Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by LadyGeek » Fri May 17, 2019 9:06 am

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (home sales contract negotiation). There is also some discussion on home maintenance (how to fix the problem), which is a consumer issue, and is where the thread was first posted.

The intent is to help the OP resolve the contract issues, so we'll leave it here.
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SmallCityDave
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by SmallCityDave » Fri May 17, 2019 9:10 am

A few years ago I sold a friends home that they bought for $200k, they owned it for right at 2 years and they were selling it for over $400k. They did some repairs and upgrades spending $20-30k they were overjoyed how quickly we went under contract and with the price that was offered (they would have accepted much less).

The buyers had asked for the stove to be repaired or replaced (the repair was $200-300) my sellers were whining and complaining how unreasonable the buyers were being and they had used this stove just fine despite it's deficiencies going on and on, they said this is how they bought it and they didn't ask the seller to repair the stove, I let them know they were being unreasonable and asked if they wanted to risk these buyers cancelling the contract. Finally I asked them if buyers of a $200k and $400k+ should have different expectations, they did the repair.

Keep your eye on the bottom line who cares about the small stuff.

michaeljc70
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri May 17, 2019 9:48 am

investingdad wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 8:44 am
SmallCityDave wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 8:37 am
Gardener wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 5:43 am
Quick background.

Home is currently under contract. Due to competing offers, price went above ask price by $25k. Under contract at $475k. Buyer came in with a strong offer- cash, no appraisal. No appraisal was very good for us because I was concerned that appraisal might not hit $475k even though that's what the market seemed to value it at.

Buyer has requested a laundry list of repairs that will total about $5,200. I accepted most of them, but in hind sight I probably should have pushed back more as many seemed a little silly to me. To be fair to buyer, they did not ask for repair of our driveway, which is aged and has cracks and sunken spots.

Now we have an inspection of our septic system and it fails, needs a new drain field and also tank evidently needs to be replaced as it is not large enough because previous home owner did not increase size of tank when they put in addition of home. Estimate for this cost is estimated to be $10k. Buyer, to be frank, has been an annoyance, asking for silly stuff here and there. He requested to be there when the county comes by and inspects the septic and drain field so that an appropriate plan for the tank and drain field could be established. I told him respectfully no, because we will already have myself, my licensed contractor, and a person from the county there. I did not want him driving up the cost, by going beyond what was necessary to pass septic inspection.

I have estimates from contractors to be ~$10,000 for repair. I need to get back to the buyer as to whether I will take care of the repair entirely on my own, not do any repair at all, or have buyer foot part of the bill. My agent told me that traditionally seller foots the bill. But, where I am, inventory is very low and demand was very high for my property, having 3 offers in 7 days. Also, Buyer (who oddly enough happens to be a neighbor only a few doors down) really, really wants the property. Is there any smart way that I can have buyer foot part of the bill? In other words, how do I get that down in writing? Buyer to pay 50% of cost for a new septic and drain field?

I'm in real estate and I deal with crazy all day long...

Buyer agreed to pay $25k OVER your asking price and you are complaining about $5k in repairs.... when a buyer spends a half a million on a home he will want a functional septic system.
Perhaps the strategy was to offer over asking and then nitpick the price down.
The standard real estate contract (used by all agents) where I live does not allow this. It states "Buyer agrees that minor repairs and routine maintenance items of the Real Estate do not constitute defects and are not a part of this contingency" in the inspection section of the contract. It also says "The home inspection shall cover only the major components of the Real Estate" The point is little petty things will not be fixed and/or used to lower the price.

Of course, you also have an attorney approval period and can get out of the contract using that so in reality YMMV from a practical perspective.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by MathWizard » Fri May 17, 2019 10:57 am

Once you get the inspection and a (reasonable) estimate of $X on that repair, I would respond with something like :
"Seller agrees septic system will be brought up to county standards, or the buyer's agreed purchase price will be lowered by $X dollars and
buyer will be responsible for the repair after closing.
Buyer agrees that this completes all inspection related repairs, and the sale will proceed as agreed."

I had something like this (as a buyer) when the inspection discovered some safety related items, in particular the furnace
was leaking Carbon Monoxide. Since it was summer, it did not have to be fixed immediately, and the sellers offered to either put
in an 80% efficient furnace or lower the purchase price by that amount that would cost. I took the decreased purchase price and had
a high efficiency furnace put in.

