Selling Your Home Soon? Common Finds From a Home Inspection. Part 1.
How to improve the home inspection process from a seller's point of view.
When selling your home, the goal is likely to maximize the sale price and minimize the anxiety/stress during the process, right? Let us help you by preparing your home for a home inspection, outlining deficiencies that are often overlooked by sellers before putting the home on the market. Everyone can notice a failing roof, peeling paint, and broken windows. What will come up that you're not aware of?
Service your furnace: An oil-fired furnace should be inspected annually (yes, even if it's new) and a gas-burning furnace every two years. Have the technician post a record of the service by the furnace. The HVAC technician should identify and address any leaks, corrosion, and common problems. Remember, most furnaces have an expected life of 25 years. If older than that, you should expect this to come up in negotiations. Who to call: A licensed, qualified HVAC technician.
Are your bathroom fans working and do they vent outside? How do you know? Look for vents outside the home that look a lot like a dryer vent. They should be within arms reach of a bathroom window. If you don't see them, you may have an issue. Venting your bathroom fan into an attic often leads to mold. Venting into an attic was code-compliant until a code change in the mid-1990s, so this is a real common issue. If you do see vents, turn the fans on and look for the flap (or scupper) on the outside to open when operating. Who to call: A reputable handyman.
Electrical outlets and covers: A simple fix is to add a cover to every open electrical box. This means each light switch, receptacle/plug, and junction box. Most importantly, does your main panel have a cover that is secure? Are there missing knockouts (holes where a circuit breaker would be) in the panel cover that may lead to electric shock? As pictured below, electrical tape over a missing knockout is not ok. Who to call: A licensed electrician.
Plumbing leaks or potential leaks: Check under each sink, below each tub/shower/toilet from the basement (looking up). Follow every pipe in the basement looking for leaks or prior leaks (sediment accumulated near joints in plumbing supply lines - white or green powdery substance). Do your toilets move left to right? If so, re-install with a new wax ring and secure to the floor so they don't move. That's a common leak point. Who to call: A licensed plumber.
Addressing these issues prior to the home inspection will give you and your buyer peace of mind. From a buyer standpoint, your home will look well-cared for with fewer surprises.
We'll be posting more common issues next week. Keep an eye out and read all of our blog posts here.
Thanks for reading,
Matt & Matt