Did you know that after someone buys your house, they can make you pay for repairs?
It’s not pleasant when it happens. The good news is that it’s completely avoidable.
When selling a property, owners must inform potential buyers of maintenance or repair issues. So, if you know that the furnace makes a noise when it starts up, the dishwasher dribbles a little, and the A/C smells like hot wires every now and then – you have three options.
Repairing the issue on your own is by far the best option. This way you are in control of what gets fixed and how much you’re willing to spend. Also, once the problem is solved, it may not need to be disclosed as an issue. This is ideal – no one wants to buy a house with a long list of disclosed ‘issues’.
Confessing the issue is an option too. This informs the buyer and removes the seller’s responsibility for repairs. The problem though, is that the buyer doesn’t want to pay full value for a house they know they will have to repair.
The third option is to pinch your eyes shut and pretend everything is fine. Don’t tell anyone and imagine that the new owner will somehow not hear the clunking furnace. This is the unfortunate choice some sellers make. It has, at times, been called fraudulent misrepresentation. The result? The buyer now must repair the broken furnace, and the seller gets to pay. Guess how frugal the buyer is going to be with someone else’s money? I know of someone who went through this recently. What could have been a $150 repair turned into a nearly $600 repair bill because someone else was in charge of deciding what it should cost.
Paying high repair bills is avoidable. By facing the issue instead of dodging it, you are in control of how much it’s going to cost you.
Have you ever been stuck with repairs on a home you bought?
How did you handle it?