This was better long-term, but I had to have the money for the furnace and downpayment+closing costs or I could not have done it.
Since you have cash buyers, they do not have cash flow constraints.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by SquawkIdent » Fri May 17, 2019 11:14 am

It’s really interesting to read the different responses to this issue. Basically from the home owners (and previous buyers and sellers) and from the realtors, who make their living off of buying and selling.

I won’t say anything more...it’s just “interesting”.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by vested1 » Fri May 17, 2019 1:53 pm

We recently sold a condo (inherited) which had numerous issues. I was going to have all the needed work done, mostly by myself but took a 5k haircut to sell it, as is, to the 1st person who was shown the house, saving me about 2 months of work and about 5k in material. I had already purchased some material and conveyed it with the sale as an incentive. There was also an expensive fridge that had failed which would have cost too much to repair so I replaced it with the same model (new). I also suggested offering a home warranty to our agent but she said to hold off and the sale went smoothly after they realized I was being more than fair. The condo entered contract one day after going on pre-market for much higher than the appraisal, beating our expectations.

Our main house went on pre-market 5 days ago and we've already received 2 full price offers, far over the appraised value. It passed the pest and home inspection, but we haven't heard back from the city. I'm painting, inside and out, as well as fixing all the things they identified, and some they didn't. The buyers don't know it yet, but since this house is 51 years old I'm including a home warranty to cover them should anything go wrong during their 1st year in the house.

People know when you're honest and will reward you for being so. The good will you create by doing more than what's expected tends to smooth out any of those wrinkles that crop up along the way. The best deals are those when both parties walk away satisfied with their success.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by jj45 » Fri May 17, 2019 2:04 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:48 am
The standard real estate contract (used by all agents) where I live does not allow this. It states "Buyer agrees that minor repairs and routine maintenance items of the Real Estate do not constitute defects and are not a part of this contingency" in the inspection section of the contract. It also says "The home inspection shall cover only the major components of the Real Estate" The point is little petty things will not be fixed and/or used to lower the price.
It is interesting how this varies by location. In Colorado, the state mandated contract says that pretty much anything "in Buyer’s sole subjective discretion" is grounds for further negotiation or contract termination.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by deikel » Fri May 17, 2019 3:02 pm

SquawkIdent wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 11:14 am
It’s really interesting to read the different responses to this issue. Basically from the home owners (and previous buyers and sellers) and from the realtors, who make their living off of buying and selling.

I won’t say anything more...it’s just “interesting”.
I don't see this distinction in the posts. I can see 'sell fast, unkown costs money too and don't be emotional' vs 'squeeze every penny out of it, you are in a strong position'

I am not a realtor, just had a learning curve buying and selling primary residences...but to me, a none functional (or out of compliance septic) is not a position of strength in my mind - maybe that's because a septic once failed on me 3 years after I bought the house with an OK inspection.

Everyone brings their own baggage to the table.

I think this is actually the classical case where a realtor does bring value - you get their experience of what is normal and what is not and they push not just first time home buyers over the scary finish line, but also take 'personal' out of the selling equation. If you don't trust your realtor now, why did you use one to begin with. Its the same then going to the doctor and then not taking the prescribed medication....why bother in the first place ?
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by LawProf » Fri May 17, 2019 3:31 pm

(1) Cash offer
(2) Well over your asking price
(3) You're not sure the selling price could even support an appraisal if the purchase money was financed
(4) Problematic septic system

Get the deal done, even if means eating all the septic costs.

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Gardener
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by Gardener » Fri May 17, 2019 4:41 pm

Thanks everyone.

Very fair responses.

Disagree though that 3 offers in 7 days is not a sign of high interest. And buyer has told my agent that he absolutely has to have the house. And since other buyers may be waiting in the background, a reason to not get pushed around too much during the inspection negotiations. Also, I will be renting and not purchasing a house anytime soon which gives me more leverage.

But, agree that my ego and competitiveness got in this more than it should. I have a hard time leaving money on the table when I don't think I have to. Just to add that both agents dealing with the buyer find him to be difficult! And yeah, I thought maybe he was willing to bid up the price and then to maybe get me down on price with a long list of repairs. However, I also agree its reasonable to ask for a functioning septic.

