Does a Seller Have to Fix Safety Items?

October 24, 2017

Westcoe Realtors, Riverside Ca…As a buyer of a home, one of the most important things you can do once you have found your dream home and entered escrow is to have your property inspected by a qualified home inspector.  You can use the one your agent recommends, or you can find your own, but all Realtors would advise you to have someone check your home out for any issues that may exist that are unknown to you.


Once this home inspection is completed, your inspector will prepare a detailed report, itemizing any problems or issues with the home.  Could be the property is totally fine, or there could be some minor, or even major items that need repair.  However, the question for today is this;  if some of the items noted for repair are safety issues (electrical problems are a common one), does the seller HAVE to repair them?


And the short answer is……NO.


Technically, the seller does not HAVE to fix anything…but in the real world, the buyer doesn’t have to complete the sale either…so most of the time, it gets worked out.  Assuming the buyers inspection was done during the standard 17 day time period for the buyer to do any “due diligence” on the investigation of the home, then when issues arise, the buyer and seller need to negotiate who fixes what…and if they can’t come to an agreement, then the sale blows up, and everyone goes their separate ways.


Normally, since the seller wants to sell and the buyer wants to buy, these things get resolved…and again, normally, the seller will do most of the fixing, including safety items.  However, some times a home is sold “as-is”, which means that while the seller must disclose what they know to be wrong with the home, they are saying they will not fix anything.  In a case like that, hopefully the buyer is paying less for the home, but the bottom line is that the seller has made it clear that they will not make any repairs.


In the end, given a willing seller and a willing buyer, these things eventually get worked out to both the buyers and sellers satisfaction…but just understand…no one HAS to do anything.  The seller does not have to fix, and the buyer does not have to buy, and hopefully you will find yourself somewhere in the middle!


Thanks for reading our blog, and let us know if there is any issue you would like to see us address in this space.







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