will gladly repair or replace those items but an inspection for the purpose of creating a wish will not be looked kindly upon and we will CRUSH your deal! Home inspectors serve multiple purposes but in the top 3 uses for a home inspector is the “hired gun” Favorite quote from recent inspections: roof has some wear on it, ac unit appears old and the wiring has not been updated. Note the roof was 3 days old, the ac was 7 years old working well and the wiring conformed to code and had no issues.
0 votes
Carmen Brode…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri Jun 22, 2012
You can ask for anything after an inspection but their expectations need to be realistic.
0 votes
Don Maclary, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
When will sellers start to come out in numbers again. Clean Deals are needed!
0 votes
Don Maclary, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Jun 21, 2012
If the inspection process is explained properly it is rarely a problem. On the other hand some places are in a condition that the moon may be a reasonable request.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Sat Jun 16, 2012

I always tell my buyers when they get too demanding and picky on inspection items to remember:

They are buying a "used"/ "Pre Owned" home.
Being that the home as been "lived in" it will have some wear and tear.

When they are too over the top, I ask them if perhaps they would prefer to preview homes in new developments, since a "Pre Owned" home may not be a good fit for them.

I try and get them to realize that anything that is not a health or safety issue should not stand in the way of them buying a home they liked well enough to write an offer on.

Best Of Luck to You.

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Joan Lorberb…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sat Jun 16, 2012
There are times when I have a buyer who asks for the moon with valid (not cosmetic) inspection items. First I tell them they are asking for the moon. And then I go about negotiating for them.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Jun 16, 2012
If I'm representing the Seller, I tell their agent that (this) is the limit of what the Seller is willing to do.

If I'm representing the buyer, I ask them what their line in the sand is - if you don't get the ungrounded three-prong outlets in the living room changed over to two-prong, is it worth losing the house over? And then, I go about negotiating on their behalf.
0 votes
Shannon Foulk, Agent, Santa Maria, CA
Sat Jun 16, 2012
The home inspection is a wonderful tool as it let's the buyer know more about the house than just a termite inspection. However, it is not meant to open the door for every little thing to be repaired by the seller. The home inspection may note the furnace filter needs replacing, or the toilet seat is loose. The buyer cannot expect the seller to fix or replace all items. Many of the items mentioned are basic home maintenance items and not actual repairs at all. You can imagine how many items would be mentioned on a home built in the early 1900's. As building codes change on a regular basis, a home 5 years may not be 100% to code. That doesn't mean the seller needs to bring it up to current code.

If there is something which is a concern structurally, buyer may want to ask the seller for help with repairs. It is a matter of degrees: toilet seat - no, sagging roof ask.
0 votes
Denise & Dan…, Agent, Lexington, KY
Sat Jun 16, 2012
Remind them of what the contract says, that the inspectors report is not a repair list! Try to keep them to sigificant issues such as those relating to systems, safety, and structure. Everything else is probably cosmetic and shouldn't really be an issue. Any defect diclosed on the seller's disclosure can not be a voidable issue as they had knowledge of that prior to writing the offer. If they've given you a grocery list of repair items, it may be a smoke screen for not really wanting the house after all, in that case, invite them to find a more suitable house and just cut your losses. In some cases agents have given the buyer the repair addendum and have asked them to fill it out, in which case the buyer just needs to be educated about what items are legitimate concerns to ask of the seller. Then again, if all else fails, there's always the greatest word in real estate, "Next!"
Good luck!
0 votes
hmmm...i think the greatest word is SOLD!
Flag Sat Jun 16, 2012
Sean Francis…, , Kentucky
Sat Jun 16, 2012
Going the extra mile is fine so long as everyone understands it takes a little more gas to get there.
0 votes
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