All offers have been above list price, which leads me of course to believe market value is higher than our list price. To me, list price is just a starting point. Market determines what it actually is. We went in thinking that we could possibly be entertaining multiple offers in the sellers market that we are in. We did not have great comps to compare to as the house is unique and in a rural area with a view of a small lake.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri May 17, 2019 9:21 pm

jj45 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:04 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:48 am
The standard real estate contract (used by all agents) where I live does not allow this. It states "Buyer agrees that minor repairs and routine maintenance items of the Real Estate do not constitute defects and are not a part of this contingency" in the inspection section of the contract. It also says "The home inspection shall cover only the major components of the Real Estate" The point is little petty things will not be fixed and/or used to lower the price.
It is interesting how this varies by location. In Colorado, the state mandated contract says that pretty much anything "in Buyer’s sole subjective discretion" is grounds for further negotiation or contract termination.
It is state mandated? Here you don't have to use it. In particular, if you are buying a new construction property from a big builder they have their own contracts. Here you can modify the standard contract anyway both parties agree to and you choose not to use it if you want. Of course, attorney's would need to be involved in writing a contract from scratch if not using the standard contract which would cost $$$$ so almost no one does it.

vested1
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by vested1 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:04 pm

Gardener wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:41 pm
Thanks everyone.

Very fair responses.

Disagree though that 3 offers in 7 days is not a sign of high interest. And buyer has told my agent that he absolutely has to have the house. And since other buyers may be waiting in the background, a reason to not get pushed around too much during the inspection negotiations. Also, I will be renting and not purchasing a house anytime soon which gives me more leverage.

But, agree that my ego and competitiveness got in this more than it should. I have a hard time leaving money on the table when I don't think I have to. Just to add that both agents dealing with the buyer find him to be difficult! And yeah, I thought maybe he was willing to bid up the price and then to maybe get me down on price with a long list of repairs. However, I also agree its reasonable to ask for a functioning septic.

All offers have been above list price, which leads me of course to believe market value is higher than our list price. To me, list price is just a starting point. Market determines what it actually is. We went in thinking that we could possibly be entertaining multiple offers in the sellers market that we are in. We did not have great comps to compare to as the house is unique and in a rural area with a view of a small lake.
Actually, if the home is being financed, the market price, if it askew from appraisals, means less than the lender's willingness to take a risk on what they may consider an inflated price. I sincerely wish you luck, because a stubborn lender in combination with a lower than expected appraisal can kill a deal.

Incidentally, we just entered a 30 day escrow tonight, 5k over asking, 6 days on the pre-market with a backup full price offer. Now if the lender agrees we are in business!

vested1
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by vested1 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:08 pm

vested1 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:04 pm
Gardener wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:41 pm
Thanks everyone.

Very fair responses.

Disagree though that 3 offers in 7 days is not a sign of high interest. And buyer has told my agent that he absolutely has to have the house. And since other buyers may be waiting in the background, a reason to not get pushed around too much during the inspection negotiations. Also, I will be renting and not purchasing a house anytime soon which gives me more leverage.

But, agree that my ego and competitiveness got in this more than it should. I have a hard time leaving money on the table when I don't think I have to. Just to add that both agents dealing with the buyer find him to be difficult! And yeah, I thought maybe he was willing to bid up the price and then to maybe get me down on price with a long list of repairs. However, I also agree its reasonable to ask for a functioning septic.

All offers have been above list price, which leads me of course to believe market value is higher than our list price. To me, list price is just a starting point. Market determines what it actually is. We went in thinking that we could possibly be entertaining multiple offers in the sellers market that we are in. We did not have great comps to compare to as the house is unique and in a rural area with a view of a small lake.
Actually, if the home is being financed, the market price, if it's askew from appraisals, means less than the lender's willingness to take a risk on what they may consider an inflated price. I sincerely wish you luck, because a stubborn lender in combination with a lower than expected appraisal can kill a deal.

Incidentally, we just entered a 30 day escrow tonight, 5k over asking, 6 days on the pre-market with a backup full price offer. Now if the lender agrees we are in business!

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by JoeRetire » Sat May 18, 2019 6:40 am

Gardener wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 6:05 am
Thank you folks.

Do you think adding this clause would be a sensible thing for me to do?

