Homebuyers almost always hire professional home inspectors to find any problems with a property before closing. If you’re planning to sell a home, it’s important to address key issues before this important process begins. Read on to learn which hot spots inspectors focus on when they’re assessing the condition of a home.
Roofs and Chimneys
Because it’s the first line of defense against the weather, roofs get a lot of attention from inspectors. Deteriorating shingles and other flaws are one of the very first things they will notice. Rotted or moist elements beneath the shingles will typically draw requests for repairs. The inspection will also include a long look at the attic. Any sign of water stains or mold will lead to a negative report.
Sellers should also make sure the flashing around the chimney is watertight. The bricks and mortar should be in good condition, and the fireplace needs to function properly and be free of creosote buildup which can increase the risk of uncontrolled fires and, in rare instances, explosions.
During an inspection, you should expect every part of your home’s plumbing system to get a thorough once-over. Repair leaks long before the inspector sets foot on your property. It’s always important to address pumping problems quickly because they can lead to extensive, unseen water damage that can reduce a home’s value.
Inspectors also check water pressure by flushing toilets, turning on multiple faucets, and simultaneously running the dishwasher. They also assess the health of a home’s septic system.
Basements and Crawl Spaces
Home inspectors pay special attention to signs of mold in basements and crawl spaces. Any sort of mildew stain and foul odor can torpedo a home sale, especially if there is evidence of black mold. Even if the mold in your home isn’t dangerous, you need to treat it and address the source of the problem to prevent a recurrence.
Even slight mildew odors are signs of excessive moisture. Home inspectors look closely at the floors and walls for signs of dampness and patches of mildew. Inspectors often use meters to determine how much moisture is present because moisture eventually attracts insects and deteriorates building materials.
You can cover exposed earth in crawl spaces and basements with plastic sheeting to help lower moisture levels. Most foundation leaks are caused by poor drainage that forces water toward the foundation. This can cause the underlying soil to expand and shrink as the water evaporates.
If your home has foundation problems, and you can’t afford repairs, you may have to lower your asking price upfront with the understanding that the price reflects the problem. You could also give the prospective buyers an allowance to make repairs after closing.
Inspectors also assess electrical systems with a critical eye. Your circuit breaker and electrical panel configuration must be adequate for the requirements of your house. Depending on the code, these systems can change over time, especially with older properties. It’s best to review current codes before you put your home on the market to see if there are any issues.
In bathrooms and kitchens, inspectors will look for receptacles equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFI). These contain mini-circuit breakers that shut off during a power overload or short circuit. bear in mind that good inspectors check receptacles to make sure they aren’t dummies that aren’t wired correctly.
Home inspections generally look at every part of a home. Although roofs, basements, wiring and plumbing are always primary areas, they aren’t the only places worthy of your attention.
Inspectors will check cooling and heating systems to make sure they work and note their efficiency. They will take a close look at the foundation and structure, along with any appliances that remain with the house. This includes carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors, so make sure all of these are in good working order.
While most buyers are mainly concerned with the condition and safety of a home, some hope to find minor issues, so they can lower their offers. In the end, the fewer issues they find, the less opportunity buyers will have to haggle overpricing.
Thinking of selling your home? The Wheaton Team makes it easy. With decades of residential real estate experience in Colorado Springs and the Tri-Lakes area, our skilled professionals are ready to guide you through every step of the complex selling process. Contact our team to learn more.
To learn more about home inspections, read: 5 Tips on Finding the Right Home Inspector.