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What are the top repairs sellers need to make?

Question: What repairs are most commonly requested of the seller during the inspection process? Is it just another “bite at the apple” for the buyer to get the price that they originally wanted? Do I have to do everything?

All three are great questions — and ones we hear often! It is funny how the word “inspection” becomes a dirty word when it comes to real estate. The buyer feels scared that their new dream home is going to turn out to be a lemon, and the seller is worried that the house that they have called home will be ripped to shreds.

So let’s take a look at “The Big Three” most requested repairs. In a recent study the top three repairs requested from inspections were — drum roll please — roof repairs, plumbing repairs, and electrical repairs. I would add foundation repairs as a close fourth. Especially in northeast Johnson County and northwest Jackson County where you are dealing with a lot of 50-plus year-old homes. A good rule of thumb is 1 percent of your sales price should cover your inspection repairs, depending upon overall condition of the home.

The process of selling a home these days is exactly that — a process, not an event. There are several steps a seller can take that will help bullet-proof the sale of their home once it is under contract. One option is a pre-inspection. If the thought of a buyer inspecting your home keeps you up at night, this may be the way to go. Most professional inspection companies offer a pre-inspection. Some companies even offer a more concise pre-inspection (less than $300 in most cases) that will cover only the bigger ticket items such as the roof, foundation, electrical panel, and major plumbing. In my experience, the aforementioned are typically the items that will cause a contract to come apart during the inspection period. Remember the “lemon” and the “second bite at the apple?” That is what I meant.

Our team has an inspection mantra when it comes to setting the expectations of both buyer and seller. It goes a little something like this: “Inspections are an opportunity to discover any unforeseen safety issues, health concerns, structural issues or active problems that could cause further damage to the home.” Clear and realistic expectations are crucial in all aspects of real estate.

Finally, sellers do not have to make all repairs that are requested by the buyer. Inspections simply open a re-negotiation period. When both parties are looking for a “win-win” and stay focused on the mantra above, the negotiations over inspections should be painless.

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