Extensive termite damage in home, already agreed to short sale price. How should I renegotiate?

Asked by Mday83, California Mon May 9, 2011

Okay... so I already got the bank to agree to what I think is a pretty good price on a home I'm purchasing through a short sale, but after doing the termite inspection I found out it needs about $5000 of extermination and repair work. Now, the home has been sale pending three times before, and the seller was nice enough (I thought at the time...) to offer me $600 for termite work. Basically, he most likely knew about the problem in advance.

Now, my question is this: in order to renegotiate this and get more money to take care of the termite problem, do I have to cancel out of the contract and start over? Is there any good way to get the seller or the bank to kick in more money without doing that? I'm told banks will seldom cover repairs on a short sale, but this is pretty serious and I really, really want them to. Any suggestions on how to approach this?

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Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Mon May 9, 2011
Hi Mday83,

No, you do not have to cancel the contract to ask the seller/lender to pay for termite work. If you cancel the contract, there is no guarantee they will accept a new offer from you.

And, you are correct, lenders will seldom cover repairs on a short sale but it's not completely unheard of. If you have not removed all your contingencies yet (which hopefully you haven't yet), ask your Realtor to possibly do an Addendum to the offer to cover termite work - based on the Termite Inspection. There is no guarantee the seller/lender will agree to the Addendum but for $5000, I think it's worth at least trying. If the seller/lender do not agree to the Addendum, then you need to decide how badly you want this particular house (enough to pay an additional $5000?). The seller/lender may agree to some, if not all, of the repairs if they want to get this house sold - especially since it's been Pending 3 prior times already.

On a couple of Short Sales I've done, the Buyers Agent and myself have contributed to the repair costs (from our commissions) if the seller/lender won't - to save the deal.

Good luck!!

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
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