'Given the delays due to weather and environmental health being short staffed on inspectors, Seller agrees to credit buyer the amount of funds needed to pass inspection which will be determined by a written estimate from a licensed contractor of sellers choosing after the perc test is complete. Buyer will be supplied with a copy of the perc test and the written estimate. Should the amount of actual expense on the work be less than the estimate, the difference in estimate and actual will not be credited to buyer. Should the amount of actual expense on the work be more than the estimate, the difference in the amount will not be credited to buyer. Seller agrees to obtain a written estimate for work to pass county and septic inspection, no more, no less. Buyer will be responsible for the cost of any subsequent inspections (if buyer determines it is needed) it chooses after work is completed.'
Are you using a real estate attorney? Get them to craft all clauses - don't do this yourself.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by JoeRetire » Sat May 18, 2019 6:46 am

Gardener wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:41 pm
And buyer has told my agent that he absolutely has to have the house.
Well, that's what your agent told you...
And since other buyers may be waiting in the background, a reason to not get pushed around too much during the inspection negotiations. Also, I will be renting and not purchasing a house anytime soon which gives me more leverage.
Unless this also means that you are willing to pull out of the agreement, it's not clear how this give you more leverage.
However, I also agree its reasonable to ask for a functioning septic.

Yup.
All offers have been above list price, which leads me of course to believe market value is higher than our list price. To me, list price is just a starting point. Market determines what it actually is.
True. Remember that all the above list price offers were made before a septic inspection.

In a hot market, it's often a good buyer's tactic to bid above the asking price.
After inspection, the buyer can easily change their mind if something discovered in the property makes it less attractive, or if a better property comes along.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by jminv » Sat May 18, 2019 7:34 am

Gardener wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 4:41 pm
Thanks everyone.

Very fair responses.

Disagree though that 3 offers in 7 days is not a sign of high interest. And buyer has told my agent that he absolutely has to have the house. And since other buyers may be waiting in the background, a reason to not get pushed around too much during the inspection negotiations. Also, I will be renting and not purchasing a house anytime soon which gives me more leverage.

But, agree that my ego and competitiveness got in this more than it should. I have a hard time leaving money on the table when I don't think I have to. Just to add that both agents dealing with the buyer find him to be difficult! And yeah, I thought maybe he was willing to bid up the price and then to maybe get me down on price with a long list of repairs. However, I also agree its reasonable to ask for a functioning septic.

All offers have been above list price, which leads me of course to believe market value is higher than our list price. To me, list price is just a starting point. Market determines what it actually is. We went in thinking that we could possibly be entertaining multiple offers in the sellers market that we are in. We did not have great comps to compare to as the house is unique and in a rural area with a view of a small lake.
I commented earlier but then remembered what house this was from another one of your thread. I take it back: you should tell the buyer to take it or leave it. I would not mind relisting it at this point for reasons I point out below. It's very desirable and there aren't good comps around it. Any halfway intelligent agent would know that the zillow or redfin estimate was off and that this home would sell in days if they could get you to price it attractively.

Four points:
1. The home inspection you had when you bought the house was lacking. Did you not have a septic system inspection done? The septic system issue is from the previous owners who did an addition. I have been on both sides of this with great and not so great home inspectors - it seems this buyer did get a pretty thorough one.

2. Your agent had you list the price under market value to sell the home quickly. Yes, the market sets the price but a first move to underprice what is a unique asset sets a point to negotiate from. It would have been better to set it higher. Studies have been shown that agents like to sell homes quickly, not for the absolute highest amount.

3. Your agent is having you fix what is essentially a functional obsolescence issue. I take back what I said before, this is a functioning system and this was a cash deal so it wouldn't have been a loan issue (VA loans etc). This is not something you need to do.

4. Your agent, from a few posts up, now tells you that the buyer 'has to have the house'. Okay, then, test this theory and tell them there's a working septic system so you don't know what their problem is.

I ran into something like this a few months ago when a relative was selling a house that had multiple offers in 72 hours. This was a very well known local agent who had a lot of sales. It was amazing seeing her work and it's clear she was very good at what she did which was managing sellers to act against their own interests. She convinced two very smart people to underprice their house and then after they accepted an offer to fix absolutely everything the buyer wanted at their cost to prevent the home sale from falling through, ie, to prevent her having to relist. I'm sure they could have resisted some of the demands but that always carried the chance of complicating the deal and having it fall through, requiring a relisting. Your agents interests are often not the same as your own.

Had the same thing a few years ago. Agent convinced relative to underprice a home. Sold in 2 days, multiple offers, not exactly a hot market.

Case in point: your house. It's actually not that hot of a market. The average home listing is over 4 months. Your home sold very quickly because it was a steal, not just because of it's unique feature. Your agent had you underprice the home and then apparently now it comes out that your realtor knows that the buyer 'has to the have the house'. Well then, you probably could have put 'as is' in the purchase contract to have avoided all of this. Agent didn't tell you to do this because that had a small probability of the deal falling through.

