Selling a home can be a grueling endeavor.
Whether a marathon or a sprint, the home selling process has a way of leaving homeowners feeling a bit, well, gassed.
Decluttering, staging, keeping each room in showroom condition 24/7 (a real treat for those with pets and/or kids), vacating the home on short notice because “this might be the buyer” – it’s a daily grind, and it takes a toll on all involved.
You’re not you when you’re
hungry tired from selling your home.
So when the due diligence home inspection uncovers defects that require repairs, it’s easy to understand why sellers, not wanting to take on any added effort or stress, may be inclined to issue a buyer credit and just MOVE ON.
And while credit may be the best option depending on the situation (in some cases, it’s the buyer’s preference), in many cases, it’s better for all involved for the seller to take care of the repairs prior to closing. Here are three reasons why:
1. The repairs will actually get done.
When repairs are important enough to spark further negotiation, and credit is ultimately issued, you would think the buyer would complete the repairs.
But that’s not always the case (for a number of reasons).
“So what?! I’m moving on. I don’t care if the repairs get done.”
Okay – but what happens if the deal falls through later on for some other reason? Now you have to sell your home again, with the same defects ready and waiting to give your next buyer cold feet.
When the seller completes the repairs, they can feel confident that the defects are gone, they’ve been re-inspected and approved by the buyer, and they won’t come back to haunt them.
2. Potential cost savings.
A defect-laden home inspection report, depending on the number and severity of the defects, may be a godsend for the buyer: it gives them the leverage to negotiate (a situation that can be avoided, by the way).
And, since the buyer is, naturally, trying to negotiate the largest possible credit, it’s possible that the seller will pay a premium to wash their hands of the repair responsibilities.
At a bare minimum, the seller needs to get their own estimate before deciding on credit (it’s quick and easy to obtain.) With an accurate estimate, backed by contractors who are ready to do the work, it’s quite possible to save money by doing the repairs vs. offering a credit (which, remember, is not being negotiated to save the seller money!).
3. It’s not hard to complete the repairs.
Yes, everyone’s tired and, yes, nobody wants to deal with the hassles of closing repairs. But the days of coordinating, managing, and ensuring the quality of closing repairs are long gone.
Obtaining an estimate, coordinating with contractors, providing a report that each defect, line item by line item, has been repaired properly – the entire process can be virtually automated (see how we make the repair process predictable and pain-free).
If the seller can get the work done at a cost and timeframe to their liking, without ANY heavy lifting, it may make sense for them to simply solve the problems.
Does any of this benefit buyers?
Short answer: all of it.
If the goal of negotiating repairs is to actually complete the repairs, buyers have a lot to gain from the seller owning the process. A quick reframing of the points above:
- The repairs get done before they move in! They don’t need to do anything but enjoy their new home.
- Cost-effectiveness is not a concern for buyers because they pay NOTHING when the seller repairs the defects
- Using a reputable contracting service is key – especially depending on the degree of difficulty of the repairs. When the seller can quickly provide a repair timeline and photo verification of each repair (which should still be verified via re-inspection), buyers can feel confident that the repairs will be completed on time with quality.
A clean end to the transaction and a fresh start for the new homeowners.