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. However, you will get a report from your inspector about the condition of your home. This can be used to take steps that will make it more marketable and possibly raise its value. At least you’ll have greater confidence in knowing the home is worth the asking price.
A pre-sale home inspection is a worthwhile investment with several benefits. You will have the opportunity to make any necessary repairs now, before a buyer’s inspector discovers the issues. The repairs will also put the house in better selling condition. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you are making the house better for the people who will be buying your home. The fewer apprehensions they have, the greater the chance they’ll buy. They want fewer issues after moving in, too.
It can be more work for you if an inspection finds serious problems. However, it can also prevent a potential sale from being cancelled later. It also means less chance of worry or regret on the part of the buyer. You can make the home even easier to sell by having it inspected again after repairs have been done. Make the revised report available to potential buyers as this can make the deal go more smoothly.
A pre-sale inspection alerts you to specific tasks you can do to make your home more appealing. These can be as minor as trimming trees and shrubs that touch or overhang the house. Most likely new caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors is in order. Cleaning gutters or repairing and replacing cracked or broken gutters, downspouts, and extensions are common tasks. These will ensure proper drainage and prevent water from leaking into the basement and foundation. Replace bathroom caulk or grouting where necessary. While these will make your home look nicer, they are also items the buyer’s inspector will be checking and including in the buyer’s inspection report.
Fixing your home makes a good impression on your prospective buyer. For example, repair leaky faucets, tighten loose doorknobs, replace damaged screens and thoroughly clean the clothes dryer vent, to name a few
Your home inspection report could also alert you to safety matters you may want to fix. For example, be sure smoke detectors are installed on each level in strategic places. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s) in “wet” areas, such as kitchen counter tops, bathrooms and exterior outlets.
Of course, the bigger issues will need your attention in order to make the home more marketable. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) surveyed its members and found that a 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 (often from trees) and mechanical problems with the heating and air conditioning systems.
In summary, a pre-sale home inspection advises you of the condition of your house so you can take steps to make it more appealing when selling. An inspection followed by needed repairs can make your house sell more quickly and for a better price. That can be of great benefit to you as the seller no matter what the market conditions are like.