The home buying process in Massachusetts typically involves a home inspection. Negotiating home repairs in MA real estate contracts is common, and there are a few different ways that it can occur. It ultimately depends on the preferences of both buyer and seller.
Seller concessions are a common option. Essentially, the seller pays a certain amount of money towards buyer’s closing costs. The buyer, in turn, takes care of repairs on his/her own after closing. The amount of money involved is obviously negotiable. Buyers do inherit some risk in this scenario since it’s possible that repairs may end up costing more than estimated. However, this solution is cleaner and easier to manage from a closing perspective.
Repairs Before Closing
Some buyers prefer to have repairs completed by the seller. Perhaps they are first time buyers or are simply not handy (and therefore weary of issues). Language is normally added to the purchase contract indicating the specific repairs agreed to and that it must be completed before closing. In some cases, this could delay closing depending on the extent of repairs and availability of contractors.
Important Notes About Negotiating Home Repairs in MA Real Estate Contracts
Whenever negotiating home repairs in MA real estate contracts, it is important to carefully document the agreement. What exactly will be repaired? Are certain materials or products to be used? What shall be provided as proof of completion? Failure to be specific in the terms could result in misunderstandings and issues before closing.
For example, a buyer may negotiate replacement of a heating system. Heating systems vary greatly in size and quality. The seller may opt for the least expensive solution whereas the buyer may expect a much better quality unit. If these terms are not discussed in advance, it could jeopardize the transaction, creating a headache for both parties.
Proper negotiation of repairs involves both parties understanding what the other is asking so that the terms agreed to are clear for all parties. If possible, reference materials/products to be used, who shall complete the work (i.e. a licensed contractor), should permits be pulled, and include any other expectations/conditions. Doing so will help guarantee proper workmanship and a successful closing.