Ask a REALTOR®️!!

I am not a lawyer, and I am a licensed sales agent in the state of Texas.

Alex from Manassas, VA (another of my fellow Veterans and a Soldier I had the honor of serving in Iraq with) asks:

“Regarding home inspections and closing dates:

What are some reasonable things commonly found during home inspections that a Buyer should ask for (repairs, concessions), and a Seller should be willing to accept? Also, if the home buying process completes before your expected closing date, do you have to wait until the original date to close?”

Kind of a twofer, but I’m happy to answer them both!

I always advise home buyers to not ask for something they wouldn’t be willing to give up to close the deal. For example, the obvious things, like a leaky roof or cracked foundation (and generally most deficiencies found in a home inspection), should be expected to be fixed before closing, or receive a hefty concession (price discount, cash rebate) to compensate for it. But for smaller things, like cosmetic changes or repairs, a Buyer is perfectly capable to ask for, but the Seller is under no obligation to provide. I’ve known of deals to fall apart because the Buyer demanded a Seller repaint a room, and the Seller refused. A month of work down the drain, loss of the $500 escrow check, and back to house hunting for a $300 concession.

On the other hand, simple things I always recommend a Buyer request is for the home to be professionally cleaned. It’s never expensive, and it’s really a common courtesy, especially if the house was formerly a rental or has been on the market unoccupied for a while. Another simple request is for the appliances (if being left behind) or the AC unit be inspected separately from the home inspection. Home inspections generally just see IF they work, not how well they work. An AC unit that works, but is actually on its last leg or has a refrigerant leak could be a $10,000 replacement cost for you in the future! Even if the Seller won’t foot the bill for the actual inspection, you should be given access to the home and have permission to do it on your own.

Generally, if it is a Seller’s market, they’ll accept less. If it’s a Buyer’s market, they’ll get more. If it’s a fair market, the Buyer will probably still have more leverage to ask for things.

Lastly, if a sale has the opportunity to close early, generally all parties will jump at the chance! If it closes early, there’s less chance of the deal falling through for some reason! The only reason it wouldn’t close early is if the Sellers are still occupying the property and physically can’t leave before the closing date (waiting on the movers, perhaps?), or if they just…don’t want to. It happens.

I hope this answers your question, Alex!

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