A professional home inspection can detect problems or concerns which you may want to eliminate prior to placing your home on the market. Knowing about problems or needed repairs can allow them to be fixed before they prevent a successful sale. A buyer may be more willing to commit to a sale when there are no major concerns.
Some real estate professionals believe it may be more profitable to make repairs in advance than to lower the selling price later. If known issues are addressed, buyers may be less likely to reopen negotiations for a lower price or, worse, walk away from a potential sale.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has some useful tips for sellers or potential sellers. Give your home a competitive edge by making sure it is in good physical condition. This not only makes your home more attractive and desirable, it also simplifies the negotiation process when the time comes for the buyers pre-purchase inspection. According to home inspection experts, approximately half the resale homes in the market today have at least one significant defect. Don't let it be a surprise! Routine maintenance is the best way to prevent major, costly problems from developing in the first place. If you have been putting off those repairs, now is the time to make them. The following 6-point checklist contains suggestions from the ASHI website.
- CHECK THE MAJOR SYSTEMS: After size, style, and location, a home buyer's primary concern is the condition of the home's basic structure and mechanical systems. Most buyers do not want to invest a great deal of money correcting problems in such critical areas. A pre-listing home inspection of the visible and accessible home components can reveal most of these problems, and include recommended repairs, if needed, on the following major items: Roof structure and covering, foundation, basement, and/or crawl space, heating and air conditioning systems, electrical system, and plumbing system.
- MAKE MAINTENANCE IMPROVEMENTS: Many improvements are relatively easy and inexpensive to make, yet they can substantially improve a home's appearance, efficiency, and comfort. A professional home inspector may make helpful maintenance suggestions, such as: trim trees and shrubs which touch or overhang the house; caulk or weather strip as needed around windows and doors; clean out gutters and repair any that are cracked or broken; check downspouts, and extensions to ensure proper drainage; replace bathroom caulk or grouting where necessary to prevent seepage and improve appearance; ventilate closed basements and crawl spaces, or install a dehumidifier, to prevent excessive moisture build-up; change dirty heating or a/c filters, have heating and air conditioning systems serviced, get your chimney cleaned and install chimney hoods or caps if needed.
- PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS: Fixing the little things can add to a buyer's positive first impression. A home inspector can give you a good checklist to work from: fix leaky faucets or wobbly doorknobs, replace damaged screens or broken windows, burned-out bulbs or broken fixtures, secure loose railings, repair and coat driveway, patch holes or cracks in walls and ceilings, repaint or repair peeling wallpaper.
- FIX SAFETY ISSUES: A home inspector can alert you to safety issues: proper smoke detector use, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GCFCI's) in "wet" areas, such as kitchen counter tops, bathrooms, and exterior outlets, safe storage of flammable products, trip hazards, etc.
- MAKE COSMETIC IMPROVEMENTS: An attractive, clean, and neat home will appeal to a buyer's emotions. In addition to making repairs such as those listed above, remember to: Keep the lawn mowed and the house neat Clean the exterior walls and trim; repaint if necessary open window shades and curtains to create a bright, inviting atmosphere; keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, since buyers scrutinize these areas
- PREPARE FOR BUYER'S INSPECTION: It's a good idea to assemble in advance various house records that can be used to answer questions from buyers and their home inspector. Specifically, you might have on hand: appliance receipts, service records, and warranties; Information on the age of major components, such as heater, air conditioner and roof and any major component warranties (e.g. carpeting, siding, roof shingles) that would be useful to the buyer; heating, water, and electric bills from the previous years; in addition, keep areas clear to give buyers and home inspectors access to the garage, heating system, electrical equipment, attics and crawl spaces.
A Rixon Certified Home Inspection, LLC report will give you details on the condition of your residential or commercial property and suggestions for improvements and fixes. We will thoroughly inspect all major components of your single-family or multi-family home, commercial building, condo, townhouse or camp.
Give us a call at 802.524.4037 to schedule your inspection or send us an email.