What is a Request to Remedy?
House for Sale
A Request to Remedy is…
- A list of items generated from the home inspection report detailing what the buyer would like the seller to resolve prior to closing
- Can allow you out of the signed contract
We put our house on the market with the intent of purchasing a home closer to our children’s school as well as one that we could easily envision our family living in for years. We put an offer on a home that met our needs and the counter offering began. Once the price point was agreed upon, we had no time to sit and celebrate. In addition to preparing our houses for showings and getting our pre-approval letter for financing, we needed to schedule the house inspection.
As a buyer, the house inspection allows you to have an unbiased 3rd party perform a detailed evaluation of the home that you could like to purchase. As a result, a detailed inspection report was generated. I was shocked and pleased with the detail. Any defect in the house was detailed with verbiage as well as a photo.
When we received the report, my husband and I printed it out and began to highlight items that we thought were notable. Then our Realtor emailed us stating it was time to prepare our request to remedy.
I had not heard the term request to remedy, but learned quickly what it entailed.
Home Inspection Table of Contents
The Request to Remedy has Three Options:
- The buyer and seller agree on all items on the remedy list
- The buyer and seller negotiate on which items on the remedy list will be resolve
- The buyers waives the Request to Remedy
Generating a Request to Remedy List
My husband and I read the entire inspection report, but only highlighted true concerns. For example, the inspection report noted broken grout in the bathroom. This is typical with an existing home and we can determine at a later date how or if we chose to address this issue. However, the garage door sensors which prevent the garage door from closing if there is an obstruction, such as a car or child, were not functioning properly. We asked to have this addressed and the sellers agreed to do so.
Create a reasonable remedy list.
Your goal is to have existing issues resolved, but not create animosity with your seller. Perhaps you will need some additional negotiating when the closing date is established or when determining what day you gain possession of the house. Better to keep the buyer on your side than request trivial items that you can fix for a couple of dollars.
Home Repair Options
The Request to Remedy is Negotiable
The remedy list essentially is a wish list. You are hoping the seller will agree and fix the items on your list. However, the list is negotiable.
As a result of the radon evaluation, we requested a radon mitigation system be installed. The seller received an estimate for the mitigation system installation and then offered us that amount in cash. They requested that we complete the installation when we move in. Radon mitigation systems remove radon from your basement by stacking a pipe out of the top of your home. By offering us money, we will complete the repair when we move and we have the ability to determine where the pipe will be seen outside our home.
The seller can refuse to complete anything on the list. Some sellers will offer cash in lieu of any repairs or some will negotiate in return. A friend of mine had a large list of nit-picky items on the remedy list when they sold their home. They decided to ask the buyers if they wanted their washer and dryer in exchange for any repairs. The buyers agreed. Negotiations were complete, the request to remedy was signed and the contract was firm.
Keep in mind that negotiations can occur on the side of both the buyer and the seller.
A Request to Remedy Can Terminate the Contract
I have never studied contract law, but I did learn quickly that there were two phases of our contract. When an offer was put on our house, we then signed a contract agreeing on price. However, the inspection resulted in the remedy list. Not until the remedy list is agreed upon does the contract become firm. If the buyer decides that they are not happy with the inspection, they still have the option to terminate the contract.
One of my friends put a bid on a home that was accepted and then they were in contract. They then had cold feet and no loop hole in their contract to get out. However, the inspection report resulted in determining that wood around the windows were rotten. This is an expensive repair and a stroke of luck! This was their out and the contract was terminated.
When we created our remedy list, we kept this right to terminate in mind. Create a reasonable remedy list allowing for amicable negotiations, the ability to solidify your contract and then proceeding to closing.
Create a Reasonable Request to Remedy
We are learning quite a bit while selling our home. We digested the twenty page inspection report and then requested eight repairs. Because our list was reasonable, it was accepted quickly on all line items except for the radon mitigation which resulted in a counter offer of cash. Both sides were pleased with the remedy negotiations and the contract was signed. As a result, we are in firm contract and we are proceeding to closing.
Additionally, the remedy list on our current home was reasonable as well. Our buyers included four items including grounding the gas line, installing the radon mitigation system (which we countered with cash) and two small repairs.
Best of luck if you find yourself in the remedy phase of your contract negotiations. Keep in mind that there is a difference between being thorough in evaluating the inspection report and going a little overboard.
Walk a fine line and ensure that all parties are pleased and happily moving toward the ultimate goal: buying and selling their home.