At this point, I'd be inclined to tell the buyer to take it or leave it. They'll probably take it since it's actually a functioning system and they 'have to have it'. You could give them a few thousand off the list price if you want but then make it 'as is'.

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Gardener
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by Gardener » Sat May 18, 2019 7:46 am

Thanks again. Very valid challenges and arguments against my current thinking.

So, I did find out from my agent that since buyer is paying cash, septic does not have to pass to get to settlement.

So, I have ball park estimates mostly in the 9-12k range (one was $5-12k) . But, the perk test, which will probably not be until 2-3 weeks would determine a more firm price on the work. I close in late June.

Are there any other clauses/addendums (and the ones already posted on the forum have been great and appreciated) to just credit the buyer $x dollars or reduce by $x dollars to get this done with the least amount of hassle possible?

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Gardener
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by Gardener » Sat May 18, 2019 7:55 am

Thanks jminv.

Agree with your line of thinking.

I don't believe the buyer will let this go. I do believe there is a 90% chance I could tell him to take or leave it and he wouldn't like it, and hem and haw but he'd ultimately take it. I know a lot of folks think I'm being greedy, but because of the sellers market, buyers very high interest, I don't see why I should settle.

Also agree that my agent listed it too low. I take responsibility for that too as I, of course, could have set the amount for anything I chose. Just difficult getting great comps in my area.

And for the septic. Bad on me for not doing my due diligence and getting a septic test done when I purchased. Was young and naïve when I purchased nearly 10 years ago. Sadder and a little wiser now!

HomeStretch
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by HomeStretch » Sat May 18, 2019 7:57 am

Gardener wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:46 am
Are there any other clauses/addendums (and the ones already posted on the forum have been great and appreciated) to just credit the buyer $x dollars or reduce by $x dollars to get this done with the least amount of hassle possible?
For final contract language on this issue, my suggestion is to work with your real estate attorney and realtor.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by LawProf » Sat May 18, 2019 8:44 am

Gardener wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:55 am

I know a lot of folks think I'm being greedy, but because of the sellers market, buyers very high interest, I don't see why I should settle.
I don't think you're being greedy, but you said in your first post you don't know if an appraisal would support the purchase price. If those concerns bear fruition, it doesn't matter how many other offers are out there if they are being financed. So your market may very well be smaller than you think given this giant unknown. Plus now, the product you're selling has changed since you probably need to disclose the septic issue if you re-list. Septic is a scary word to a lot of people. I would be prepared to eat all the costs of the septic to get this cash deal done, while all the same trying to negotiate the best deal possible.

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Gardener
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by Gardener » Sat May 18, 2019 9:25 am

Thanks Lawprof

So far:

We are under contract at $475k

I've agreed to the $5,xxx in general repairs/buyer credits and completed most of them.

And agreed if the buyer does not accept our offer to credit $x,xxx to be paid for septic, I would then need to repair the septic to relist. Then, face the unknown of what the appraisal would come back on a buyer financing.

All of the above becomes almost moot points because while anything is possible, I don't believe buyer will let the property go. And while it would stink to have to start over and relist, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I would just live there a little longer. Average Days on market in my area is less than 60 days.

Not arguing with anyone, just debating it for my own clarity.

mpnret
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by mpnret » Sat May 18, 2019 10:58 am

From your posts it sound like all inspections are done and deficiences found. A perc test is only done to determine size requirement for a new septic field so I assume you are only getting it done for a firm septic estimate. I wouldn't get it done at this point. You already agreed to 5K in miscellaneous repairs. You really wern't clear on septic estimates but it sounds like your cheapest one is for 5K. Offer 10k off selling price with seller agreeing to make all necessary repairs. Throw out that wordy proposal you posted which really paints you into a corner. Seller may accept or counter which I would seroiusly consider. You really don't want to dig up that yard while you are still there. Remember if this deal falls through that same septic issue is going to come up again.

stan1
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by stan1 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:43 am

Gardener wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:55 am

Also agree that my agent listed it too low. I take responsibility for that too as I, of course, could have set the amount for anything I chose. Just difficult getting great comps in my area.
Nothing wrong with listing it a little low. You got multiple offers which bid up the price. Better to list it a little low than listing it too high.

Close the escrow as soon as possible. Don't give the buyer more time to come up with real or perceived issues that then get thrown back into renegotiations especially if there are still contingencies (or if your state has very buyer friendly laws on getting out of a home sale agreement).

