I am motivated to sell, should I agree to replace AC?
There's no simple answer, home sale negotiation has a lot of variables. Here are some things I consider when deciding what I will/won't do to sell a house after receiving inspection objections:
- Time on market - If I blow up a deal, how long will I likely be waiting for another offer and how much will that cost me?
- Buyer's willingness to walk away - If I know they are selling their current house while buying mine, they are less likely to bail on the deal over little things. If they have all the time in the world to find their next home, I have less leverage.
- Reasonableness of ask - If something major doesn't work, it's reasonable to replace/repair, if any buyer is likely to ask for the same thing, it's probably worth addressing.
- Quality of offer - If I accept a lower cash offer or a lower offer with a short closing period, but then they ask for the moon after inspection I am less inclined to work with them.
As a motivated seller you have less leverage, but I would still suggest compromise rather than full on replacement. If the HVAC can be repaired to not require some workaround for normal operation that seems like a reasonable compromise. If it was just about age of the HVAC system I'd probably offer a 1 or 2 year home warranty rather than replacing or making an allowance for it in the sale price.
See what your realtor thinks, but remember that they have a substantial motivation to get your house sold sooner than later even if that means a slightly lower price.
Based on Dheer's comment above, thought I'd add a note about buyer's cash position. If they are asking for closing costs to be covered it could be because they don't have much cash on hand, in such cases discounting the HVAC cost from the purchase price isn't appealing to them because their concern is immediate need for cash to cover a big repair, not saving a couple bucks a month over the life of the mortgage. If that's their situation, you might actually be able to compromise by replacing the HVAC system but increasing the purchase price by most or even all the cost, which would have little to no net impact to you but get them a new HVAC system without having to have the cash on hand now.