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Buying or Selling a Home/Obligations of seller to make modifications

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Question
My husband and I signed contracts about 3 weeks ago to sell our house. Since then, we have gone through the home inspection process and we received a list from the buyer regarding requested repairs. There were nine points in the letter...#2 through #9 we have agreed to take care of. #1 was a request for information related to our two year old furnace that the home inspector deemed "inefficient and outdated" due to not having a return duct present. We responded that we chose the current furnace based on many factors, one of which was that the installation company didn't recommend it and our old furnace didn't have one either. We've lived here for 12 years and have been absolutely comfortable. There is no law in New Jersey stating that your heater is required to have a return duct and the permits and final inspection upon installation passed with no issues. We provided the buyer with delivery records from our oil company demonstrating how much oil is consumed, etc. The buyer is still insisting that he bring in a heating specialist to determine the efficiency of the heater. Fine. My question is....how much leverage does the buyer have to break a contract for this reason if we continue to push back on this given that the heater is not broken and is not an environmental hazard? We have been more than accommodating (with a tight smile on our faces) thus far...

Answer
Sorry my response is late but I am on vacation.  It is usually the buyer who pays for any and ll inspections.  If this is the way your own contract is written, then it is the buyer who should hire the specialist.  Buyers are entitled to get whatever buyers want to have inspected, regardless of whether or not you feel it needs inspecting.  Check the time limit, if any, on the inspection period, and write and have signed an extension if necessary. There must be a fair reason why buyer wants to investigate further.  Perhaps his home inspector told him to delve more into this, or perhaps he knows of some problem some one had with this issue.  If he requests you to pay for any new fix, you should have the opportunity to see this specialist's report.  Unless you have a contractual agreement to make all repairs requested by the buyer, you are not obligated to do so.  Then, tour options are to say no, yes, or negotiate somewhere in between.  Don't mark a de is ion based on ego, make a smart business decision.  This may be the best buyer you can get.  There is no guarantee if and when there will be a next buyer, and if the next buyer will pay more or less for the house.  The next buyer could even demand more repairs.  Good luck, and let me know if you have any additional questions.  Let me know how this turns out.

Buying or Selling a Home

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Karyn Foley

Expertise

I can answer questions on picking the right agent, marketing properties, contracts, ethics, buyers and sellers responsibilities and fiduciary relationships. I prefer not to answer questions relating to real estate financing.

Experience

I have over 29 years of full time real estate experience in the Southern California area as realtor, assistant manager, education director, and broker. Consistant top producer.

Organizations
Southland Regional Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Calabasas Chamber of Commerce.

Publications
Las Virgenes Enterprise, Calabasas Courier.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science degree, UCLA, licensed real estate broker, graduate realtors institute designation.

Awards and Honors
Trophies and certificates of achievement for real estate production. Training Director, Instructor for the local Board of Realtors, Member of local Board's Grievance Committee. Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, one of the founders of the City of Calabasas, elected to the first Calabasas City Council, first woman mayor of Calabasas, former Regional Representative to Southern California Association of Governments.

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