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Gardener
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Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by Gardener » Sun May 19, 2019 7:46 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

Please advise on how to respond to buyers request (at the bottom with picture)?

My home that I am selling is under contract at $4xx,xxx, $25k above list price, cash offer on a house built in ~1985. In a definite sellers market where I am. House is very unique, has a lake view, a few acres.

Buyer has requested a list of repairs, many I thought seemed silly. Still, I've either agreed to the repairs or to credit him.

One request I do not know what to do about. He has asked to have my electric meter remounted, or put elsewhere above grade, because it is currently said to be below grade. And you can see the rust on the meter (see pic below). He is concerned, I guess, that the meter will deteriorate farther.

The problem is the local electric company does not allow homeowners or outside contractors to do anything with their property. And electric company is a huge company that has thus far been willing to address or take care of. Its just not high on their priority list. It is doubtful that they will cooperate with any of this that the buyer is requesting. I've called more than once. They say they will come out and look, but haven't. I cannot get them to go along with this.

Buyer specifically request the following:

that once (local power company) evaluates the meter if there are any repairs to be made to the meter or electrical lines that (local electric company) is not going to correct, the seller agrees to have a licensed electrician make the repair as per (local power company's) report. Should BGE deem the meter acceptable AS IS, then the seller has no further obligations regarding the meter.

https://ufile.io/jo4n0c4f

Very appreciative!

petulant
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by petulant » Sun May 19, 2019 7:55 pm

Tell him you've done everything you can to contact the power company, and you've acceded to every other demand (if true). If this is really something he will blow up the deal over, let him do it. That's my two cents.

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Nate79
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by Nate79 » Sun May 19, 2019 7:59 pm

What does your agent say?

earlyout
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by earlyout » Sun May 19, 2019 8:00 pm

The buyer thinks it is a problem and wants to get it checked out. If I were selling the house I would do what the buyer asks. If the sale falls through, the next potential buyer may request the same thing since it looks like an obvious problem.

(It may be as simple as a little emory cloth and a can of grey Rustoleum to keep everyone happy.)

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unclescrooge
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by unclescrooge » Sun May 19, 2019 8:01 pm

If the electric company had a problem with it, they will fix it.

Sounds like a nervous first time home buyer, and possibly a newbie agent representing him. Where is your agent in this picture?

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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun May 19, 2019 8:03 pm

Change the language to the effect that "seller will reimburse the cost of the electrician of buyer's choice up to $XX for any repairs to the electric meter that are required by the electric company, after inspection, that will not be made by the electric company. Buyer to provide a copy of the report from the electric company and the bill from the electrician."

(Some buyers request reimbursement or reductions for things that, once they are owners, are not in fact done.)

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Reb Tevye
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by Reb Tevye » Sun May 19, 2019 8:04 pm

Sure looks funny to me.
I don’t know anything about meters.

But this guy seems annoying enough that if I had the time to hopefully find another buyer, I’d start saying “no” just to spite him and see if he and his over-bid money go away.

Just a hunch, he wants your house.
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun May 19, 2019 8:07 pm

By the way- it's not uncommon for some items required for closing to not be done in time. I once had a problem with a meter reading. When requesting a change in the language, you could note that the electric company has not been responsive and that this is your attempt to keep the closing on schedule.

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FIREchief
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by FIREchief » Sun May 19, 2019 8:11 pm

I'll be contrarian. I've followed both threads at a high level. When I sold a house (very recently) my attitude was that I would fix anything (before listing, during listing, after inspection) that I would fix if I intended to still live there for a long time. That said, I might have "fixed" the septic system (we don't have enough info) but would definitely do something about an electrical panel that was sunk in the ground and rusting. That looks ridiculous, and I'm not an electrician. I can't imagine how it came to this. Just fix the dang thing and sell the house with a clear conscience.
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Gardener
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by Gardener » Sun May 19, 2019 8:21 pm

Thanks Firechief.

But, that's the thing. The local power company does not allow me or any outside contractor to do anything with their equipment. And the power company said they would come out in 5-7 business days to check it out. That was 14 business days ago! The power company just gives me the run around and uncooperative. A licensed electrician looked at it and said the local power company would have to deal with it. He also indicated it was silly and completely unnecessary.

The power company put the meter in the spot it is in the first place.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by ResearchMed » Sun May 19, 2019 8:24 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:03 pm
Change the language to the effect that "seller will reimburse the cost of the electrician of buyer's choice up to $XX for any repairs to the electric meter that are required by the electric company, after inspection, that will not be made by the electric company. Buyer to provide a copy of the report from the electric company and the bill from the electrician."

(Some buyers request reimbursement or reductions for things that, once they are owners, are not in fact done.)
How about putting $X in escrow for this purpose. Buyer can have up to the full amount upon presentation of receipt; Seller gets anything left.

We had two "issues" when we purchase our house. One was that the AC couldn't really be tested due to outside temps.
There was also a mattress in the attic that we wanted removed.

We got reimbursed for the mattress removal (not a big deal to either of us; without the AC concern, we probably wouldn't have bothered).
About a month later, the AC kicked on, and was working fine.
Most of the money was sent back to the seller (which I think was a real surprise to them).

It was all very straightforward. We've since visited them overseas, so obviously none of this was adversarial.

RM
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by jminv » Sun May 19, 2019 8:46 pm

Your buyer had a very thorough home inspector judging by the two previous threads. He’s asking for everything Bad in the home inspection report to be repaired. I’ve dealt with this a few times before from the sellers side and it’s not uncommon. It can be irritating and often it’s silly little stuff. Sometimes it’s not. This pic shows a bad setup. If I saw it in a list of home inspection things I’d probably also ask about it.

You, on the other hand, had a lazy home inspector when you purchased the property. It shows how a good home inspector is required and what can happen if you don’t have a seller fix the issues when you yourself but the house - you then get to deal with the issues farther down the road. I’ve been on that side before too and it’s a huge pain to have to fix up a lot of issues after moving in. Your buyer is making you do all the deferred maintenance so he doesn’t have to do it at some point himself.

Since this is the electric company, you can either tell the buyer that this is his problem and he needs to call the company himself when he moves in or put some clause in that says how you will deal with it since it won’t be resolved till after closing.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by cheese_breath » Sun May 19, 2019 9:01 pm

Where do you live that this is allowed? I'm surprised having the electric meter in the mud isn't some kind of code violation. See the article below...

https://www.hunker.com/12462051/the-min ... cal-meters

When our Michigan house was built in 1980 they only put it about a couple feet above the ground. But a few years ago they decided it should be 4 feet, and the electric company came around and raised them all.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by barnaclebob » Sun May 19, 2019 9:02 pm

Tell the buyer to pound sand. He can deal with the electric company himself. They installed it, its their equipment, and they may even pay to replace it when it has a problem since they installed it there in the first place.

GuyInFL
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by GuyInFL » Sun May 19, 2019 9:08 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:03 pm
Change the language to the effect that "seller will reimburse the cost of the electrician of buyer's choice up to $XX for any repairs to the electric meter that are required by the electric company, after inspection, that will not be made by the electric company. Buyer to provide a copy of the report from the electric company and the bill from the electrician."

(Some buyers request reimbursement or reductions for things that, once they are owners, are not in fact done.)
+1
Definitely set a dollar limit.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun May 19, 2019 9:23 pm

This is your realtor's job...
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by Doohop65 » Sun May 19, 2019 9:24 pm

The seller has said multiple times and I would reiterate, this is not their equipment and not their problem. It would be like asking for the seller to relocate a rotted telephone pole. It may be unsightly but it can’t be touched.

I would instruct your realtor to explain the equipment is owned by the power company and move on. You have already done enough for this individual. If they walk so be it.

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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by Bacchus01 » Sun May 19, 2019 9:28 pm

The buyer cannot make an inspection contingency on something like that. That box is Utility property. it's not even your property.

Tell them to pound sand. If they balk, keep their down payment and move along.

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MP123
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by MP123 » Sun May 19, 2019 9:44 pm

That service entrance box is mounted in contact with the ground. Completely unacceptable in any area of the country I'm familiar with.

But it belongs to the power company so it's their issue.

I'd limit the buyers request as worded to $x (where x is maybe $1k) and be done with the place. No one else is going to want to buy that without raising the same questions.

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 19, 2019 9:52 pm

Gardener - In order to give appropriate advice, it's best to keep all the info in one spot. I merged your update back into the original. I also updated the first post to your update.
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veindoc
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by veindoc » Sun May 19, 2019 10:23 pm

If the meter needs to be re-mounted, wouldn’t the electric company pay for that? I wonder if there is a way to find out? Once upon a time there was some issue with the water lines. Something with a shut off valve? Either way the water company send out almost daily letters for a month to let us know techs would be in the area and would have to enter our house to do whatever with the main line. We were instructed to make appointments but also to verify credentials of the tech (anticipating bad elements taking advantage of the situation I suppose). Bottom line the utility company handled the repair/upgrade of the line inside our homes for free.

