What to Fix and What to Leave for the New Owners

The new trend in the automobile industry is the electric car. Be it a hybrid version or a car that is 100% electric, the industry is certainly pointing in that direction by eliminating the need for fossil fuels. As with any new technology there will always be a few fits and starts as it relates to maintenance.

Some of the maintenance can be ignored as inconsequential while other items are an absolute must, otherwise the electric car will be undrivable.

If you own a home and are preparing to sell it or already have an awaiting the new owners, are there some things you absolutely must fix or can you leave behind a few maintenance issues and let the new owners deal with them?

There are a couple of considerations. The first being what is called “deferred maintenance.” Deferred maintenance is most often an item highlighted during the course of a property appraisal. Deferred maintenance means there are some issues with the property that need to be corrected before a lender will place a loan on the property.

When a buyer applies for a loan and the lender orders the appraisal, if any deferred maintenance is listed, the loan will stop until the issue is corrected. Sometimes the issue is so severe the buyers cancel the sales contract altogether.

Second, things that sellers must fix before the closing can take place will typically be listed in the sales contract. If the sellers do not fix these items, it can hold up the closing. Further, buyers can demand the issues be addressed or otherwise the buyers may elect to renegotiate the offer.

Say a contract is signed and the buyers order a property inspection. During the inspection, it is discovered there are stains on the carpet in one of the bedrooms. The buyers can then resubmit a revised sales contract asking the sellers to remove the stain or replace the carpet. If the sellers agree, they’re obligated to repair or replace the carpet.

One last note, there are some things your real estate agent will suggest that you address in order to make the home more appealing. While you may not need a new coat of interior paint, your agent might tell you that you’ll get more money from the sale if you make certain improvements and touch-ups.

These of course are all optional. But if it’s in the contract, be prepared to perform.