If you decide to sell your house and you get an offer that is almost exactly what you were asking for the property you might feel that everything is coming up roses for you. Unfortunately, your dream homebuyer is definitely going to get a pre-purchase home inspection.
If you aren’t familiar with the actual condition of your home then this inspection could uncover issues you have overlooked or weren’t even aware of. It can slow down, or even kill the deal and you could be starting the entire selling process over again.
The number one best way to avoid this is to get a pre-listing inspection. Pay a professional to take a look at your home and let you know what might be wrong so you can take care of it before it affects the closing later down the line.
If you have been living in your house for a long time there can be a lot of little things that you have just learned to live with.
Small things that no longer annoy you. You may not even remember they were an issue. A potential buyer will notice them. If they don’t you can bet their inspection will uncover them.
If you want to address some of the obvious problems before you get your own home inspection, here is a list of 9 areas you should definitely look at.
Your home needs to have a stable and well maintained foundation.
It’s the first thing an inspector looks at because it can be the most important issue. Fixing a faulty foundation can be a huge headache and very expensive. A bad foundation means you will have a hard time selling your home and you will have to sell it at a very low price.
Take a look at the foundation. Walk around the exterior and check for cracks. Inside look for cracks in walls or doors that no longer shut properly. All of these things can indicate you need some foundation work.
Moisture in your home can mean a lot of problems
I’m going to talk about moisture as an overall issue to look for. Moisture or water damage can be a symptom of anything from a faulty foundation to bad plumbing to a leaky roof. If you see anything moisture-related, track it to its source. It could be a fix as simple as changing a washer or it could be a burst pipe.
Take care of any electrical issues in your home
You don’t want a buyer to see exposed wires or missing wall plates. Make sure all of your switches work properly. Get any repair work done by a professional.
HVAC. Your Heating and Air Conditioning should be in great shape
Get your system serviced and clean any vents and intakes. Have up-to-date thermostats if possible and let your buyer know the approximate age of your system.
Tiny leaks or drips from a bathroom faucet or a run-on toilet can be a red flag for a buyer. Leaky pipes can cause moisture damage.
A smelly washing machine needs to be replaced, and a loose or wobbly toilet should be made secure.
Like with the electrical system in your house, you should get a professional to take care of these issues.
Even the idea of mold in the house can kill the deal
If you have any water damage to the ceiling or wall, or if there is a musty smell in a room it will automatically get a home buyer worried about mold in the house. Actually seeing black spots or mold will probably mean that your potential buyer is going to walk away.
You don’t want your buyer to even think about moisture or indoor mold.
Next to the foundation, the roof is the biggest expense to fix or replace. Hopefully, there are no serious problems with the current roof but there are some things to look out for and repair before you put the house on the market.
Curled shingles mean an old roof and possible leakage. It’s much easier to replace old or missing shingles or tiles than to wait for the next stage in roof damage. Also look at the roof from the inside. If you see water leakage in the rafters and attic you will want to address this immediately.
I know I have gone over it several times in this post, but uncontrolled water and moisture can be the worst thing for a house and consequently the sale of a house.
Make sure your gutters are clean and in good condition so that weather is moved away from the roof. You want your downspouts to move water away from the walls and foundations.
Check the actual grade of the property to make sure that water flows away from the home instead of pooling around it.
It may sound shallow but people will judge a house on their first impression. If it looks like the current owner doesn’t love the property then a homebuyer will assume there are a lot of issues below the surface that have been neglected.
Take time to clean the place up. Replace and repair handles and fixtures. Make sure every light has a working light bulb. You want to be seen as a responsible homeowner.
And there you have it. This is a great list to start with, but it’s still smart to get a pre-listing inspection to get a handle on things you might have missed.
Also, you will want to disclose any repairs you did make on the property before the listing. Provide the buyer with information on when the repairs were made, who did them, and how much they cost. This will go a long way to reassuring the buyer and it will also give them a place to start concerning warranties and future repairs.