Seller credit for repairs? I had a home inspection done yesterday and the inspector categorized the roof as a "major defect."

Asked by Mandaluv, Pittsburgh, PA Wed Jun 27, 2012

The seller disclosure stated no knowledge of roof damage. However, the home inspector showed me where the roof is leaking into one of the bedrooms, and took pictures of the roof to show that it is in generally poor condition. The house was built in 1982 and they guessed that this is the original roof. I talked to my Realtor, and she said that we can request a credit for the cost of replacing the roof. I am willing to overlook the home's other defects (all relatively minor in comparison) if the seller will give me a credit for a new roof. I know that if I walk the seller will have to revise the disclosure regarding the condition of the roof. Do you think the seller will accede to my request?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Christa Ross, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Fri Jun 29, 2012
You never know until you ask. It is common to ask for a seller to take care of the major issues that turn up in a house, sometimes they will or sometimes they will be wiling to share the cost. Have your agent write up the request and see where it goes.

You may not be able to ask for a credit for the roof, it will probably be more than your lender allows, however you can request they have it replaced or fixed.
1 vote
Blair W. Coh…, Agent, Monroeville, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
They may or may not. You can only ask.

Also the credit depends upon the type of financing (if any) and the total amount of all credits you are receiving from the Seller. The lender (if any) probably will not permit a credit for repairs but will require the repairs be completed prior to closing. So any credit may need to be in the form of a closing cost credit and their are limits to the amount permitted. On FHA mortgages the Seller may pay up to a maximum of 6% of the sales price as a closing cost credit for the Buyer, on conventional mortgages with a 5% to 9.99% down payment the Seller may pay up to a 3% closing cost credit , on 10% to 24.99% down payment up to a 6% closing cost credit and with a 25% down payment up to a 9% credit closing cost. But be careful not to exceed the actual amount of the closing costs. Of course there are other types financing and limitations but these are the most common. On cash sales it may an actual repair credit and it may be for the total amount.

Also you could obtain bids and have the contractor completing the work paid directly from the closing.

Good luck negotiating the repairs.
1 vote
Barbara.mast…, Home Buyer, Pittsburgh, PA
Thu Jan 12, 2017
Is it better to sell a house as is and offer money for the buyer to fix the house? or is it better to fix the house before selling?
0 votes
Jenny Masait…, , Murrysville, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Many times buyer/seller share that cost in the way of a credit If it is really bad insurance co may insist it get done before closing
0 votes
How does the credired money get dispersed
Flag Fri Mar 3, 2017
The extent of the damage is probably what will determine what needs to be done. There is a lot of liability they have to worry about when there is a fair amount of damage. Banks are trying to make smart decisions that will protect themselves. How out received a quote as to the cost of fixing the roof?
Flag Fri Nov 21, 2014
Nancy Theys, Agent, Wexford, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Sure, it's worth a try. If you have an estimate from a roofer, that would be more beneficial than just going in and asking for a credit.
Depending upon the type of loan that you have, however, you cannot exceed a certain amount of seller credit. If you have an FHA, you may ask for 6% of the sales price in seller credit (assist). However, if you have an FHA loan, and the roof is as bad as you say, the appraiser may want the work completed, prior to closing.
If you have a conventional, 5% down loan, then you may ask for 3% credit.. 10% and 20% will allow for 6%.
No matter what, if you are seeking credit for repairs, I would make sure that that money is listed as Seller Assistance on a Change in Terms Addendum, making sure that the Seller understands what the credit is for.
My best advice is, if the time is there, and you can get a quote from a roofer that you trust, ask the Seller to replace the roof, in accordance with the proposal from the reputable roofer.
0 votes
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Wed Jun 27, 2012
A credit from the seller doesn’t pay for the roof, it just lowers the sale price, is that what you are asking them to do?

If you are getting a loan most lenders will not allow the seller to pay you for fixing the roof. There are ways to handle this but the type of loan you use has some influence on how is the best way to handle it. Ask your loan officer what to do.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes
Virginia Stu…, Agent, Irwin, PA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
I have a saying that home inspections upset 100% of the buyers, sellers, and Realtors 100% of the time. The job of a home inspector is to find every little flaw in a house--if he didn't, someone would say he wasn't doing his job and sue him. Most homeowners lack professional knowledge. Just because the seller didn't disclose doesn't mean he knew about the problem. Pittsburghers have had bad weather, including a tornado or two, in the last year. It is possible this roof damage would be covered by the homeowner's insurance and he could replace it by just paying his deductible. Your request is not unreasonable and it is best to have your agent negotiate in your behalf. Keep in mind, the seller might have the viewpoint that he is not selling you a new house, but a home built in 1982, with an older home's depreciation--especially if neither of you saw the indicated damage in your viewings of the home.
0 votes
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Hello Mandaluv,
Yes, it never hurts to request a credit for a roof replacement after an inspector has determined that it is in poor condition. You are correct that the seller will have to acknowledge the issue with any other buyers who show interest in the home.

If the seller's asking price does not reflect the condition of the home then asking for a credit for roof repairs or replacement is a good idea.

Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
We do not know the terms of your Contract.
We do not know the Seller, or his despiration.

When you have this happen, there are three options:

You negotiate with the Seller,
You accept the house As-Is and do the repais yourself
You walk away.

It sounds like you have a good Realtor advising you; what do you need us for?
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more