One of the most emotion-filled parts of a real estate contract is the 10-day inspection period. Almost all contracts are written subject to inspections. Buyers can then opt to take the home as-is, negotiate for reasonable repairs, or walk-away and get their earnest money deposit back.
Negotiating for repairs is a delicate art in the present seller's market with short inventory. Sellers are in the driver's seat at most price-points. They can simply say "no" when presented with a repair request. Or, when the request is sent in the form of an Addendum, sellers can even terminate a contract. This tactic often is used when sellers are sitting on a reliable back-up offer, not uncommon when there are multiple offers on a property.
Seasoned Realtors acting as a buyer's agent know to verbally discuss repair requests with the listing agent first before putting anything in writing. If a verbal agreement is reached between buyer and seller, then an Addendum can be signed by both parties.
One of the keys to the inspection process is for buyers to focus on the "Big Rocks" -- major health and safety issues. Things like furnaces, roofs, electrical, plumbing, etc. Deferred maintenance items and an inspector's suggestion for "optimal" conditions should fall to the back-burner. It's an inspector's job to point out ALL deficiencies in a home, and it's easy to become overwhelmed when reviewing a report.