Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

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retiredjg
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by retiredjg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:05 am

thanks. :happy

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hand
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by hand » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:10 am

jfn111 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:07 am
Based on a lot of the responses I don't know how half these folks ever found a house that satisfied them. :shock:
The bottom line, once they signed the agreement closing the Inspection Contingency you are under no obligation to contribute to the new system. But... to ensure a quality job, if this is going to be a long term home for you, you might come up with some accommodation that has you kicking in a few bucks after you review the repair plan and the materials they are using.
This is great advice that your realtor should be giving you - worst possible outcome here is a septic system with a sub-standard repair.

If this was just a dollar issue, would suggest having your agent push back with a no "without" even involving you. Unfortunately, this is also about the quality of work on a critical system for the house.

Imagine how silly you'd feel with $4k in your pocket and sewage backed up into your house, or the need to install a brand new septic system because of poor workmanship on the repairs.

If you're currently in the situation where seller is obligated to repair and you have no say in standard of workmanship, you may very well be better off spending some money for goodwill and a guarantee or at least increased confidence that the work is done properly. (Or just hold seller to high standard on repairs without providing additional money).

Personally, seller performed repairs give me the heebie-jeebies - I'd much prefer to get a quote from a contractor and a credit from the seller so the work is done to my standards and the workmen are accountable to me.

themesrob
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by themesrob » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:19 am

jfn111 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:07 am
Based on a lot of the responses I don't know how half these folks ever found a house that satisfied them. :shock:
The bottom line, once they signed the agreement closing the Inspection Contingency you are under no obligation to contribute to the new system. But... to ensure a quality job, if this is going to be a long term home for you, you might come up with some accommodation that has you kicking in a few bucks after you review the repair plan and the materials they are using.
this is exactly my thought. I think you need to get a sense of the options they're considering. it's their obligation, yes, but they are only obligated to take the cheapest possible route that fulfills that obligation. you may prefer a higher-quality solution, and might feel it's worthwhile to kick in the difference once you understand the situation more. I think it's worth a call/sit-down at least to see what's going on.

cherijoh
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by cherijoh » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:37 am

onourway wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:37 am
How, exactly, is this 'willful neglect?' If nothing is backing up into the house, and it took an inspection and a specialist on-site to determine that there were problems with parts of the system buried underground, it is not at all surprising that the owners were unaware.

If you are looking for a reason to get out of this transaction, go ahead and use this as the reason. If, more likely, you like the house and would still like to purchase it, I would work with the sellers. The house was priced with an aged septic system of unknown (but assumed functional) condition. It comes across to me as a little bit unreasonable that you want a brand-new complete re-fit for the same overall cost. You may have the right to burn the sellers like this, but it's not the right thing to do. You will be out a significant amount of time and money if you back out of the sale, and you will always wonder how good a job has been done if you tell them no and let them do the repair for you. I'd work with them to make sure the job is done right, and help shoulder some of the cost to do so. You are the one that stands to benefit most from this in the long run.
I don't have a septic system, but I believe this is one of those things (like your HVAC system) that you have to periodically inspect and repair. Here's an article I found on maintaining your septic tank. If they failed to have it regularly inspected then it would be willful neglect IMO.

HereIAm
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by HereIAm » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:16 am

I didn't read all the comments but I would vote so say "no" to helping with the cost.

There is no need to get into how much the home is worth in relation to the repair. Or how much more you like the home. That has no bearing on the sellers already agreeing in writing to fix the issue.

They either will fix it now or after the deal falls apart.

Also, why would anyone recommend walking away at this point? Just say "no" and if they're still not willing to budge then walk away. Otherwise why would you walk away from what will be a brand new septic system? Sounds like a great win if that takes place.

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SquawkIdent
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by SquawkIdent » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:19 am

hand wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:10 am
jfn111 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:07 am
Based on a lot of the responses I don't know how half these folks ever found a house that satisfied them. :shock:
The bottom line, once they signed the agreement closing the Inspection Contingency you are under no obligation to contribute to the new system. But... to ensure a quality job, if this is going to be a long term home for you, you might come up with some accommodation that has you kicking in a few bucks after you review the repair plan and the materials they are using.
This is great advice that your realtor should be giving you - worst possible outcome here is a septic system with a sub-standard repair.

If this was just a dollar issue, would suggest having your agent push back with a no "without" even involving you. Unfortunately, this is also about the quality of work on a critical system for the house.

Imagine how silly you'd feel with $4k in your pocket and sewage backed up into your house, or the need to install a brand new septic system because of poor workmanship on the repairs.

If you're currently in the situation where seller is obligated to repair and you have no say in standard of workmanship, you may very well be better off spending some money for goodwill and a guarantee or at least increased confidence that the work is done properly. (Or just hold seller to high standard on repairs without providing additional money).

