Seller refuses to pay for any repairs. Is this common?

Asked by Socalhomebuyer, San Diego, CA Mon May 26, 2008

His response to all repair requests is a flat out no. I think the asking price is fair, but this is also a conventional sell (not a short sale or a foreclosure). Property was not listed with 'AS-IS' or any indication that this would be the case. My agent is suggesting that the seller will not relist the home should I choose to walk away, but I am wary that this is a pressure tactic.

The amount for repairs is less than 2% purchase price and seems to be a trivial thing to completly walk away from the deal over. Is accepting a home at asking price and buying 'AS-IS' in the current market conditions just crazy??

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Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
It is all in the negotation. Common practice will vary by local and the market conditions. You agent has a duty to you to give you the real information on what he learns of the seller's intentions. No one will tell you that it's crazy. It is up to you now to proceed or not. If there are other houses just as good without any repairs at the same price you will walk if not then you won't.
Try not to make emotional decisions. They usually turn out to be the wrong decision
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed May 28, 2008
Accepting a home at asking price and buying "as is" in the current market is not crazy if the price of the home represents a good value.

On the other hand, as is noted below, a 2% allowance for repairs isn't trivial for the seller, and probably not for you, either. Further, the seller is completely and absolutely within his rights to refuse to pay for any repairs.

As the others say, you can try to negotiate.

Failing that, the only question is: "Is the asking price a fair price for the house in its current condition?" If yes, buy. If no, don't buy. It really is that simple.
3 votes
Brenda Dreyer, , Boise, ID
Wed May 28, 2008
Unfortunately in your case, the seller does have the right to refuse any repairs requested by the potential buyer, with that being said, it is also the right of the potential Buyer not to move forward with the purchase if a "meetings of the mind" is not met. It basically comes down to which party wants it most...does the buyer want the house more than the seller wants to sell...or vice versa?
3 votes
Alan Tang, Agent, San Bruno, CA
Wed May 28, 2008
In the California Association of Realtor's Purchase Contract, Parage 7 A, it states that "Unless otherwise agreed: (i) the Property is sold (a) in its PRESENT physical condition as of the date of Acceptance and (b) subject to Buyer's investigation rights..." The property doesn't have to be listed "AS-IS" but when you made the offer with the CAR contract, you made an "AS-IS" offer.

It'll be up to negotiations whether the seller will pay for the repairs or not. Hopefully the property has been on the market for a long time and you have the upper hand. As many have also stated, not knowing the purchase price, we really don't know what the 2% means.

I'll be interested to know how this is resolved in the end! Do keep us posted!
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2 votes
Danielle Pur…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Wed Apr 8, 2015
Homes are sold as is in california now. In 2014 the WPA which is termite was removed from Purchase Agreement addendum's.. Homes are sold in condition as you walk through. Unless the house is sliding off cliff or the Oven is new and does not work.. examples.. Or a leak under home.. Repairs are not to do items that seller was happy living with...
1 vote
pgutz57, Home Seller, Long Beach, CA
Tue Mar 31, 2015
No home is perfect! All homes have some kind of issues here or there. Sometimes seller's like myself have our limits! Give Give Give, that is what we are expected to do but we have to draw the line somewhere. I guess my buyer already forgot they are buying a great home in a great neighborhood and at a great price. we upgraded home with atleast $150K in upgrades. Just to be nice we conducted a roof tune, installed additional flashing, giving them a high end refridgerator, a home warranty, and against our better judgement our dual agent locked us in to do termite repairs up to $700. Sorry, a leaky shower pan, if you want the house FIX IT!!!! WE ARE DONE!!!!
1 vote
I feel your pain. Some realtors (not all) have managed to convince buyers that they can have whatever they want. (Scratch in the wood floor? Ask for the whole floor to be refinished!) No home is perfect and there is a huge difference between "as is" and finding stuff on an inspection report. Inspectors will ALWAYS find something. They also handle things like radon and water which the are not experts in. Any item on the inspection report can be blown out of proportion potentially scaring the buyer. Buyers, do your homework! Call the people who are going to do the work about the damage. The fix may be a lot less labor intensive than you think. I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I've seen inspectors ask for things that left structural engineers scratching their head. It's emotional for both sides. The best thing to do is to arm yourself with knowledge and be reasonable!
Flag Tue Oct 11, 2016
I feel your pain. Some realtors have managed to convince buyers that they can have whatever they want. (Scratch in the wood floor? Ask for the whole floor to be refinished!) No home is perfect and there is a huge difference between "as is" and finding stuff on an inspection report. Inspectors will ALWAYS find something. They also handle things like radon and water which the are not experts in. Any item on the inspection report can be blown out of proportion potentially scaring the buyer. Buyers, do your homework! Call the people who are going to do the work about the damage. The fix may be a lot less labor intensive than you think. I have been on both sides of the spectrum. It's emotional for both sides. The best thing to do is to arm yourself with knowledge and be reasonable!
Flag Tue Oct 11, 2016
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Feb 14, 2014
This question posted May 2008
1 vote
looks like someone is trying to build up his points by dredging up old questions
Flag Fri Feb 14, 2014
Mike Lewis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jul 7, 2008
As Is ----- means As Is. Your agent can still ask for repairs and threaten to pull out of the deal but the seller was very clear from the start As Is. The choices are 1. buy it as is. 2. Buy another.
1 vote
Sarah Dupree, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
In the marketplace we are today, a buyers market, buyers are asking for a LOT, and getting it lots of the time. In certain areas where there are lots of reos and foreclosures sellers feel a lot of pressure to say yes to buyers demands because they are afraid to lose the deal. But, in other areas, where prices haven't declined so drastically sellers are holding their ground. Credit for repairs is not a 'gimme" or assummed. It is a negotiation.
Make sure if you are asking for repairs/creidt that you do it within your contingency period. Otherwise if they say no and you walk, they may be entitled to your earnest money deposit.

