Seller Strategies: The Buyer Is Requesting Repairs

As the real estate market changes here on the Big Island and nationwide, more buyers are asking for repairs during escrow. This is especially true with homes and condos that need major renovations or large repairs.

The most effective strategy for sellers is to be well-prepared by thinking about this in advance. A pre-listing home inspection will make you aware of conditions a buyer may want to address when making an offer on your Big Island home/condo.

Preparation is by far the most important part of a smooth and straightforward sale transaction. Below are some strategies that I recommend to all sellers, which may help you develop new strategies when selling your property.

Have a Pre-Listing Inspection for Your Big Island Home

While at first glance, going ahead with a pre-listing inspection when selling your Big Island home may seem like it adds stress, it actually allows you the comfort of knowing what will pop up when the buyer inevitably has his own inspection. The more you know ahead of time will keep you from being blindsided.

aerial view of big island condo complex with ocean in background

In my experience, sellers are typically thankful they took advantage of the pre-listing inspection option. They’re ready for whatever buyers might throw at them, and it streamlines the selling process to make for a smoother escrow period.

Get Estimates on Repairs

Finding out about any problems, both major and minor, ahead of time allows you the opportunity to fix things. In some cases, fixing an issue could be less expensive for you to do ahead of time instead of waiting for buyers to give negative feedback, especially if there are a lot of little problems that may overwhelm potential buyers. This means you can get under contract quicker and often bring higher offers.

big island condos

Major repairs – such as mold remediation and replacing air conditioners – may be costly. In today’s market, replacing an old AC can cost you much more than it initially cost; for example, knowing an AC needs replacement would likely trigger some negotiation from buyers. Knowing about problems that may be present in your Big Island home through a pre-listing inspection can also give you time to source new appliances before buyers ever know there’s an issue.

Getting estimates on repairs you aren’t able or willing to take on yourself can also help you get some insight into what concessions a buyer might ask for. It can also assist your agent in properly pricing your home at the outset, which is especially important in today’s Big Island real estate market.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

You may have received an offer lower than the asking price, and the buyer is still asking for repairs.

When this happens, you can decide at that time if you want to move forward or let the buyer know they already received a discount with the lowered price.

small backyard and lanai at big island condo

Many real estate agents used the Hawaii As-Is Addendum last year to help minimize buyers asking for repairs. Yet, buyers still have the right to ask for repairs, and lately, they often do. You, as the seller, are not obligated to fix or replace any items the buyer requests.

An As-Is Addendum signals to buyers that you are probably not willing to entertain repair requests and perhaps have made price adjustments already. However, they still may request these things – it’s perfectly fine to hold firm if it’s not something you’re interested in.

Sometimes fixing repairs is just not an option, for example, if a condo is rented back-to-back. Giving a credit might be simpler so you can close faster. Having those estimates from licensed contractors will help you feel confident about offering credit in the correct amount.

Be Prepared

Being thoroughly prepared as a seller is the best way to protect your investment and stress levels. Having the right real estate agent help you with preparation is also crucial in the current real estate market here on the Big Island of Hawaii. Your agent can recommend licensed contractors and will also advise you about items a buyer may want to be replaced. I’d love to hear what strategies worked for you and if you used any other methods.

With Aloha,

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