If you’re thinking of selling your home, have it inspected by a professional home inspector. A home inspection is not an appraisal of your home’s value, but you’ll get a report from your inspector about the condition of your home which should lead you to take steps that will make it more marketable and possibly raise its value. At least you’ll have greater confidence in knowing it’s worth the asking price.
A pre-sale home inspection is a worthwhile investment with several benefits. It gives you the opportunity to make any necessary repairs now that will put the house in better selling condition. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing the right thing for the people who will be buying your home. The fewer apprehensions they have, the greater the chance they’ll buy. They want fewer hassles after moving in, too.
Granted, it can be disappointing for you if an inspection finds serious problems. However, dealing with things right away means less chance of worry or regret on the part of the buyer. There’s less chance of a deal going sour. Also, you’ll make the home even easier to sell by having it inspected again after repairs have been done. Making the revised report available should make the deal go more smoothly.
A pre-sale inspection alerts you to specific maintenance tasks you can do to make your home more appealing, such as trimming trees and shrubs that touch or overhang the house. It’s likely that new caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors is in order. What about cleaning gutters or repairing and replacing cracked or broken gutters, downspouts, and extensions? That will ensure proper drainage and prevent water from leaking into the basement and foundation. Replace bathroom caulk or grouting where necessary to prevent more seepage. Plus, it will look nicer.
Fixing the little things makes a good impression on your prospective buyer. For example, repair leaky faucets, tighten loose doorknobs, replace broken window panes and damaged screens, and thoroughly clean the clothes dryer vent, to name a few. You may want to replace a broken doorbell with either a doorknocker or wireless, battery operated doorbell.
Your home inspection report will also alert you to safety matters you’ll want to take care of. For example, be sure smoke detectors are installed on each level in strategic places. Keep flammable products away from heaters, water heaters, and fireplaces. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s) in “wet” areas, such as kitchen counter tops, bathrooms and exterior outlets.
Of course, it’s the bigger defects which definitely need your attention in order to make the home more marketable. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) surveyed its members and found that one of the most frequent problems listed on an inspection report was improper grading and drainage around the outside of the house. This can cause basement moisture problems and sometimes soil erosion, which may lead to structural failure of the foundation.
Another common problem area listed was the electrical system. That included situations such as insufficient electrical overload protection and potentially dangerous amateur wiring.
Other commonly reported problems include roof damage and mechanical problems with the heating and air conditioning systems.
In summary, a pre-sale home inspection helps you determine the condition of your home so you can take steps to make it more appealing to prospective buyers. When you act proactively, you demonstrate your integrity and protect yourself and the buyer from potential problems later.
You've carefully selected the home you're buying. Make sure you're as careful when selecting your home inspector. Don't get stuck paying for repairs missed by a quick home inspection. Author David Haigh is a professional home inspector in NJ
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