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9 Repair Requests Home Buyers Should Not Ask of Sellers

Choose your battles wisely, or you could lose the home of your dreams.

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Cosmetic issues

As long as there isn’t an underlying, more serious problem causing the issue, normal wear and tear is to be expected. Whether it’s a deck that needs staining, a cracked tile or nicked-up paint, these are issues relatively easy to repair yourself and shouldn’t be brought up to the seller. This is especially true in older homes. This is what buying a house “as is” really means.

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A foggy window

When glass fogs up, diminishing visibility, it’s hard to miss. As a buyer, this should not qualify as a repair request. Failed window seals that cause fogging in insulated glass are fairly common. “Most home inspectors will tell you that a failed window seal is purely cosmetic,” explains real estate expert Bill Gassett. “There is very little energy lost through a failed window seal. The insulating value loss is extremely minimal.” Expect to pay for these 13 things before buying a house.

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Renovations you are planning

A house and a home are different. You buy a house, and then you make it a home. There are clearly going to be some changes you’ll want to make to any house you buy. The seller isn’t responsible for your lifestyle and architectural choices, however.

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Missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

“Depending on where you live, it may be required [of] the seller to replace smoke or carbon monoxide detectors,” notes Ross Anthony, a real estate agent with Willis Allen Real Estate. However, if they don’t, it’s an easy and inexpensive fix you can do yourself without risking the sale.

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houseFrank Fennema/Shutterstock


“Termites are a big issue,” warns Liane Jamason, a broker with Smith & Associates Real Estate. “Some lenders or insurance companies will not write on a property that does not have a clean termite inspection report. This is one such item that most sellers are going to have to fix for any buyer who needs mortgage financing in most cases. But seek the advice of your real estate agent and lender, because if the property had multiple offers, the seller could easily just say no, put the property back on the market, and sell it to someone else who isn’t asking for repairs.” Here are 10 home questions you’ve always wanted to ask but were too afraid to do so.

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switchAlexey Rotanov/Shutterstock

Minor electrical issues

So there’s a light switch that doesn’t work. Do you risk the sale by asking the sellers to fix it? This may only tip them off to your various other minor electrical issue concerns, which can be easily repaired post-closing. These are the things people regret overlooking when buying a home.

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Outdoor landscaping, porch, and fence repairs

A sickly shrub, minor screen tear, or missing fence rail are not things you should ask a seller to replace or repair for you. Cosmetic issues, whether inside or outside the house, are not worth quibbling over. These are the secrets home inspectors won’t tell you.

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Minor plumbing issues

Much like minor electrical issues, problems with plumbing will most likely be laid out during a whole-home inspection. This is, of course, unless it’s a safety issue. Sellers have to make sure plumbing is up to code, but a minor faucet drip is something you shouldn’t worry about. Watch out for these super dangerous signs that could kill a home buy.

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Hairline cracks in the driveway

Unless the crack is more than 1/4 inch wide, you shouldn’t ask the sellers for a repair. If it’s wider than that, plan to have a structural inspection, which could make or break your choice to buy or result in the seller having to make the repair. Make sure you also know how to get the most out of your home inspection.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: