Make a solid repair amendment so that it sticks.
Repair amendments typically come up during the option period. During this time, a buyer will bring out an inspector to check out the home. The items that the inspector finds often form the core of a repair amendment – a buyer can elect to ask for all of the items to be repaired or none at all, it all depends on what they feel is important. These items are written onto a form (simply titled “Amendment” – it can also be used to amend other items in a contract such as sales price, closing date, seller paid closing costs, etc.) and submitted to the seller. The two parties then negotiate the repairs and come to an agreement (or the buyer can terminate the contract under their “unrestricted right” to termination afforded them by the option period). During the time it takes to get to closing, these repairs are to be performed and at closing, the newly repaired home should be ready for the buyers. Side note: the repairs can be negotiated a lot of different ways – who pays, when they have to be completed by, money in lieu of repairs, who has to perform the repairs, etc.
Pick the repairs that matter most.
We all want a house that is in perfect condition, but most sellers most likely won’t repair everything on your list. While you may want to ask for everything on your repair amendment, know that the seller will likely try and negotiate with you for terms favorable to them. The trick is to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. Make a list of repairs that are “deal killers” for you and work to get those included in the negotiations. Some smaller items might need to be traded for the bigger items you really want and need repaired.
Be precise with your repair requests.
Repair amendments are read in a literal manner. Make sure your agent is precise with their wording so that you get exactly what you want. We’ve seen cases where someone wrote “have AC unit checked” and the listing agent did exactly that. They paid someone to “check the AC unit” – it wasn’t working properly, but because of the wording, the seller had no responsibility to have the unit repaired. Be precise and get the results you want.
Ask for receipts and warranties.
Be sure to request receipts and any transferable warranties in your repair amendment. This a) proves the work was done and b) gives you something to fall back on should there be any problems after the sale.
image courtesy of thetorpedodog