When buying a home in Long Beach, the Request for Repairs is a home buyer’s best friend.
Let’s talk about how the Request for Repairs works and how you, as the buyer, use this to improve the quality of your dream home.
Request for Repairs
What is it?
The Request for Repairs is a form used by the buyer to request the seller make certain repairs. Where do these repairs come from? They come from the home inspection report from your inspector.
The report now becomes the basis of communication. Most likely, the inspection report contains the exact location and photographs documenting the repair. The buyer and their agent decide which items to put in the Request for Repairs.
Is there a limit to the requests?
Since you must use the home inspection report, all request for repairs must come from the report. As far as the number of items to request, you decide that.
In my experience, the more items requested results in fewer items being repaired. The seller often times skips items the buyer deems to be important. You consider the window lock to be important but the seller chose to trim the tree.
How does the process work?
When they receive the request for repairs, the seller has three options.
Option 1: They agree to fix everything. Perhaps the seller feels generous and decides to help you out. Great!
Option 2: The sellers agree to fix some things. Maybe they refuse to fix anything. It is their choice.
Option 3: The sellers offer a credit to the buyer for a certain amount of money. Essentially the buyer would become responsible for the repairs after escrow closes.
Let’s say the seller agrees to make repairs. All of the repairs must be completed prior to the close of escrow. The contractor submits paperwork that the repairs were completed.
What happens if the seller refuses to make repairs?
Depending on the extent of the repairs, the buyer may walk away.
In my experience, this rarely happens. The seller most always makes some repairs at a minimum. No one wants to break the contract. The buyer spent months finding the right house and the seller really wants to move. Who wins if a contract is broken?
On the other hand…
Repairs usually cover anything considered health or safety related. For example, in the bathroom the inspector found that the GFI outlet does not work. A GFI outlet prevents you from being electrocuted. Let’s say you drop your hair dryer into a sink full of water. The GFI outlet “trips” when it senses a surge of electricity.
State and local codes require that GFI outlets be operational in areas that have water. Primarily bathrooms and kitchens. A non-working GFI means you have no protection from electrocution. This qualifies as a safety hazard.
The reason is simple. If the buyer decides to walk away, a new buyer will eventually come forward. Their inspector flags this issue as a safety issue. Will the seller continue to not make repairs deemed as safety issues?
What doesn’t the request cover?
Upgrades. For instance, if the home inspection report notes that the plumbing in the house is galvanized steel. You really want copper plumbing. The seller will not pay to upgrade the plumbing from galvanized to copper.
The Request for Repairs only covers repairs. If the galvanized plumbing leaked, you then request that the leak be fixed.
And we don’t stop there.
In the Request for Repairs, the seller chooses how to make the repairs. Obviously any repairs made are done so up to code. As a buyer, you cannot insist that the seller use K-grade copper to make plumbing repairs. You request the seller make repairs. The seller decides how to make the repairs.
No such thing exists as a home without problems. Every home has its own individual issues, quirks. The purpose of the home inspection reports highlights any problems. Between the buyer and seller, the negotiation begins as to who fixes what. Use this form wisely to ensure that you are comfortable moving forward in your purchasing decision.