As home sales stall, sellers’ fix-it punch list budget is 50% higher, data shows

As more houses for sale remain on the market longer in the U.S. , the fix-it budget for home sellers has seen a more than 50% spike in price in the past year, according to new data.

The average work order for repairs was around $3,831 in September compared to $2,537 at the same time a year ago, said PunchListUSA , a Charleston, South Carolina-based property-tech inspection and repair company that operates in 14 major cities including Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

PunchListUSA’s findings come from work orders generated from more than 26,000 estimates through its platform. Additionally, repair requests from home buyers are more than 100% higher compared to a year ago the company said. That’s because many buyers were once willing to waive such contingencies, including certain home inspections, as the demand for housing soared in uber-competitive markets, PunchListUSA Chief Financial Officer Mark Kearns told USA TODAY.

“Owners making repairs to their homes at the buyer’s request is almost becoming a requirement again,” Kearns said. “We’re witnessing the industry reversing course from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.” PunchListUSA’s fix-it figures also come as the nation’s once-hot housing market continues to cool . Existing home sales fell 0.4% in August, a seventh straight month of decline, falling 20% from the same month a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors ‘ latest figures. Year-over-year sales dropped to 4.8 million in August from 5.99 million in August 2021, the NAR also reported.