by SCOTT VOAK | Special Advertisement

Handling the Request for Repairs

As the market is becoming more balanced between buyers and sellers, more homes are falling out of escrow. A lot of this is due to conflicts over the Request for Repairs (R4R) as many sellers (and agents) aren’t used to an environment where the seller needs to agree to many repairs. When there are multiple offers, sellers have options and don’t typically do many repairs.

Now that buyers have more leverage, they are being bolder when it comes to requests. The question is, what should buyers and sellers expect when they get to dealing with the Request for Repairs?

The R4R is the second negotiation in a home purchase. After the price has been settled on, the buyer inspects the property and then makes his or her request. It is reasonable to expect two different categories of repairs: Health and safety items, and issues that could not be discovered prior to the inspection. For example, missing eyes on a garage door could cause the door to come down on a small child, pet, or car. That’s a safety item. A roof leak that only shows in the attic is not going to be found until the inspection. Both are reasonable requests.

What aren’t generally expected are items that were visible to the buyer prior to the offer being made. If there is a broken front window, a buyer’s offer should address that. The seller expects the buyer has seen it and isn’t expecting to address it in a second negotiation.

Despite that fact that most experienced agents agree on this, it’s not unusual to see a buyer come in with a laundry list or a huge credit request – hence the increased cancellations. A lot of this is due to personality types and cultural differences in negotiating, but some of the issues can be traced to agents. An inexperienced or part-time agent often doesn’t have the experience, time, or confidence to correctly advise their buyer, and most of the homes falling out of escrow are from buyers represented by these agents.

That’s why one of the first things I consider when receiving an offer is the agent who wrote it.


re_voakauthorseal Scott Voak, MBA – Broker

Managing Partner
CalDRE #: 01153157
16710 Bernardo Center Dr.
(888) 311-6311