Once you have decided to put your home on the market, you’ll need to prepare for the likelihood of home inspections arranged by potential buyers. These are conducted by professional inspectors, and can unveil maintenance issues or structural flaws that you may not be aware of. To help avoid any unpleasant surprises of this nature, it’s a good idea to first hire your own professional inspector before other inspections take place. This will give you a chance to attend to maintenance issues or defects before the buyer finds out about them.
When choosing any professionals to work with in the sale of your property, you’ll want to compare their qualifications carefully. This includes real estate agents. Register your details at LocalAgentFinder to start comparing agent proposals and find the right individual to suit your needs. When choosing an inspector for your home, you’ll also want to compare your options. Each may provide different services or have different areas of focus. You’ll want to choose a professional inspector who is a member of a state association, because they will perform their inspection up to the set standards of the industry.
Items Usually Not Covered in Inspections:
Although home inspections can be quite thorough, inspectors will not always look at every part of the property. Some parts of the home will need to be attended to another professional with specialised qualifications related to these additional elements. The following aspects of your home may need to be assessed by a separate licensed professional:
- Rodents, pests, or termites
- Mould and mildew
- Lead in pipes or paint
- Levels of methane, radiation, radon, or formaldehyde
Because these are more specialised and can be health hazards, you may need to have someone else come to assess them. However, the following is a general list of home inspection items that you and your professional home inspector will need to look at before you can sell your property.
Home Inspection Checklist:
There are several different areas where a home inspector will look. These include the following items.
Structural Integrity: The inspector will look at the construction and general condition of your home’s structure. This includes all floors, walls, and ceilings. It also includes the home’s foundation and roof.
The Exterior of the Home and its Surrounds: Check the quality of any coverings on your walls, such as rendering, paint, or other materials. Also look at the landscaping, driveways, drainage systems, grading, and elevation of the property. Exterior features of the home such as its doors, windows, trim, and lights should all be examined. Finally, look at fences and pathways leading up to the house.
Roof, Attic, and Crawl Spaces: This allows the inspector to take a closer look at the roof’s construction, including its ventilation, gutters, and framing. If you need an official guarantee of condition or roof certificate, you’ll probably need to hire a roofing specialist.
Plumbing: Examine the materials that have been used for potable, vent, and waste pipes. Look at drains and find out whether these materials are in need of an upgrade or repair. Your local council can perform a sewerage system inspection for you, and you can also check all taps, toilets, sinks, and shower heads.
House Systems and Associated Components: The inspector will need to examine your heating and cooling systems, as well as your water heaters, sprinkler systems, and fireplaces.
Electrical Systems: The exhaust fans, ceiling fans, and light fixtures should all be in working order. The inspector will also need to take a closer look at your main electrical box, grounding, wiring, and fuses. These should be in top working order.
Appliances: All major and minor appliances should be in working order as well, including your dryer, washing machine, oven, dishwasher, microwave, and stovetop. Any vacuum systems, doorbells, and intercoms should also be tested. Smoke detectors must be in working order for safety reasons.
Garage Inspection: In the garage, inspect the main garage door and its function, as well as the concrete slab, walls, ceilings, doors, windows, and ventilation units. If there are electric openers these must be tested, and the firewall and lighting are also areas to look at.
After this thorough inspection is complete, if there are any issues in need of maintenance, repair, or extra service you will want to fix this before you allow buyers to come for their own open inspection. The following are a few fairly serious issues that should be addressed immediately:
- Health and safety issues
- Defects in the heating or cooling systems
- Problems with the home’s foundations
- Issues related to water damage, drainage, or moisture
- Roofing in need of a replacement
Seller vs. Buyer Making the Repairs
If you do your own repairs, this can work out in your favour because you can choose your own sub-contractors to take care of the issues. You can ensure that these home repairs and maintenance fit within your budget. However, be aware that doing things on a really tight budget may not always work out in your best interest. If you replace an appliance with a cheap, generic brand, this could take away from some of the hard earned mystique and style you have cultivated in your home. Talk to your real estate agent about what features should be highlighted for inspections. You can compare agents at LocalAgentFinder to find one that is knowledgeable about comparable homes in your area, so that you can stand out from the local competition.
The home inspector does not have to tell you how much all of these specific repairs will cost, but they can be a good source of advice and information regarding which projects could be handled on your own and which need a professional’s touch. It’s possible not to fix everything, but you should be prepared for a buyer to request a discount in order to pay for the cost of repairs on their own.
Don’t take it personally if your house is in need of a great deal of work before it’s ready to be put on the market. Even new homes tend to have a few issues that only a professional home inspector would notice. Perfect homes don’t exist, so you should expect a few issues to come up during this inspection report.
Home Repair Issues that are Deal Breakers
All home buyers are different. What to one buyer would be a deal breaker could be acceptable to another. It’s helpful to speak to your real estate agent to find out which types of repairs are usually seen as minor, and those which tend to result in the cancellation of a sale contract. It’s better to be prepared because you never know whether or not a buyer will request a professional inspection. Before opening your doors for an open for inspection, do a quick check of the minor aspects of your home that might be noticeable to buyers. Replace burnt out light bulbs and attend to loud or faulty air conditioners.
Even if you have a brand new property, it’s worth hiring a professional inspector to look for those issues that you may not notice on your own. A faulty chimney, heater leaking carbon monoxide, or any unseen code violations can be fixed on your own, putting you ahead of the game. This can help prevent your sale from falling over down the road.
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