Like one of the answers said below. This is a very emotional time for sellers and they treasure their home. Sometimes these rquests can feel like a slap in the face to them. I know buyers don't mean it that way.
As agents we know it is just business but that is difficult to convey to sellers who may be facing feelings of ambivelence saying goodbye to their castle.
Sometimes they will walk away from a deal and leave money on the table over "principle"

Also, I agree that 2% is not a trivial amount. I have a listing for 965k on the market and I know my seller wouldn't consider a credit for nearly 20k for even a second.

I tell you all this not to pressure you one way or another, just to give you my experience and insight from working with both buyers and sellers over the years.

Good luck with your deal!
1 vote
Anon, Renter, New York, NY
Tue Oct 4, 2016
Its 2016. I just went through this with a seller. I thought the property was a good investment. The seller never specified "As is" condition. And there was no disclosure which I can see now was a red flag.
The home inspection turned up alot of minor repairs and basement water seepage. The seller refused to credit me or take care of the basement or repairs.
A home inspection is quite an investment. Don't let a broker downplay it or tell you any different. The seller ought to honor you're inspection by helping to take care of any major repairs.
If their not selling a property "As is" and theres no disclosure they know about the damage and repairs needed, which is illegal and their hoping not to get caught.
0 votes
Selling a home "As is" and items showing up on an inspection report are two totally different things. Not all buyers would ask for repairs. If the house appraised well (i.e. you would have equity in the house for sale) or if they priced it well, they may not see the value in fixing those items. Not all buyers ask for repairs. Some ask for ridiculous repairs (new $5000 water filtration system for something that is easily fixable for a few hundred dollars). If the negotiation leaves everyone feeling like they will gain something, then you will do better in asking. The fact that buyers think that everything is automatically fixed is ridiculous. Inspections always turn up something. If you don't like it, move on.
Flag Tue Oct 11, 2016
John Reeves, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Jun 9, 2015
Some Sellers do this , you should talk to them clearly if you will be incharge or who will be incharge of fixing damages or repairs if ever, in this case you can avoid problems.
0 votes
April Macowi…, Agent, Lompoc, CA
Wed Apr 8, 2015
Number 11 of the California Residential Agreement states:

CONDITION OF PROPERTY: Unless otherwise agreed in writing: (i) the Property is sold (a) “AS-IS” in its PRESENT physical condition as of the date of Acceptance and (b) subject to Buyer's Investigation rights; (ii) the Property, including pool, spa, landscaping and grounds, is to be maintained in substantially the same condition as on the date of Acceptance; and (iii) all debris
and personal property not included in the sale shall be removed by Close Of Escrow.
A. Seller shall, within the time specified in paragraph 14A, DISCLOSE KNOWN MATERIAL FACTS AND DEFECTS affecting the
Property, including known insurance claims within the past five years, and make any and all other disclosures required by law.
B. Buyer has the right to conduct Buyer Investigations of the Property and, as specified in paragraph 14B, based upon information
discovered in those investigations: (i) cancel this Agreement; or (ii) request that Seller make Repairs or take other action.
C. Buyer is strongly advised to conduct investigations of the entire Property in order to determine its present condition. Seller may not be aware of all defects affecting the Property or other factors that Buyer considers important. Property improvements may not be built according to code, in compliance with current Law, or have had permits issued.

Your agent must negotiate with the seller's agent to get the repairs completed. Unfortunately, I have seen escrows fall out because of seller's refusal to pay for repairs.