Are meters read remotely in your area or do they send out a technician? Perhaps you can find out when they are in your neighborhood to read your meter.

As to what to say to buyer: This will not be resolved prior to closing date and the request can not be completed. Feel free to outline measures taken and unresponsiveness of utility company. And leave it at that.

You’ve acted in good faith up to this point.

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FIREchief
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Re: Selling Home: Demanding Buyer Part 2 (picture)

Post by FIREchief » Sun May 19, 2019 10:56 pm

Gardener wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:21 pm
Thanks Firechief.

But, that's the thing. The local power company does not allow me or any outside contractor to do anything with their equipment. And the power company said they would come out in 5-7 business days to check it out. That was 14 business days ago! The power company just gives me the run around and uncooperative. A licensed electrician looked at it and said the local power company would have to deal with it. He also indicated it was silly and completely unnecessary.

The power company put the meter in the spot it is in the first place.
I need to apologize. In the area I live in the homeowner would likely be responsible for the costs to properly relocate that meter.
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lkar
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by lkar » Sun May 19, 2019 11:08 pm

Buyer’s language actually seems kind of reasonable to me. If the electric co. thinks it’s their responsibility then no problem, but if electric co. says this is a homeowner responsibility it seems like a reasonable seller responsibility.

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F150HD
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by F150HD » Mon May 20, 2019 5:44 am

stan1 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:08 am
Emotion creeps in on real estate deals. Don't worry about a few thousand dollars. Get the deal done.

Was the addition permitted and signed off? Did the county stipulate that the septic system had to be enlarged? Septic inspections are done by septic install and maintenance companies. Of course the septic company would like someone to spend $10K on an upgrade.

The buyer is looking for ways to get some money back from you. Give them a little. Close the deal. Don't take the position that someone has to win and someone has to lose.

I was once working with a realtor I had a good relationship with and who I knew had a competitive spirit. I simply told him "do the best you can" once it became clear we were talking about less than 3% of purchase price. He took that as a personal challenge, went off and had some fun beating down the other agent, and I ended up with 90% of the disputed amount and the other party got 10%.
these appear contradictory.

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F150HD
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by F150HD » Mon May 20, 2019 5:45 am

...
Buyer, to be frank, has been an annoyance, asking for silly stuff here and there. He requested to be there when the county comes by and inspects the septic and drain field so that an appropriate plan for the tank and drain field could be established. I told him respectfully no, because we will already have myself, my licensed contractor, and a person from the county there. I did not want him driving up the cost, by going beyond what was necessary to pass septic inspection.
I have estimates from contractors to be ~$10,000 for repair...
guy is paying half a million cash for a home and he can't be on site for the septic plans. :confused

I would never want a seller managing something of this magnitude for me (if I were the buyer). its a big deal, a big cost and I'd want no corners cut- am guessing thats why the buyer wanted to be on site for it.
As the buyer, I would want to handle these repairs myself, to make sure they are done to my standards. The seller is motivated to do them as cheaply and quickly as possible.
+1

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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Mon May 20, 2019 6:11 am

In a former life, I was an electrician. The power company supplied the meter base but I was responsible for mounting it in a code-compliant location, part of which included the proper height. That location doesn't meet code. The power company would then run the line up to the meter and connect it. My gut on this (although I am sure different power companies could be different, is that they will expect the property owner to move the meter to a proper location and then they will re-connect it. If I needed to replace a meter base for some reason, the power company would come out and disconnect their service, I would do the work and have it inspected, and then they would re-connect.

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Gardener
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Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Post by Gardener » Mon May 20, 2019 6:19 am

Agreed its not installed in the correct location but I had nothing to do with that. The electric company installed it.

Electric company has told me if the meter is remounted, in the same general vicinity, it will be local electrics company responsibility. If I chose to move to another location, the responsibility would be mine. Called the local electric company and they gave me this information, which is also on their website:

Electric Equipment

The information below distinguishes between equipment owned by (local power company) and equipment owned by the customer or property owner.
• (local power company responsible for)
◦Electrical service wire coming from (local electric company) system (overhead or underground)
◦Riser - conduit that protect cables going to the meter
◦Meter enclosure/box
◦Meter

Customer
◦Service entrance cable - line side of meter. (The point where (local power company) equipment attaches to customer building to the meter box.)
◦Service entrance cable from load side of meter

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