Personally, seller performed repairs give me the heebie-jeebies - I'd much prefer to get a quote from a contractor and a credit from the seller so the work is done to my standards and the workmen are accountable to me.
+1

If you are going down this road to help fix the issue and continue with this house I agree 100% to get 3 quotes and then do the job with your hired help. Then ask for a deduction in price of the house of the quote you are going with. This accomplishes two things. It gets them out of the house without having to deal with this and gets you in total control of the project to make 100% sure its done to your satisfaction. What are the realtors saying about all of this?

adamthesmythe
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:24 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:41 am
It really depends on how bad you want the house and if the sellers will be able to close if you don't pay up. Everyone loves to say "walk away" when people post about any problems with a house or say that this is a sure sign the sellers have done zero maintenance and the house is probably held up by a single half rusted nail. But some houses are pretty unique and worth going through some issues to buy. We bought a house last year and nothing that meets our criteria has come on the market since. That's not an exaggeration either.

Try to find out the situation of the sellers. Were you and they expecting a $2000 fix and got a $10000 bill? If so I might work with them since you are now getting a house that was better than advertised.
The sellers are contractually obliged to close. They have agreed to do the repairs. The only reason I can see for them to not close is if they believe they can sell the house to another buyer without doing the repair (very unlikely) or if they are confident that after doing the repair they will be able to sell to another buyer for MORE.

Even with the unexpected cost the sellers should be able to scrape up the money somehow (credit card, etc.). Unless they are under water on the property they only need to get past the closing.

And about "neglect." OP is in a position to make a judgement about whether the need for this repair was in any way obvious. And there are ALWAYS hidden issues or unexpected repairs, no matter how new or how well inspected. Those who have no tolerance for the vicissitudes of home ownership are best off renting.

onourway
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by onourway » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:26 am

HereIAm wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:16 am
I didn't read all the comments but I would vote so say "no" to helping with the cost.

There is no need to get into how much the home is worth in relation to the repair. Or how much more you like the home. That has no bearing on the sellers already agreeing in writing to fix the issue.

They either will fix it now or after the deal falls apart.

Also, why would anyone recommend walking away at this point? Just say "no" and if they're still not willing to budge then walk away. Otherwise why would you walk away from what will be a brand new septic system? Sounds like a great win if that takes place.
If you don't budge on something like this, the seller is likely to be inclined to do the job as quickly and as cheaply as possible, because once you close, it's your problem. I would not want to move into a new house knowing that I pressured the seller into fixing a major system like this under these conditions. It's well worth both parties being reasonable to ensure the job is done right.

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8foot7
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by 8foot7 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:35 am

Upon further review, it looks like the right call is to get a couple of quotes yourself that satisfy you, demand that the sales price be adjusted down by whatever the best quote is, and then hire the work done yourself after closing. It should make no difference to the sellers, who either have to come up with the cash now to make the repair or come up with the cash at closing, only results in 6k more out of pocket for you immediately and less interest on your mortgage over its life, and you have a job done right.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:08 pm

All these suggestions about getting different bids, reviewing the paperwork are off the mark in my opinion. Does the OP have any idea what a good repair of a septic system would look like? I suspect not.

I am going to assume that there is some public entity that will need to approve the plan. Usually, the biggest problem with the design of a new system is that they are over-built, they assume water consumption of 100 or 200 gallons of water per day/per person. You could hire your own engineer to review the plans but I would be quite comfortable, in most cases, of handing oversight of design and build to the local government.

You will want the septic tank itself inspected, some in the past were steel and had a relatively short lifespan, the more modern tanks are concrete and pose fewer issues. You could also ask for evidence that the tank has been pumped on a regular basis, depending on usage once every 2-3 years or so.
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Purelife304
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by Purelife304 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:27 pm

Did they seller use a real estate agent? Last time I checked realtor fees normally come out of the sellers pot of money if they do.

6% of $392 is $23,520, half for the sellers agent is $11,760. Suggest taking the 4k out of that commission because why they would allow their clients to agree to that without knowing the financial cost is bizarre. 7k now is better than 0k.

Just a thought.
:sharebeer

Johnsson
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by Johnsson » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:33 pm

onourway wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:37 am
How, exactly, is this 'willful neglect?' If nothing is backing up into the house, and it took an inspection and a specialist on-site to determine that there were problems with parts of the system buried underground, it is not at all surprising that the owners were unaware.