Good luck!
0 votes
christine ka…, Agent, Temecula, CA
Wed Apr 8, 2015
Wow, in my opinion 2% of the purchase price in san Diego is a huge amount of repairs. Do you think the value you are paying for the property as-is is too high?
Maybe the seller priced the home knowing some of the repairs were needed.
If the home was in perfect condition, he mayhave asked much more for the home..
Just my experience, but I've never even been close to 2% of the value of the home on repairs credited.
Good job doing a home inspection. Now you have a decision to make. If they won't pay for the repairs, you are entitled to back out of the purchase. It is up to you.
0 votes
Kim Benedict, Agent, Overland Park, KS
Mon May 26, 2014
This is all part of buying a home... some sellers will pay for things and other's just won't and ant work with buyers to get items fixed... if you love the home and its all you want in a home, bite the bullet and buy it, its all about if the house is right for you or not. Are you willing to walk away and start all over and hope to find the next perfect home? The next one will never compare if this is the home for you and your family... if its less then 2% of the purchase price then go for it and buy it. At the end of the day its not worth walking away...!
0 votes
Anthony Damon, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Feb 14, 2014
Sellers not willing to do repairs is quite common, so you must rely on your physical inspection and any expert opinions to make sure you are comfortable with any issues on the property.
0 votes
Bob Schwartz, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jun 5, 2008
As many have already said, the seller is NOT required to make any repairs, but, it should be made VERY clear to the seller's agent that unless these repairs are made, you will walk. Plus, the problems will be required to be disclosed to any future buyers. Usually in todays market, once the seller understands these facts they may be more willing to deal.
0 votes
Judy, Home Buyer, California
Thu May 29, 2008
I would walk away, so many houses on the market to choose from, why bother with this seller?!
0 votes
Michael Barr…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
Hi there So Cal Home Buyer. The Seller does have the right to refuse any request for repairs especially if the seller feels the house is worth more. In reality in my experience anyway most sellers will work with the buyers request for repairs or offer a credit on the major items. But they do not have to. This is where negotiation comes in. Try to look at the request for repairs and examine which ones are major and which one are minor. But 2% of the purchase price would be considered a lot to request of repairs. Negotiate, Negotiate and Negotiate

Hope this is slightly helpful
Michael Barron
First Team Real Estate
(714) 552-6817
0 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
Robert Miller writes "All homes are sold in "as is" condition in California."

This is not actually the case. In all cases where a home is sold in "as -is" condition it only means as-is disclosed. You the buyer have the duty to inspect the property prior to the close of escrow. This is your due diligence period. You have the right to ask for repairs to be done but the seller has the right to say no if they want to.
0 votes
fredeckert, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
I believe Wells Fargo has a semi - permantent rehab loan program that might be a smart move. I would get a home inspector to do an inspection and I also advise getting a contractor to give you an estimate of necessary work. Submitting this information with your offer may make the offer easier to get accepted. If you can ask the seller to pay some points to buy down your loan, you may be able to have lower monthly payments and do the repairs yourself. One point is equal to 1% of your loan amount and can reduce your interest rate by about 1/4%. Two points is 2% and reduces the motgage interest rate by about 1/2%. Since this would be based on the loan amount and not on the sales price, the seller would be giving up less. Your offer could request either the repairs or the interest rate buydown, so the seller would have a choice. I have the names of contractors and home inspectors if you need them.
0 votes
Robert Miller, , San Diego, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
All homes are sold in "as is" condition in California. It doesn't have to say it in the listing. However this isn't to say that sellers are making repairs or concessions. Based on an average sales price of around $500,000., 2% represents $10,000. That is a good chunk of change in a transaction. Is this a seller who is selling on his own, or does he have representation? That can make a big difference when negotiating.

Like what was said earlier, you have to decide how badly you want this home. If the repairs are major, you may want to rethink how you can get them done less expensively. If it's a lot of minor repairs, you may be able to do some of them yourself. It's hard to come up with a real solution without all the facts, but maybe there is some negotion on repairs that are crital or issues of health & safety.

Robert Miller
(858) 437-2400
0 votes
Julie Broder…, , Reading, PA
Mon May 26, 2008
Everything's negotioable but this is nothing new that a seller does not want to be bothered if the property is priced according to condition. Don't give up though. Creative financing is possible have the repair $$ rolled into your mortgage amount. There may be a few ways to accomplish this, ask your realtor and/or lender.
Good Luck!
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0 votes
Don Reedy, , San Marcos, CA
Mon May 26, 2008
For some homeowners, their home is their "castle." If a homeowner has an idea of the state of his or her home, and it does not align with yours, then it is more difficult to reach an agreement. Additionally, the seller my have already factored the cost of repairs into their seling price, lowering it so they would not have to do repairs.

As for relisting after you walk doesn't matter. What matters is how much you want the home, and if you can come closer through some continued discussion with the seller. ASK, ASK, ASK, is my opinion. Try to gain some understanding from the seller why they are so recalcitrant, and if you are successful, then this home may well be yours soon.

Don Reedy
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0 votes
Bay Jackson, , Shreveport, LA
Mon May 26, 2008
I don't work in your area so I cannot speak as to the market conditions.. The seller may be in a situation in which they are unable to make the necessary repairs. I assume the contract was cotingent on a favorable inspection. You need to speak to your realtor.. It may be time to renegotiate the sales price if they are unwilling to make the necessary repairs. If you really like the house, you need to decide if you are willing to make the repairs or walk away. In our market, sellers are willing to make the repairs, as well as offer other concessions in order to get their home sold. Best of luck.
0 votes
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