As you’re getting ready to sell your home it might do you good to do your own pre-inspection. After you do your pre-inspection then call a certified professional home inspector.
As you’re doing a pre-inspection of your home write down everything that needs some attention or is out of the ordinary. You may also want to create a list of questions to ask the home inspector as he walks through the house with you.
He will give you a thorough report with pictures and you will know what needs to be done to get your house ready to be sold. You may find that some of the things that you found out of the ordinary may be okay.
For now we’ll focus on your heating and electrical systems as well as doors and windows.
* Get a flashlight to look into the furnace flue. Look for a buildup of soot or rust. Tap on the flue to see what falls. Rust is a sign of condensation, which is evidence your furnace is operating inefficiently.
* Make a solution of dishwashing soap and water and brush it on ductwork joints. If there are leaks, you’ll see bubbles in the soap.
* Check all registers and vents to see if there are any loose or missing covers and screws.
* Check around radiators for leaks. Damaged floors could be a sign of a leak or an incorrect pitch (or angle) toward the return.
* Look for overall deterioration, such as rust, loose parts, and any other signs the system is failing. Whatever you find, call a heating and cooling professional to service your furnace.
Here are simple things you can do to check for electrical system problems.
* Check the trees around the house to be sure they’re not threatening to come down on wires.
* Open the electrical panel and look for new scorch marks around breakers or fuses.
* Check outlets for scorch marks, which may be a sign of loose and sparking wires.
* Look for loose outlet covers, receptacles, and loose boxes. These may have to be refastened to the studs while the power is turned off.
* Test all GFCI outlets. To do this, plug in a lamp and then hit the test and reset buttons. Does it turn the light off and then on again?
* If you have an electrical tester, make sure all outlets work. If you don’t have a tester, simply use a lamp and plug it into each outlet.
* Call a qualified electrician if you find problems that need immediate attention.
Checking doors and windows is less daunting than checking heating and electrical systems, but it’s also very important.
* Examine the weather stripping around outside doors and windows for tears and wear. Is there any that needs to be replaced?
* Look for cracks in window glass. Is there any glazing around the panes?
* Check the action of each window. Are there any sticking points?
* Look for peeling paint and other signs of wear on window frames. Particularly look in the bottom corners. Have weep holes in the sill outside been caulked over when they shouldn’t have been? These holes allow drainage.
* Look at thresholds for cracks that could let water reach the sill.
Being familiar with your home inside and out will give you an advantage when dealing with your home inspector and those prospective buyers.