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Question DetailsAsked on 6/10/2013

Is it typical for buyers to request sellers to trim overhanging tree branches on the property as a part of the "Request to Remedy"?

As a part of his report, the home inspector mentioned a recommendation to trim the branches of the trees in our backyard. We requested this remedy along with a couple of others to the sellers. However, the sellers haven't included this in their list of accepted remedies. Our home inspector couldnt give us a quote as he said it depends on which company we hire.
Should we emphasize this again in our next communication to our seller's agent through our agent?

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Voted Best Answer

Assuming related to trees on the subject property, not ones coming over from the neighbor's yard, this would normally NOT be expected to be done by the Seller.

If overhanging branches from a neighbor's trees, then it might be a good idea for a buyer to require that it be done BEFORE the sale if it really needs doing, to minimize a potentially unfriendly start in relations between you and the future neighbor (though the neighbors might well find out from the Seller or the contractor that it is was at your request anyway). If that is the intent, perhaps you could agree (based on a firm quote from the contractor) to a price adjustment upward subject to completion of the cutting.

If dangerous large dead branches, or branches touching or scraping or dangerously overhanging the roof, then this might be a reasonable request. If just to clear out branches for more sun or to reduce tree droppings on the deck, patio or roof - this would NOT normally be requested of a Seller, and would not be considered a Health and Safety issue - the ones Sellers should expect to have to remedy. This would be considered a current condition, which is how you are buying the house - improvements, upgrades, and beautification is NOT the Seller's job nless he chooses to do so for a higher sale price.

Before making an issue of it, have your agent ask their's if it not getting on the list of accepted remedies was an oversight, or if they really don't want to do it. If your intent was to have it done by the owners to avoid possible neighbor conflict, this would be the time to raise that issue and ask about possibly having it done subject to a price adjustment.

You need to consider how important this is to you to have done, and if you want it done badly enough to risk losing the house over it. You don't want the Seller, particularly in the current improving market (in our area it is definitely a Seller's market), to get the idea you are being nit-picky and asking for nice-to-haves rather than true deficiencies to be remedied, and walk away from the deal.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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