Buying A Home – Repair Requests
Typically, when buying a home you’ll go through an inspection period of some sort. What are these inspections? Well, in most real estate transactions this is where the buyers have time to get an inspector or some kind of licensed professional like a contractor to look over the home. The state you live in will determine whether the inspector needs to be licensed or not. Nonetheless, make sure you review the inspector before using them. If using a Realtor they should help you through the process of finding a well-recommended inspector and more than likely a contractor too. Use your Realtors experience, but don’t forget to also do your homework. Look into reviews on these companies or individuals. Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. are just a click away!
So you got your inspection done. Now what? Well, one thing I’ve told my clients and friends is simple, “You can ask for anything and everything, but I’d consider what you really need, your minimum requirements. No one likes to just give in so think of this like meeting in the middle when done. To add to this, I would recommend using FHA guidelines, which are safe & sound.”
Safe & Sound
So lenders don’t want to lend on something that is too risky, right? The Federal Housing Association (FHA), requires properties to be safe & sound. Which is why I tend to tell clients to make sure we cover these items. Safe & Sound is easier to understand than you think. If a window is broken, for instance, is it safe & sound? Probably not.
Got those repair requests sent and accepted, what’s next? Well, get them done. Many items might be as easy as simply fixing a drain or painting some siding. Others may be more complicated like replacing a window. When representing a client, I always write that repairs need be completed by a licensed contractor, but why? Well, simply put, if my client is getting the property I’d like to make sure that they have piece of mind knowing that the property is in good shape, the repairs have been completed by someone who is experienced and is licensed, and is insured. Furthermore, most professional contractors offer some kind of warranty, whether that’s one year or more.
Cover Your Butt
As a contractor and Realtor I’m a big fan of “covering my butt.” Meaning I make sure my bids include exactly what our team is to complete on a project. Our team is also required to take pictures and notes of the repairs completed to make sure the repairs have been done appropriately, surprises if any have been addressed, and many additional items as needed. You’d be surprised how many times a few pictures have saved my butt. Real estate repair requests are no different. You have to remember no matter the construction project, if you’re dealing with residential projects, you’re dealing with people’s homes. It’s an emotional process that brings out the best and worst of many people. From the seller side you generally have the “my house is perfect or it’s not that big of a deal” while on the buyers side you have “that’s a major problem”. Then add in the Realtors, inspector(s), and contractor(s) into the equation and you get a powder keg ready to happen.
If you leave with only one piece of advice or insight from my article, consider this. Use your Realtor, an inspector, a contractor, and friends and family for advice if you like. However, remember that everyone is going to give you advice, good or bad, and like a good executive or CEO, listen and do your homework on the advice you get. At the end of the day it’s up to you to make the right choice for your new home.