Dear Frustrated with BofA,
First of all, I apologize for what you are going through. I work with distressed properties all day long. In fact, it is 95% of my business. I understand that there are many, many home owners that are victims in this madness through no fault of their own. And I too, am tired of hearing about the greedy buyers and they deserve what they get. But, you are not going to change how some people perceive what you are going through.
The fact that you are even attempting a short sale as opposed to walking away tells me that you are a responsible person and at least trying to do the right thing.
Now, in answer to your question.....it sounds to me like the would-be buyer is being extremely unreasonable. However, I have had great success in getting the banks to make certain repairs. In the state of Wisconsin, you cannot sell a home with a leaky roof or non working furnace very easily because, unless it's a cash deal, no lender is going to allow that to go through. However, door handles? please. Did he not know that when he looked at the home? Sounds like a very unreasonable person, so you the ball is in your court. What is your agent saying? Does he or she think you have a shot at getting the bank to assist? I'm thinking, since you are in CA, that AC would be important, albeit, not necessary. Do you have any cash to do these repairs?
Best of luck to you.