In the beginning of the escrow process buyers generally will have a professional property inspection. I always recommend it. The inspectors subsequent report will identify to the buyer problems with the home now and possible problems with the home in the future.
The seller may, or may not, repair these items for the buyer. So, how does that work?
Aha, therein is the reason for the Request for Repairs. Everything in Real Estate is negotiable, everything I tell you. Defects found in an inspection report are as well.
Now, the inspection report doesn't mean you can generate a 'wish' list of repairs to be completed. But, it does mean you want to spend time with your family, and your agent, to determine which items are of the most concern to you.
Normally I would recommend items that are related to Fire, Safety, and Health. I would never suggest that you ask a seller to paint a wall. Nope, not one I would suggest.
However, you may ask the seller in a few different ways to take care of the issues that are a concern to you.
Ask them to repair them. If you want a contractor to repair them...be specific. If not, the seller does not have to use one, just correct in a good, skillful manner and comply with any applicable legal requirements (i.e. to code).
You may ask them to provide a seller credit at close of escrow so that you may correct the items once you own the home as you see fit.
Keep in mind there may also be lender required repairs. Seller is not obligated to repair these either, unless it is written into the contract originally or negotiated via a Request for Repairs.
Now, just because you ask, does not mean you shall receive. A seller may refuse, a seller may do a few, a seller may do all, part repair, part cash.
Everything is negotiable. Don't ever forget that.
If the sellers response is acceptable to you, great. If not, continue the negotiations.
The buyer may cancel the sale if seller is not willing to take care of particular items to the buyers satisfaction.
So, you've agreed upon repairs, or credits, now what?
Oh my, I'll do a blog post about the VOP! Keep reading!