Shingle roof scares home buyer into canceling purchase

Home inspector's words at center of controversy

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Dear Barry, The house I'm buying has an old shingle roof. It shows no signs of leakage, but my home inspector said it could need replacement in about three years. Is this a good reason to force the owners to replace the roof? If not, can I withdraw my offer to buy the property? – Emanuel Dear Emanuel, In the aftermath of a home inspection, buyers typically make repair requests of sellers. But such exchanges are matters of negotiation, not a redress of grievances. This means that you can ask, you can cajole and you can wax eloquent in soul-rending exhortations of hopeful persuasion. You can couch your hopeful urgings with well-intended smiles and a politely stated "pretty please." Or you can hold a pair of deuces close to your chest, while staging a well-affected bluff. But in most cases, you cannot force sellers to perform contrary to their affirmed wishes. Standard procedure, upon receipt of an inspection report, is to submit a formal wish list to the sellers and then barga...