- Buyers will notice the deferred maintenance and it will be reflected in the price. If they don't notice it, or it is not visible, their home inspector will. You are often better off financially taking care of it prior to listing, rather than discounting your price later.
- Sometimes minor repairs send out big warning messages. Buyers often think that if you were willing to ignore obvious repairs, what might be unseen? Sometimes these small items can have big consequences. Many times I have seen cracked or missing grout cause water leaks and ceiling damage on the floor below.
- There will be deferred maintenance items of which you will be unaware. Remember, the home inspector is hired to look at everything--and they prove their worth by finding often obscure concerns (although not always problems). Try to just go with the flow on this, but hire a listing agent that you trust will give you good advice on when to pay and when to hold firm.
- Deferred maintenance items can have big-ticket prices (roof, HVAC, water heater). Do yourself a favor, if you don't intend to replace big ticket items, then have them professionally inspected and maintained. It is worth a couple of hundred dollars to have an HVAC contractor certify that the HVAC is working as expected and that it has received a 'tune up.'
- The hotter the market, the less deferred maintenance matters is a myth. If a buyer feels like they have paid full price, or even over full price, they will often start to get cold feet and will lock in on some of these items. The credits you provide may be more than the value of the repair or inspection. Items repaired prior to listing can often be done by the homeowner or a handyman. At least in Virginia, if you wait until post-inspection, you will be required to use a specialist (ie. a plumber, roofer, etc.) for the repair, as part of the contract.
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