How should I respond to buyer?


Old 02-04-17, 08:53 AM
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How should I respond to buyer?

My house is not grounded, but do have gfci switches at all recepticals near water, and 3 prong outlets at all others. The buyer wants a 15k credit to rewire the house due to lack of ground, and a upgraded panel. Of course, I'm not willing to do this. How would you respond from a residential code perspective? Meaning, a ground is not required and we do have the required gfci switches.
Old 02-04-17, 09:04 AM
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That is between you, your realtor and buyer. Almost any thing legal can be put into contract. You can haggle over price, cost of repairs and weather you will do them.
Old 02-04-17, 09:05 AM
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How would you respond from a residential code perspective? Meaning, a ground is not required and we do have the required gfci switches.
If you're certain that code doesn't require this, if the code states that its not required, provide the code to the buyer & let him know. At that point, any elective (non-required) upgrades are his responsibility, not yours.
If the code does NOT specifically state that a ground is NOT required in your situation & that the GFCI outlets you have installed, meet code & are the substitute & "satisfies" the code, you may need to bring in an electrician, a home inspector or the city electrical inspector etc... some one who can verify independently, to ensure/convince him its not required & any elective upgrades he wants outside of code will be his responsibility after purchase.

On the other hand, if grounding is required, you will need to do that whatever is required to get the house to code before selling it.... at least to this buyer.
Old 02-04-17, 09:12 AM
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The buyer needs to understand they are not buying a house with the latest safety features.. It sounds like you likely are compliant with the code allowance for 3 prong receptacles on an ungrounded system.

All of this is negotatiable. Is there enough money left after the deal? What are the buyers willing to kick in?
Old 02-04-17, 09:12 AM
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I would tell the buyer the house is being sold as is and I am not going to lower the price. Take it or leave it!

Or if the house has been on the market awhile and I'm having trouble selling it, I would make an offer of $5K off the price and say that is as low as I am going.

In any case, be sure to mention on your "disclosure" form anything you know about things which may be broken or not up to code as would have been required when it was installed. Ask your realtor about what you should disclose. That keeps the buyer from discovering some major defect in your house and suing you because you knew about it and did not tell them.
Old 02-04-17, 10:10 AM
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If you have 3 prong receptacles installed and they do not have a ground (or protected upstream by GFCI and labeled "no equipment ground") you are in violation and not grandfathered as it was never to code. If the house was built before the ground requirement then the receptacles can all be replaced with new 2 prong receptacles and be to code. Not a lot of money for an electrician to do.

Replacing the panel should not be necessary. If it doesn't have a GEC connection to your metal water service or ground rods it is usually straight forward to add. Also the connection may be at the meter and have been missed.

The $15k is a negotiating tactic. It is highly unusual for a house to be rewired after a sale. The money gets pocketed and they spend money on something else.

Get your own electrician to review things.
Old 02-04-17, 12:06 PM
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but do have gfci switches at all recepticals near water
There are such a thing as a GFCI switch which is a GFCI receptacle combined with a regular switch in a single gang case but I believe you mean GFCI receptacles. GFCIs are not switches.

GFCI Switch
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Nearness to water is not the main determining factor on where you need GFCI protection. Location is what determines it such as in bathrooms, kitchen, outside, unfinished basements.
Old 02-04-17, 12:12 PM
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If they are trying to negotiate bringing your house up to current code why haven't they asked you to put in arc fault and tamper-proof receptacles?
Old 02-04-17, 07:28 PM
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I agree with Astuff. You're 3 prong receptacles that aren't grounded are a violation. You're giving the impression that grounds exist when they don't. You're gfci's are only better than nothing. I wouldn't buy such a house. Maybe you can get the wiring and sheetrock patching done for much less than $15K?
I feel your pain. I added GFCI's to the condo I'm flipping and corrected a 240 outlet being used as 115 with a bootleg ground. By correcting the breaker box, it's now a 115 outlet with a proper neutral and proper ground. My reward? The city inspector popped a cork that i did such thinks without a county permit. *sigh* Inspection is on Monday.
Old 02-05-17, 04:28 AM
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3 prong receptacles that aren't grounded are a violation
If properly marked with "No Ground" and "GFCI protected outlet", it is not a violation. Certainly proper wiring is better, but the buyer cannot expect the current owner to cough up large money to upgrade the house's electrical system. Buy it or leave it. He certainly had an interest in the house even with its faults.
Old 02-05-17, 06:21 AM
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Has anyone guessed at what State or Province the subject property is located in ?

So much depends upon what the market conditions are in that specific territory; and whether there is an agent (intermediary) involved to prevent the Buyer from reading the vulnerability of the Seller.

Also, is the $15,000 a substantial percentage of the Asking Price ?

I also see that the OP hasn't returned to this Forum since posting the question, so s/he's probably already done whatever needed to be done.

The Buyers weren't expecting a "new" house when they made an offer on this one.

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