Profile picture for user112681

Are these repair requests too much?

In NJ, our contract states we are buying the home as-is and can only walk away from the contract if certain major issues are not addressed - the home's structure, major systems not working, mold/radon or flooding issues, etc. Thankfully our home inspection did not reveal any of these. However, there are a number of things the report did point out that we will need to budget for in the near future, just due to the age of the home. .

Our sellers are an older couple in their 80s and are the original owners - the house is 52 years old. We dont want to offen them by asking for certain repairs, and we know we're not entitled to them, but we'd at least like to ask. Do you think these requests are reasonable or should we eliminate a few?

- adding GFI outlets in kitchen, bathroom and outside where needed. The house also still has older wiring and a few 2 prong outlets but we figured we'd do those updates on our own eventually.

-sidewalk has a few "lifts" where roots pushed them up, and we think if the twp doesnt require them to be replaced/fixed, our insurance will.

-garage door opener is older and doesn't have the auto-reverse safety feature. asking for that to be replaced.

-wall unit a/c in a bedroom doesn't work. House has central air, so we dont know why the wall unit was needed, but since its in the wall and not a window, we can't easily patch it up and would like a new one.

- garbage disposal doesn't work. other appliances are included in the home (dishwasher, fridge, washer, dryer) and they are giving a home warranty, but we dont know if the disposal is covered.

We will also suggest/request they consider negotiating with us for a credit for the repairs or assisting with closing costs. Do you think these requests are excessive? Should we focus on just a few? Or, do you think there's no harm in asking

  • August 20 2012 - US
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for Ofe Polack
I think you should discuss these issues with your buyer agent.  We don't even know how much you paid for the house, and on top of that the house was sold "as is"  which leads me to believe that it was priced already taking into consideration the things that needed to be done.  Since you already agreed to purchase the home "as is"  I believe that if you walk away the seller may not want to release your escrow deposit.
  • August 21 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I would say that you are asking for too much. As a seller, I would turn you down flat out of pure whatever or at most offer you a $500 credit to deal with the issues after close of escrow. 

  • August 20 2012
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
Since you already have a contract that says "NONE" of those items are covered, you should not be asking for any of them!  They should have been in your initial offer!  If you ask for them, the seller has a right to keep your earnest money and cancel the contract and sell it to someone that wants the property instead.

By the way, I agree with Rita that your insurance policy will not cover the replacement of a section of sidewalk, nor with the home warranty replace the garbage disposal.

All those items are of such low costs, that you should be doing that work yourself (except perhaps the concrete work).

Who owns the sidewalk anyway?  If in the public right of way, it may be the city's liability to make sure it is "safe" for the public.  But in many areas, if the city corrects it, they charge the property owner, or put a lien on the property, or add it to the property tax.

New air-conditioners rarely fit existing wall openings.  Patching a hole in a wall is no-big deal, and is typically less work than installing a wall AC unit.  Even if not being sold "as is", you would not be getting a new AC unit.  At most, they would just remove it and do a poor quality patch.  If you want quality workmanship, you shouldn't let the seller randomly hire anyone to do the work.  The only way you will know that you get the work done the way you want is to do it yourself.

Asking for closing costs after you already had your offer accepted and already having a contract?  That is absolutely crazy and foolish!  Didn't you have an agent to explain these things to you BEFORE you made your offer?
  • August 20 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Yes, I suspect those repair requests are too much.  You went into an "as is" contract, and what you are requesting is suggesting you have second thoughts and didn't really agree to  "as is".  However, most likely the price and your offer were "as is" pricing.    If I were a seller in the circumstances, I'd say "sorry, no, thanks for the offer, bye".



  • August 20 2012
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Profile picture for Rita Walker
Do you feel your offer would have been greater if the home was not being sold "as is"?
Homes being sold under those conditions have most often considered things need repair and adjust the price to reflect that.

I am not sure how your contract covers any of this, but if you truly signed a contract stating you were buying "as is" , the home is most likely yours in the present condition.

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You can try to renegotiate. However, I believe all of the items you mentioned are things you should have known prior to placing an offer.
That was when you should have done your negotiating.

Most of these items may be construed as frivolous.

"- adding GFI outlets in kitchen, bathroom and outside where needed. The house also still has older wiring and a few 2 prong outlets but we figured we'd do those updates on our own eventually".

Easily seen while viewing.

"-sidewalk has a few "lifts" where roots pushed them up, and we think if the twp doesnt require them to be replaced/fixed, our insurance will".

Easily seen while viewing.

"-garage door opener is older and doesn't have the auto-reverse safety feature. asking for that to be replaced".

Easily seen while viewing.

"-wall unit a/c in a bedroom doesn't work. House has central air, so we dont know why the wall unit was needed, but since its in the wall and not a window, we can't easily patch it up and would like a new one".

Easily seen and checked while viewing.

"- garbage disposal doesn't work. other appliances are included in the home (dishwasher, fridge, washer, dryer) and they are giving a home warranty, but we dont know if the disposal is covered".

Easily checked while viewing.



FYI Insurance and home warranties usually do not cover pre-existing conditions.



  • August 20 2012
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Profile picture for CCarron

I'm only licensed in VA, so I'm not familiar with NJ sales contracts. However, you and your agent should carefully review the contract to see whether, in fact, you agreed to buy the home as-is, or if the seller warranted that appliances and mechanical systems are in working order. This "warranty" may be in a different paragraph of the sales contract than the "as is" language, and one paragraph should say whether it supersedes the other paragraph. If in fact you agreed to accept everything as-is, did you retain the right to cancel the contract based upon the results of your home inspection? If not, then you are obligated to proceed and have no basis to request any repairs from the sellers. However, if you have the right to cancel, and your time to cancel has not run, then everything your inspector found is negotiable. As for my view on what is fair: 1) GFI outlets were not required when the house was built. Unless there was a renovation since the electrical codes changed, I don't think it's fair to ask the sellers to install GFIs. 2) Sidewalk -- are you sure that's the homeowner's responsibility rather than the township's?  If it's the homeowner's responsibility you might ask the township to inspect; if they cite the current owner, then you have a solid basis to ask the seller to repair before settlement.  3) Garage door opener -- as with the GFIs, I don't think it's fair to ask the sellers to replace a functioning device that met codes when it was installed.  4) Wall A/C unit -- I think it is fair to ask sellers to repair or replace. You may find that this room doesn't get sufficient cooling from the central system.  5) Garbage disposer -- I think it is fair to ask sellers to repair or replace. Your home warranty will not cover an appliance that was not functioning at the time of settlement (a "preexisting condition"). 6) Credit in lieu of repairs -- This always is a good idea because sellers don't have to deal with repair companies, and buyers can be sure the repairs/replacements are done correctly. However, your lender may require that the purchase price be reduced by the amount you and the sellers agree to, rather than this being a credit toward closing costs.  Please reply and let me know if this was helpful.

  • August 20 2012
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