Helping You Protect Your Home

What To Do If The PICRA Repairs Weren't Made

by Bernice Stanley

When you have a chance to buy a house, you also get a chance to have the place inspected so you can ask for certain things to be repaired. If you want particular items to be fixed but don't need everything on the inspection list fixed, you'll most likely deal with a form called the Property Inspection Contingency Removal Addendum, or PICRA. You put the items you want fixed on that list along with other requirements, such as having only licensed contractors do the work, and the seller has to address the items within a certain amount of time before you buy the home. However, sometimes you find out that the repairs weren't really made.

When Did You Find This Out?

What you do depends on when you found out that the fixes weren't made. If you've already bought the house and are finding out now, months later, that the "fixes" made were not done correctly, you might have little recourse but to hire licensed contractors yourself to complete the work. However, if you find out just before closing on the house, you can postpone and require that the seller have the work done properly. They should look for repair companies that have worked with PICRA lists before and that are fully licensed. While a licensed repair company might cost more than, say, one's cousin who is really into DIY work, you know that repair company has to do the work correctly lest they face legal consequences for not fulfilling a contract.

This Is Why You Want to Require the Use of Licensed Contractors

You want to be confident that the repairs are being done in a reasonable amount of time – and that they are actually being done. Yes, it's always possible that a company can be licensed and still do a terrible job. But the chances of that are low compared to companies that aren't licensed or to individual sellers who attempt DIY fixes. Best of all, a licensed company will most likely offer warranties on their work, meaning that, if you find out later that a repair isn't holding, you could be able to call upon that company to fix the problem and have it covered by the warranty.

PICRA lists can be confusing because at first; it sounds like you're allowing the seller to not make any changes or that you're waiving your right to an inspection. That's not what's happening, and in fact, PICRA repairs are a great opportunity to ensure the house you buy is in good shape. When you fill out the PICRA form, be sure you require the seller to have the work done by a licensed repair company (or companies, as there may be more than one type of repair needed). This is the best way to ensure the work is done properly and that you can go ahead and close on the house.

For more information on PICRA forms, contact a repair service in your area.