Everyone selling a home will need to go through the process of a home inspection at some point. The process consists of an inspector making a visit to the home and performing a visual examination. They will look for any defects in accessible home systems and assess their performance. Following the visual examination the home inspector will create a report documenting his or her findings. The home inspection is seen by many as simply another step in the home selling process. However, getting a proper home inspection done early and by a skilled home inspector can make a world of difference to a seller’s success on the market. In addition, there is a checklist of things a seller should be aware of before they put their home on the market.
An important part of the home inspection is timing. If a homeowner gets a home inspection early, they can identify the problems and fix them before the buyer has a chance to see them. This will increase chances that the house will be sold quickly. If the house remains on the market too long the price is more likely to decrease. In addition, inspecting the home early and fixing any issues decreases the chances of renegotiation. If buyers detect problems they are likely to offer lower prices. By being prepared and having all issues addressed, a home owner is more likely to make the profit they expect.
Another important factor when getting a home inspection is who you get to do the inspection. Some home inspectors may in fact miss more issues so that the house sells quicker. Hiding problems can result in lots of renegotiations with buyers and leaving the house on the market for too long. It is advisable to hire a reputable home inspector, like the inspectors at Certainty Home Inspections, who will perform a thorough inspection so that any problems can be dealt with prior to the house entering the market. Another advantage of performing a thorough home inspection is that you can present the results to potential buyers. Reports can be made for interested buyers showing how much work was put into the home inspection and the subsequent fixes or disclosures. This will help buyers realize the value of a home increasing the chances sellers will get their asking price.
Although a reputable home inspector will be sure to point out any defects in the house, the seller should still be aware of any problems themselves. There are a number of things that should be checked by the seller when it comes to drainage, structure, windows, doors, exterior, the roof, interior, the basement, and mechanical room. They are as follows:
Drainage and Lawn Care
- No standing water
- No septic tank leaks
- Proper grading drainage
- Drainage directed properly
- Landscaping, lawn, gardens, and trees are well kept
- Outdoor structures in good condition
- Railings are secure and in good condition
- Sides of house are not bowed or sagging
- Windows and doorframes are square
- Foundation is structurally sound
Exterior Home Inspection
- Exterior finish is in good condition (no cracking, flaking, or decay)
- No vines on the exterior finish
- No flaking of paint
- No stains on exterior finish
Windows and Doors
- No cracks in trim or missing trim
- Frames are caulked properly
- No broken windows or doors
- Drip caps installed properly
- No moulding, curling, or cracking of shingles.
- No missing shingles
- No excess caulking
- Gutters are not rusted or decay
- Chimneys are clean and structurally sound
Interior Home Inspection
- Floors, walls, and ceilings are straight and level
- Flooring is in good condition
- No cracks in walls, floors, or ceilings
- Doors are not broken and lock properly
- No flaking of paint
- Trim is not missing and in good condition
- Electrical outlets function properly
- Heating and/or air conditioning works well in each room
- Home is well insulated
- Basement and Mechanical Room
- No moisture
- No cracks in the foundation
- No damage or decay in the exposed wood framing
- Proper insulation
Overall, by selecting the proper home inspector, following this checklist, and doing it at the right time, a home owner can maximize the profits on the sale of their house.
It is recommended that sellers not only consult this checklist, but also other experienced sellers and home inspectors. Sellers should talk with home inspectors and gauge their knowledge and thoroughness in the process. A home inspector that does a quick and cheap job may not be the best choice. Sellers should choose a quality home inspector and fix problems early in the selling process. It is a good idea to consult this checklist if you feel the home inspector may be missing something. Buyers are looking for homes without issues and if sellers can show that they have properly prepared their home for selling than it is more likely the house will sell quickly at a higher price.
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