If the home inspection found problems with windows that were cosmetic, can I ask the seller to repair?

Asked by Primatanya, 08816 Wed Apr 15, 2009

My realtor says most times sellers refuse to repair cosmetic problems. But if I repair it, it will cost me $225 per window (3 windows seep air) which is alot to me...I'm already paying a lot in closing costs, etc. Am I being unreasoable or jeopardizing the deal if I ask the sellers to repair problem?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

22
Lilystrom, Home Buyer, Sicklerville, NJ
Wed Jul 19, 2017
We're in this situation, and yes, we are asking the sellers to either replace the window or for cash. It's hard to get an estimate because they are very large, specialty made windows, but we know they are expensive. We offered $12K over asking (hoping it will actually appraise). The 1400 SF house is really too small for us, but at $475K, it's all we can afford with a conventional loan limit of $425K. The extra cash we are required to put down to afford a jumbo loan is a huge burden on us as first time buyers. We have not asked for any other concessions. In fact, we are releasing all the earnest money after the inspection period in hopes that doing so will encourage the sellers to make repairs. However, if they are not willing to make these repairs after a very generous sales price, I really think we may have to back out. We're spending everything we have just to buy the house. The seller is profiting hugely off the sale. The house last sold in 2011 for $290,000. The sellers can afford to do this!
0 votes
thinz, Agent, Allenhurst, NJ
Thu Mar 24, 2016
Of course you can ask...anything is negotiable in a property sale....ANYTHING.
If your agent says most don't and it's not worth asking, ask anyway. All they can say is no...but if they say yes you saved some money. Pretty simple and common sense stuff. Tom Hinz http://www.shortsaletosell.com thinz@apexgroupus.com
0 votes
Ellievdavis55, Home Buyer, Portland, OR
Wed Mar 16, 2016
I doubt you'll be able to get them to repair it for you based on cosmetic reasons alone. If you can show them that the window repair would improve the home, it might be a different story though. I would suggest at least talking to the sellers to see if they're willing to come to some kind of agreement with you. It can't hurt to at least ask, and talk about available options.
http://www.healyglass.com/Window-Installations-Lancaster-CA.html
0 votes
Val Mayer, Agent, Prince Frederick, MD
Sat Mar 12, 2016
In Maryland the standard addendum reads "This Addendum and the inspection(s) provided heris is NOT for the purpose of making items of routine maintenance and/or cosmetic nature the subject of further price negotiations between buyer and seller. "

The question is are broken seals cosmetic or defects that prevent the function of the home. I would argue that they were not hidden from view during the preview and they do not detract from the function of the window.

They are no less functional than any other caulked crevice that has shrunken and allows a minute amount of air to pass into the home. Sure its unsightly but I think its something that should be brought up during the offer not after a home inspection where the buyer tries to bargain for new windows.
0 votes
Vishal Maher…, , New Jersey
Tue Nov 11, 2014
Hi,

You should definitely ask the seller and see the response.
0 votes
Myersjulie31, Home Buyer, Blakeslee, PA
Wed Oct 29, 2014
I would definitely ask the sellers, and if they are against the idea, I wouldn't press it. However, I would say why it is important to you that the windows are replaced. You might even get a statement from the inspector to show why it would be a good thing. Then you will probably be more likely to get them repaired before you move in! http://www.glassdoctor.com/fort-collins/HomeGlassRepair/Wind…
0 votes
Vishal Maher…, , New Jersey
Wed Oct 15, 2014
You can certainly ask the seller and see the response. There is no harm in requesting.
0 votes
veniciakane, Home Owner, Edison, NJ
Mon Feb 11, 2013
I just changed my homeowners insurance and they had a property inspection. The repairs they are demanding are cosmetic. Is that legal?
0 votes
Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Tue Apr 13, 2010
Grace and Nickieca,

This post was written a year ago. I'm sure by now Primatanya either bought the property or moved on to buy another home.

-Gina
0 votes
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Tue Apr 13, 2010
Hello Prima and thanks for your post.

To be frank, if these are cosmetic issues (air coming in around the frame of the window casing as opposed to seal breaks in a double or triple paned window), and not functional problems, then you can certainly ask for a reduction in the price to pay for the repairs (have copies of estimates to present to back up your request), but be prepared that the seller can also tell you "no." Asking is not unreasonable--"forcing" the issue certainly can be deemed unreasonable, and I have been present when a small issue forced on the seller resulted in squelching the entire deal. Truth is, as Sam DeBord noted below, every situation is different and unique, so talk with your agent to determine if asking for the reduction or repairs might be accepted or reviewed reasonable or will cause such anger as to jeopardize the deal.

Good luck!

Sincerely,
Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
0 votes
Nickieca, Home Seller, Simi Valley, CA
Tue Apr 13, 2010
My buyer has just asked me for $20,000 at the end of escrow to fix the windows in my town home, I know did have some condensation issues with them but got them all fixed to under $400 last time I was in escrow. (it fell through)... My neighbors replaced all their windows for under 6K ...so we pulled told them no, and pulled out. $20K just so happens to put them to back to the $385 they wanted for the house in the first place...which is way under the market value...even the short sales are selling for more.
0 votes
Jeff K, Home Buyer, Bristol, PA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
A broken window seal is NOT a cosmetic issue - it's a functional failure of that window. I had a few of these in my first townhouse (you could see some moisture between the dual panes). We just gave the seller $x at closing (we had the estimate from the window place to support our exact amount). I seem to recall that it was not much money though - perhaps $50-75 per window - but I don't know what your windows are like.

