The California Association of Realtors Purchase Agreement specifically states that all homes as sold “as-is”. That being said, the buyer has the right to make a request for repairs during the transaction. There is an art to making a request for repairs. The following is how I like to handle it when representing a buyer in a real estate transaction.
Typically, buyers have the best luck when asking for health and safety items. A mis-wired outlet, a damaged roof, and a leaking faucet are examples of things a seller is usually willing to fix. Asking for items that were completely visible when touring the house is a bad idea. These visible issues should be accounted for in your offer price. A seller doesn’t want to negotiate on the same items twice.
It is a great idea to make the request for repairs brief. A verbose request for repairs makes the actual request look worse. I literally use as few words as possible while still conveying the request. I also like to be very specific when making a request for repairs. If the inspection said an outlet was improperly wired then I request a licensed electrician ensure the specific outlet is wired properly. We do not want an grey area. You should always include the home inspection report and reference the report in the request for repairs. If you obtained any specific bids, include those as well. For example, “ABC Roofing to repair slipped tiles on roof. Bid attached.”
If you’re uncertain the seller is capable of hiring the proper professional or of doing the job correctly themselves then it is best to ask for a realistic credit towards repairs. Ideally, you’ll base that request off of an actual bid. This credit will come in the form of a credit towards closing costs. Lenders don’t allow for buyers to have credits towards repairs.
Making a request for repairs is an art. No home is perfect. One should expect every home to have a few issues come up. Stick to the important stuff and you’ll end up with the best results!