Buyers naturally want to purchase a house that's in good repair, while sellers, just as naturally, don't want to spend a lot of money to fix up a house they've put on the market. In some cases, the list of repairs is so long buyers become nervous about the condition of the house and that puts the sale in jeopardy, says David Moody, a broker at Sunrise Realty in Athens, Ga.
"They start asking for a lot of things," he says. "There is no meeting of the minds, and it ends up squashing the contract."
One strategy to remedy this situation is for buyers and sellers to get estimates of repair costs and "start nibbling away" at what might seem like an insurmountable list of defects, says Patti Ketcham, owner of Ketcham Realty Group in Tallahassee, Fla.
"Don't let it overwhelm you," Ketcham says. "Get prices. I'm always amazed at the number of times (a repair) is not nearly as much as either party thought it was going to be."