YES you should be asking for money for those windows. And you should have 1 (better yet) 2 estimates to support your request. The $ figure should not just be "what your inspector thinks - you need a quote from a window place or home depot etc.

This is completely reasonable. If the amount that you have right now might seem too high to the seller. If they do feel that way then they can push back with a written estimate or they can get it done for you.

Don't worry - the seller isn't going to throw away the entire deal over $675, etc.
0 votes
PorterBrock…, , Seneca, SC
Thu Apr 16, 2009
You ar enot being unreasonable at all. It is is seeping enough to be a problem I would ask them to fix it. I'm not sure why it would cost $225.00 per window, you may be possible to just replace the or add some type of weather stripping, depending on what type of windows.
Web Reference:  http://www.PorterBrock.com
0 votes
PorterBrock…, , Seneca, SC
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Yes, you can ask the seller to repair anything, but that doesn't mean they have to do it. If it was a deal breaker and wasn't that expensive I would have my seller to fix it.
Web Reference:  http://www.PorterBrock.com
0 votes
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Windows that are not sealed properly are not cosmetic problems.

$225. Per window sounds like a lot of money for "cosmetic" problems and sounds like there is some inflated repair numbers involved. Is this a guesstimate from the inspector?

You can ask for what you wish, but if the Windows work and are not letting wind blow through the house and they were perfectly fine for the current owner... I would advise my seller to say, No, there is nothing wrong with them. If you want green windows with a 110% efficiency rating, go get them yourself.

Yes, you are being unreasonable.

But, before going further.. Define "seep air" Some infuriated agents here seem to think you are talking about a broken seal (gasket in a double pane window).. Which is different.


John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
732-863-6969 Office

JSacktig@orangekeyrealty.com
0 votes
Typical realtor.
Flag Sun Jun 26, 2016
Dp2, , Virginia
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Many investors I know (myself included) won't ask the seller to make the repairs, because we don't trust that s/he will make the repairs to our standards (typically to code). Instead, we'll get a work estimate, and ask the seller to discount the agreed upon purchase price accordingly. However, if the seller opts to not comply, then we exercise our inspection contingency, and move on to the next deal(s).

The numbers ARE the numbers, and if a seller is willing to give up a sale over $1K, then let him/her. It's nothing personal; rather, it's strictly business, and our money will be better spent elsewhere.
0 votes
Sam DeBord, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Apr 15, 2009
Every situation is unique. You can ask for anything you want, the seller can always say no. In a perfect world, people wouldn't get offended by negotiations, but some people will. Discuss it in detail with your agent.
Web Reference:  http://SeattleHome.com
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Wed Apr 15, 2009
Gosh, this post is inflaming me. As a buyers agent, I always point out broken seals, slanting floors (i.e. potential structural problems, etc.).

Stankd your ground, unless, of course, this is the houe of your dreams and a $1000 worth of windows is not worrth losing the home.

Francesca
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Wed Apr 15, 2009
Prima,

In my view, a good listing realtor and/or buyers's agent would have recognized this problem at the outset and advised the seller of the potential future ramifications. After all, a broken window seal is RE 101.

Stand your ground and ask the seller to provide some sort of concession, if even you split the costs. I can't imagine that the seller, the listing agent and/or YOUR BUYER's AGENT would have not recognized this deficiency almost immediately upon basic inpsection. Againt, it's RE 101 and there is no reason why you should 100% bear the expense of such repairs untless it was previously disclosed.

Francesca Patrizio, Realtor, ePro
732.606.2931
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Wed Apr 15, 2009
Primatanya,

You are certainly free to ask for the sellers to repair the problelm or issue a credit (the latter is most likely to occur) for the windows. Depending on what other issues, if any, the home inspection revealed and what your home inspection contingency in your contract or addendum states, the seller may or may not fix the problem or provide credits. Have you discussed the inspection results with your attorney because your attorney should be drafting the letter with regard to the home inspection results.

Good luck.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential NJ Properties
973-715-1158 cell
973-992-6363 ext 116
Gina.Chirico@PrudentialNewJersey.com
0 votes
Elisa Dewees, Agent, Cherry Hill, NJ
Wed Apr 15, 2009
Are you talking about Fogged windows that have lost their seal? Many contracts do cover that issue. Repairs are negotiable in most areas!
0 votes
Jay Silver, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Apr 15, 2009
You are not jeopardizing your deal. Just ask the seller to give you $675 at closing to pay for the window repair, that shouldn't sink your deal.

Best of luck!
0 votes
Unlees you're buying a brand new house there's going to be issues but buyers want every little thing fixed and then pay for closing costs or help with closing costs. Its not a brand new house. There's going to be issues. If you want a brand new house by one
Flag Tue May 27, 2014
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more