What to do when the buyer and seller both say they are not making any repairs…
I had an agent come to me about a home inspection problem he was having on one of his listings. Basically, the inspection came back with lots of minor issues that the buyers were asking the seller to take care of. We have all been in this situation before where the buyer wants the seller to make a few repairs before moving forward with the deal. Right? Yes, it happens on just about every single transaction. Normal stuff. Well, the problem this agent was having was that when the original offer was first submitted and negotiated, the sellers were adamant that they were coming too far off the price already and that they were not going to be making any repairs. As far as they were concerned, they were selling the house AS IS. So, when the inspection come back with a few minor issues and the buyer requested that the seller take care of these issues, the agent freaked out and became scared of the situation. They thought that the sellers were going to eat his head off if he came back to them with anything about the inspection. This of course was all in his head. He had not even talked to the sellers about it yet.
He came in my office with a very distraught look on his face. He told me the situation and asked me what he should do. I said, “Man, this is fine. This is nothing to worry about.” He replied, “What do you mean? The seller said they are absolutely not going to fix anything and were very stern and adamant about it. I just don’t know what to do.” I told him the first thing to do immediately is to stop worrying about it. Worrying about things never fixes anything. Did you know that 90% of the things that people worry about never even happen. And, here you are worrying about stuff that will never happen. Furthermore, the 10% of stuff you worry about that does happen is easily taken care of. Your job in real estate and life is to maintain complete optimism under all circumstances about the outcome of every situation. Then, if something bad does happen, take the “cross that bridge when we get there” approach. Which means don’t worry about it until it happens. When you approach life this way, it leads to more favorable outcomes. When you are positive throughout the entire situation, you notice more opportunities to create a better outcome for everyone involved. Whereas if you are worried that the outcome will be bad, you aren’t looking for the best possible solution as hard because you already “think” you know what the outcome will be.
I told him to approach his sellers with confidence and tell them that he knows they said that they were not going to do any repairs whatsoever, but they are still asking for these few minor items to be addressed. Wouldn’t you want these small repairs to be made? Look, you are going to have to fix these items regardless if this buyer closes or not, right?
He agreed that worrying was not the answer and that what I had told him made perfect sense. He went back to the seller and told them exactly what I told him to tell them. By the end of the day, he came back into my office with a big grin on his face. I asked, “What’s that all about?” He said that when he told the sellers about the repairs, she didn’t even blink an eye. She said that she would have the repairs done within a few days.
You see, he had nothing to worry about, but yet he was worried to death. It just goes to show you that you never know what side of the bed a buyer or seller woke up on that day. Regardless of how you think they will react to something, you cannot predict it. If they genuinely want to buy or sell the property that you are in contract with, they will make the necessary arrangements to make the deal work.
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