Ten Ways to Win: #6 – Are you willing to let the Seller off the hook for repairs?

The purchase contract you will sign offers you, the Buyer, the protection of a home inspection.  The inspection is usually done by a professional and can take three or more hours to thoroughly look over your new home.  Following the inspection, you have three choices: the right to move forward with no repair requests, the right to terminate the contract, or the right to ask the Seller to do repairs on the home prior to closing.


In a typical market the choice most often made by home buyers is the third: move forward but ask the Seller to do repairs to the home.  We call this a “Request to Remedy”.  The Seller either agrees to all of your requests or both parties come to a compromise.  If neither of these outcomes is possible, the Buyer has the right to walk away from the purchase.  In this competitive market you can make your offer more attractive by retaining the right to terminate and the right to move forward but by waiving your right to ask for any repairs.  This means that unless something is a catastrophic condition you are willing to take on deferred maintenance or needed repairs as your own post-closing projects.


How risky is this? I asked Jim and Laura Troth, owners of Habitation Investigations LLC, one of the top home inspection companies in Central Ohio.   With 18 years and thousands of Inspections under their belts Jim and Laura have seen it all.  How often do they see “walk away” issues with a home?  “Almost never,” says Jim.  Unless it is a vacant home in great disrepair the vast majority of issues in a home are very “fixable” and not worth sacrificing the purchase of a home.”  “It depends on the Buyer’s personal skills,” says Laura. “if they are a little bit handy or have friends or family members who have home maintenance experience, most home repairs are manageable and not emergencies.” Jim says the Buyer should be concerned about the immediate repair of safety issues and keep a budget in mind for bigger repairs.  “We leave the Buyer with a detailed report including pictures and a repair so that the Buyer can begin prioritizing needed repairs” says Jim.


Jim and Laura have a list of items that often scare buyers: and they shouldn’t.  “Minor cracks in the walls, moisture in the basement or crawl space, mold in the attic or basement: these are common, not a tragedy” says Jim, and certainly not a reason not to buy a house.  Laura notes that they have taught their own daughters to change out plumbing fixtures and even things like switching out windows is not hard once you’ve done it a few times.  “Understand the real cost of some of these repairs,” says Jim.  “Often you’ll find it’s not as expensive as you thought.”


Besides giving the Seller a huge incentive to choose your offer, this willingness to take on repairs after closing gives you the peace mind that the repairs were done correctly because YOU did them or hired your preferred professional.



This blog is written by Kathy Chiero.  Kathy is the Team Lead for The Kathy Chiero Group of Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realtors.  Thinking of Buying or Selling?  Find us www.OurOhioHome.com © 2021 All rights reserved.