Negotiating with the seller is one of the most exciting yet challenging tasks when buying a home. As a buyer, you know that purchasing a property comes with certain financial and emotional investments. Getting the most out of your investment is not easy, and this is why you want to ensure that the house you’re purchasing is in excellent condition. So, what can/should you ask the seller to fix? What Can/Should You Ask the Seller to Fix?

Let’s dig deeper into this exciting topic!


Inspection Report

Before purchasing a home, it is essential to inspect the house thoroughly. Hiring an inspector will save you from costly mistakes like buying a home with faulty wiring, poor roofing, or toxic mold. Once the inspection is done, it’s easy to identify potential issues and the necessary repairs needed. You can use this report as leverage and ask the seller to make specific repairs before closing. Moreover, you can ask the seller to reduce the home’s selling price based on the results of the inspection report.


Cosmetic Repairs

Cosmetic repairs are those that affect the aesthetic appeal of the home. Such repairs include fixing wall cracks, repainting, updating lighting fixtures, and replacing worn-out flooring, among other things. While cosmetic repairs may not be an absolute necessity, they’re necessary. You should ask the seller to fix any noticeable cosmetic issues before closing. Having a house with excellent curb appeal creates a conducive environment for homeownership.


Major Repairs

Significant repairs are the most costly and need immediate attention. Such repairs include fixing problems with the foundation, roof replacement, and insulation repairs. If you discover any significant repair needs, don’t hesitate to seek repairs from the seller. However, the seller may only sometimes agree to make all the repairs you request, but your ability to identify what’s necessary is critical.


Safety Concerns

As a buyer, you would want to avoid purchasing a home that compromises your safety. Safety issues could range from electrical or plumbing hazards to structurally unsound parts of the house. I recommend hiring an inspector with experience in identifying safety hazards. You’ll then be able to compile a list of identified safety hazards to present to the seller and request repairs.


Legal Obligations

Sellers have specific legal obligations that they must fulfill before transferring ownership of a home. One of these obligations is to ensure that they disclose any known issues with the house. You might be held legally liable if the seller fails to disclose these issues before closing. Therefore, ensure that the seller discloses any known issues with the property before closing and addresses any possible uncertainties.

Negotiating with the seller before closing is an essential aspect of home buying. As highlighted above, as identified in the inspection report, you can request specific repairs from the seller, such as cosmetic repairs, major repairs, safety concerns, and legal obligations. You should know, however, that the seller may only sometimes agree to attend to every repair. Therefore, it’s essential to identify critical repairs before making your final decision. Go ahead and confidently negotiate with the seller now that you know what you can/should ask the seller to fix!



Peter Cunha is a broker/salesperson at Real Broker LLC. He has been in the real estate industry for over 10 years, specializing in commercial and residential real estate. He enjoys helping people find their new home whether they are first time homebuyers or savvy investors.

He is one of the biggest and brightest realtors in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean County.

Currently living in Lincroft NJ, Peter enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter (Amber and Keira), three dogs (named Twizzler, Batman and Peanut), playing chess; listening to music; watching movies; traveling; enjoying nature walks on beaches or through local parks.


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