While it is admirable that parents want to look out for their kids, they are nothing short of a train wreck when they are out looking at homes.
My buyers are all excited to buy a home we looked at. We have negotiated to an acceptable price, a bit higher than they wanted but doable. Now they want their parents to see the home.
At first everything was going ok, the father was telling the son be sure to ask for the snowblower, be sure to ask for the dehumidifier, thought he was going to ask for the pots and pans. At this point nothing deal breaking, until we got outside.
As soon as he saw the deck he went into immediate over bearing parent mode. "If I was a building inspector I would condemn this deck." "I dont think they can sell the house with this deck the way it is, this could cost thousands to fix."
The deck is a 15 x 25 deck with pressure treated wood, metal brackets on every joist and plenty of support underneath. His issue were cracks in the supports which are very common in pressure treated supports.
To combat the damage, I did not argue with him there as you can never win against the parents and if you do you still lose in the end. I contacted my contractor for a quote to replace all 4 posts and it came in at $450, a far cry from thousands.
I then advised them that we should wait for the offer to get accepted and then see what the home inspector says as we are not carpenters and we can not make an accurate assessment of the condition of the deck. They have agreed and we are moving forward.
My advice is never try to duke it out on the spot. Wait for them to be long gone and discuss with your buyers the next day. Emphasise with the issues brought forward, but remind the buyers in the end it is there decision and while their parents input is valued it must be weighed with your desire for the home and a home inspection.