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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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crackCassandra Madsen/Shutterstock

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. Are you on the lookout for a new home? Here are 10 things people regret overlooking when buying.

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windowGlass Specialists

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. There is very little energy lost through a failed window seal. The insulating value loss is extremely minimal,” explains real estate expert Bill Gassett.

Here’s how to replace insulating glass.

Photo: Courtesy of Glass Specialists

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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. Once your home is purchased, check out these 20 tips for planning a successful house remodel.

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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.

Here’s when you should replace a carbon monoxide detector.

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houseFrank Fennema/Shutterstock

Termites


“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’s how to get rid of termites.

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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. Here’s how to fix a light that just stopped working.

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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. Once you’ve purchased, check out these inexpensive landscaping updates that make a splash.

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FH04JAU_03361_023_1200x1200 fix a leaky faucet sink tapFamily Handyman

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. Seller have to make sure plumbing is up to code, but a minor faucet drip is something you shouldn’t worry about. Here are the top 10 plumbing fixes you can do yourself.

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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. Here’s what you need to know about asphalt patching and crack repair.