If you are looking for a reason to get out of this transaction, go ahead and use this as the reason. If, more likely, you like the house and would still like to purchase it, I would work with the sellers. The house was priced with an aged septic system of unknown (but assumed functional) condition. It comes across to me as a little bit unreasonable that you want a brand-new complete re-fit for the same overall cost. You may have the right to burn the sellers like this, but it's not the right thing to do. You will be out a significant amount of time and money if you back out of the sale, and you will always wonder how good a job has been done if you tell them no and let them do the repair for you. I'd work with them to make sure the job is done right, and help shoulder some of the cost to do so. You are the one that stands to benefit most from this in the long run.
+1

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by Nestegg_User » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:36 pm

the septic system should have been pumped on some type of regular schedule and the company doing it would likely have told the sellers its condition

we specified in our house that a separate inspection be done with record of prior service. While it was a “vacation home”, service still needed to be done occasionally... we wanted to have some level of comfort that it wasn’t neglected

( BTW, we have ours scheduled for pumping next week...
rather do it in the fall than worry about potential problems in the depth of winter here)

I do agree that you want some level of oversight if you continue, otherwise it will be done as cheap as possible (remember that this was a “flip”, so they probably did other things on the cheap)

In my first house, I had negotiated that a new HVAC be installed (the very old unit was an old gas conversion from an oil system, with ancient blower); I increased the sale price to account for the desirability of a system I knew was going to work, with both of us needing to agree to the replacement (got multiple bids). AFA your comps, they assume a functioning septic... so pricing a house with that issue the same as a normal functioning house means that you would have overpaid and that the financing assessment wouldn’t meet the required level. As this is a “flip” (and assuming the flippers are the sellers) I find it very hard to believe that they didn’t know that there was a problem. Also suggests that there may be other uncovered issues awaiting :|

delamer
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by delamer » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:56 pm

Nestegg_User wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:36 pm
the septic system should have been pumped on some type of regular schedule and the company doing it would likely have told the sellers its condition

we specified in our house that a separate inspection be done with record of prior service. While it was a “vacation home”, service still needed to be done occasionally... we wanted to have some level of comfort that it wasn’t neglected

( BTW, we have ours scheduled for pumping next week...
rather do it in the fall than worry about potential problems in the depth of winter here)
Nestegg is taking care of his/her system, not ignoring maintenance because they aren’t experiencing any current problem and can’t literally see what is going on.

That is what responsibile people do; to do otherwise is being neglectful.

JGoneRiding
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by JGoneRiding » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:25 pm

9liner wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:59 pm
rebellovw wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:54 pm
More details please - what is the house worth? - comps? - what did you negotiate for the offer they accepted (price wise)? What year was the house built?
They were asking $399k. We settled on $392 + 1% at closing. Comps are pretty much in the 400-450k range for the area. VA Appraisal came in at $425k.

I wouldn't call it a steal. I 'd say we are paying a fair price.
They are giving you 30k in equity by the va appraisal i bet they are feeling taken advantage of. In their shoes i wouldn't feel a need to give you 10 k more.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:28 pm

Walk away. These aren't the kind of people you want to deal with. Chip in for the septic system, and that won't be the last of it.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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StevieG72
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by StevieG72 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:31 am

I think these requests are common because it doesn’t hurt to ask.

I had a similiar issue when I purchased my home, I declined the request.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

Nissanzx1
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by Nissanzx1 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am

Unless you are stealing the house, I would be walking. There's a house on almost every corner, plenty of fish in the sea.

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hand
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by hand » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:41 am

JGoneRiding wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:25 pm
9liner wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:59 pm
rebellovw wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:54 pm
More details please - what is the house worth? - comps? - what did you negotiate for the offer they accepted (price wise)? What year was the house built?
They were asking $399k. We settled on $392 + 1% at closing. Comps are pretty much in the 400-450k range for the area. VA Appraisal came in at $425k.

I wouldn't call it a steal. I 'd say we are paying a fair price.
They are giving you 30k in equity by the va appraisal i bet they are feeling taken advantage of. In their shoes i wouldn't feel a need to give you 10 k more.
If that was true, you probably wouldn't have agreed to fix the septic...

1) Appraisal accuacy is typically terrible and not something to be relied upon other than (perhaps) as directionally correct
2) Sellers don't typically see the results of the appraisal which is done for the buyer's lender and shared with the buyer
3) The seller has had the house on the market - if there were willing buyers at $30k higher price, they would know and would have refused to fix the $10k septic issue, and hoped the buyer walked allowing them to sell for $30k more (or perhaps net $20k after repairs).

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Home Purchase - Sellers Request Help with Repairs

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:51 am

An adequately installed and functioning waste/septic system is a basic requirement for a house, not a feature. Absolutely say no to their request that you assume partial cost for them. The sellers are 100% responsible to repair non functioning septic system. The seller will have to repair the septic no matter who buys the house.

It is unfortunate for the seller that the house will not sell for even 1 dollar more with a repaired septic. Such is the nature of home ownership and it is not your issue to solve.

Be very careful on this deal at this point - you must insist that a formal re-inspection be performed on the supposedly resolved corrected items stipulated in the contract inspection addendum before closing. The seller is likely to spend as little as possible on septic system repair in order to band-aide the problem and you will be stuck with expensive repair later on. Whether you chip in to repair cost or not you absolutely need to formally inspect system again before closing, do not trust the seller to act in your best interest, or you are very likely to be in some very deep poop after the closing.

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