Buying FSBO; question about remedy requests and reasonable expectations

I'm in the process of buying a home FSBO through a local service that has support for both the buyer and seller. We've signed a purchase agreement and had the inspection come back relatively clean. There were a few issues, one of which being that the water heater was past the service life and actually a hazard, (inspectors determination, not mine) so that was one of three things we asked of the seller.

We asked on the remedy request addendum that we mutually agree on a plumber and have them estimate a water heater replacement and that the seller credit us the amount. I told him I wasn't expecting the best company/unit but just a decent heater and company. I wanted to be the one who actually have the company replace it for a few reasons…one of which being that I wanted to know the plumber was reputable and would warranty any issues that arose, but also because if I wanted to upgrade to a better heater, I could do so and use the credit toward it while paying for the difference out of my pocket. I was trying to be fair to the seller, and he seemed to be agreeable when we talked about it.

I called him the next day and he told me out of the blue that he had purchased a water heater from a big box store and he was having somebody install it. He didn't know what brand/model, or who was the installer, although I believe he has a family member that's a licensed plumber from the previous days conversation. Frustrated, we went back and forth about how that wasn't what we discussed and he said he was legally obligated to have it replaced prior to closing since it was a safety hazard. I called the attorney for this FSBO service and he said that while he's not legally obligated to replace it, that he has the right to remedy the issue and he doesn't have to consult with me about it as long as it's done to code.

I'm not an attorney, and I really don't want to have to hire one, but this doesn't sound correct. Even though it's not a huge issue, I'm uneasy that the seller would be allowed to throw in whatever quality of equipment he wants. The remedy request form seems to imply it's almost like a negotiation…that we submit our request, and he either approves, counters, or declines the request.

Am I being unreasonable?

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