How To Negotiate Tree Removal When Buying A House | 4 Tips

October 13, 2022

Many people’s ideal home has a large yard with a majestic tree. However, large trees need a lot of care and attention, something most people underestimate. When you are buying a house, you may be able to get the seller to pay for pre-closing repairs or tree trimming if you catch the issues below early enough.
 

How Trees Can Damage Your Home

 

Limbs Falling On The Roof

 
In a windstorm, branches too near the home might cause significant structural damage. Given the severity of storms in Houston and the next hurricane season, this is a considerable worry. On top of that, the cost of removing a storm-damaged tree may range from $200 to $2,000 or more.
 
If a tree is not cared for, its branches may grow and cause damage to a house’s walkway, driveway, garage, or windows. Over time, damage also happens when tree branches repeatedly scrape against your roof or siding. 
 
Your vehicle or yard may be damaged, too, if a branch falls during a summer or winter storm. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem if the tree’s health is generally good. Trimming your trees semi-regularly is a low-cost way to protect them against storm damage and limb breakage.
 
A tree ripping up the sidewalk in front of a house after it was blown over during a storm.
 

Roots Damaging Sidewalk Or Foundation

 
It’s essential to keep an eye out for roots since they can cause severe problems for your home’s structure and any underground infrastructure, such as pipes. Because trees’ roots spread horizontally under the earth, care must be taken to place them at the appropriate distance from a building.
 
When a tree is planted too close to a structure, its roots may invade the basement, the sewer line, or the power lines. There will be major issues down the road if this continues. In Houston, the price of foundation repair is $4,764.
 

Trees Are Attractive To Pests

 
Squirrels use trees as highways and will gladly make your attic their home if given a chance. Termites are only one kind of insect that are drawn to the home, however.
 
Squirrels may be adorable, but they can also be quite destructive. Typically, squirrel removal costs a lot, between $200 to $500, and about $1500 in damages is typical. For example, oak, ash, and elm trees are especially vulnerable to pests and diseases. If you suspect a tree is sick, have an arborist take a look.
 

Gutter Damage

 
If trees grow near your home, their leaves and twigs may quickly clog your gutters. This litter will prevent water from draining properly and attract pests like mosquitoes. The soil surrounding your home’s foundation is susceptible to erosion from water that overflows the gutter.
 

Signs To Look For

 

Proximity Of The Tree To The House

 
Too close a proximity between a tree and a home might pose risks. Perhaps a tree was there before a home was built, and the house may have been constructed too near the tree. Sometimes a small tree planted at a suitable distance from a home finds itself too close to the structure as it grows. Trees that won’t grow taller than 8 meters may be planted as near as 3 meters from a home without posing a threat.
 
It’s also possible that a poorly executed renovation or expansion brought a mature tree dangerously near a home. Damage to a building or its foundation might result from falling branches or encroaching roots if a tree was planted too near a structure.
 

Existing Damage

 
Inspect the concrete or driveway for root damage. The situation will not improve with time. As the tree develops, it will become much more severe. 
 
Also, be wary of the hazards posed by any large trees on the property, particularly those in the front yard. If you have a sewage or septic line, some types of trees are more prone to invade than others. Have a plumber check the line if you consider purchasing a property with trees in the front yard. Negotiate the cost of the large tree removal and repairs to the drain line with the seller if it blocks the sewer.
 
Leaves of an unhealthy tree with large brown spots.
 

Unhealthy Trees

 
If you don’t remove dead trees, they can topple down. Any person living near a dying tree is at risk of serious injury or death. Dead or dying trees may cause significant damage to neighboring buildings. If you know what to look for in a dying tree, you may have it removed before you purchase the property. 
 
Before purchasing a property with a potentially sick tree, it’s a good idea to get the tree checked out by a professional. You may be able to arrange with the existing homeowner to have the tree removed if you do this within the escrow term before removing the inspection contingency. If you want to learn more, consult with a real estate agent.
 

Tips For Negotiating Tree Removal With The Seller

 

Have An Arborist Look At The Tree

 
For these reasons, having an arborist inspect the property before making final decisions is vital. As opposed to your standard house inspection report, the emphasis of an arborist report for a property acquisition will be on the trees. If you have questions about the health and stability of the trees on your property, these tree experts are your best bet for answers. The arborist may also inspect the health of hedges and bushes as an additional service.
 
If a property contains a tree that is likely to be a major expenditure for the new owner shortly, it is in the buyer’s best interest to consult with an arborist before making any decisions about the purchase.
 
You may also ask an arborist for assistance in determining whether a tree is within your jurisdiction or the city. In Houston’s red-hot real estate market, it might be tempting to lose sight of the forest for the trees. A slip-up may have serious repercussions.
 

Get An Estimate

 
If you consult an arborist, they should be able to provide you with a rough price range. It’s possible that just some of the branches of the tree need cutting down, or the whole thing has to go.
 

Make The Request And Provide Evidence

 
How to negotiate tree removal? You, as the buyer, might use the arborist’s report as bargaining power to get the seller to remove a tree before closing or to agree to credit you for the tree removal project cost after the sale has closed.
 
At this stage, the seller is under no obligation to agree to remove the dead tree from the sale. However, if you and the other party cannot agree, the inspection contingency may allow you to get out of the contract. Your realtor can guide you through the next steps.
 

Be Ready To Accept A Credit

 
It’s important to act quickly when selling a house. The last thing most people want to do is shell out cash for unnecessary expenses. If you’re trying to move things forward, offering to take credit might be a game-changer that nets you a more significant discount.

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