How to ask the seller for repairs

I’m in the middle of a deal and we just had the inspection done.  The place has some medium sized issues.  Nothing that is too too bad, but stuff that still needs to be addressed………..and addressed soon! 

As I was explaining to my client how I write a repair list, I thought that might be something good to blog about.  Most realtors just list all the deficiencies and ask them to be repaired.  That sounds easy enough.  Just give them a list of tasks to do and move on.  Buuuuuuuuut, there is a potential problem in doing it that way.  Granted, it rarely comes up, but when a problem does happen, it really sucks!

The problem is that if you ask for a task to be done, you can have a situation where an action was performed, but the problems wasn’t solved.  Don’t get it?  Think of it like this.  You get a home inspection, find out the faucet leaks because it needs a new washer.  You write on the repair list that the seller has to install a new washer.  Seller agrees.  Seller goes to Lowe’s, buys a washer.  Seller installs new washer.  The faucet still leaks.  You tell the listing agent that he didn’t fix the faucet because it still leaks and the agent tells you that all you asked him to do was replace a washer.  See it now?  I don’t see this kind of bickering as much now that we are in a buyer’s market, but it still happens some.  If it is for something minor like my example, the seller and their agent know that you aren’t going to walk away from the deal over something so small.  Even if they agree to go back and fix the faucet, it still causes a lot of stress for the buyer.

The simple solution came from my Dad.  He is the smarted man I know.  He is also a lawyer, so he is pretty good about getting things worded correctly.  I remember asking him to help me word one of my first repair lists.  I started to do it just like everybody else.  Then he said to me that I should word it where a result is to be achieved rather than just a task performed.  It was like a revelation or something.  As soon as he said that, I totally got it.  Since then, I always state the problem that needs fixed and usually add something like “so that it functions properly” at the end.  That way if there is some issue with the work that was done, I can always claim that it isn’t functioning properly.  Also, for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work, I always state that the work has do be done by licensed, qualified contractors.  That keeps the roofer from working on your furnace and a handyman from getting inside your electrical panel.

Thanks Dad!!

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