Oh my, what if they find something
Over the years, professional
home inspectors have identified a list of problems that typically appear on purchasers'
home inspection reports. Early correction of these problems can increase a home's
appeal, and it's selling price. Correction also sets the stage for a favourable home
inspection report should the purchaser request one, and thereby helps to
streamline your sale. The following checklist can help you achieve your marketing goals.
Using the checklist as a
guide to examine your house will enable you to see your house the way a prospective
purchaser or a professional home inspector might.
Is your home physically fit? To give your home a competitve edge when it's time to sell, make sure it
is in good physical condition. This not only makes your house more attractive and
desirable, it also simplifies or eliminates the negotiation process when the time comes for
the buyer's pre-purchase inspection.
According to home inspection experts everywhere, approximately half of the resale
homes on the market today have at least one significant defect. Routine maintenance
is the best way to prevent major costly problems from developing in the first place.
So, if you've been putting off repairs, now is the time to catch up, as quick as
To identify which components are most in need of repair, many sellers now enlist
professional home inspectors before putting up the 'For Sale' sign.
What is a home inspection?
A professional home inspection is an objective, in-depth visual
examination of a home's structure and operating systems, and should result in a detailed
report describing the condition of the home. The main intent of a home inspection is
to educate the client as to the physical condition of the home.
No house is perfect, and a home inspection is
not intended to identify every little blemish or minute surface imperfection. The concientious home inspector tries to discover if there are major defects in a home that
the client, and perhaps no one else, is aware of - and should also point out the positive
aspects of a house. A good or better than average report can be a good marketing
tool for vendors and their agents.
Print this list and twice:
Check the major systems.
After size, style and location, a home buyer's primary concern is the
condition of the basic structure and major electro-mechanical systems. Most buyers
do not want to invest a great deal of money correcting problems in such critical areas.
A thorough investigation of the following major items should be made in order to
determine if they are serviceable:
Roof structure and covering
Foundation, basement, and/or crawl space
Central heating and air conditioning systems
Make maintenance improvements.
The maintenance improvements listed below are relatively easy and
inexpensive to make, yet they can substantially improve a home's appearance, efficiency
Trim trees and shrubs which touch or overhang
Apply new caulking and weather
needed around windows and doors.
Clean gutters of debris and leaves, repair or
replace cracked or broken gutters, downspouts and extensions to ensure proper drainage
Replace bathroom caulk or grout where
necessary to prevent seepage and improve appearance.
Ventilate closed basements and crawl spaces,
or install a dehumidifier to prevent excessive.
Regrade soil around the house to prevent
ponding of water next to the foundation
Replace dirty filters in the heating and
Have the heating, ventilating and
air-conditioning systems professionally serviced
Have chimneys professionally cleaned &
inspected, and install chimney hoods and caps as required. For wood-burning
installations insist on a WETT Certified Technician.
Pay attention to details.
Fixing even minor items can go a long way toward improving that important first
impression of your home. Here are some improvements which you might consider:
Repair leaky faucets
Tighten loose door knobs
Replace damaged screens
Replace broken panes of glass - cloudy
sealed-pane units can often be replaced inexpensively, and will drastically improve the
appearance of a window or patio door.
Replace burned-out light bulbs, and wherever
possible, replace broken light fixtures
Secure loose railings
Patch small holes in walls and ceilings and
Repair or replace faded or peeling wallpaper
Repair and coat the driveway
Take safety precautions.
Pay attention to items relating to protecting the home and its occupants
from danger. The following are important safety precaution which home buyers will
appreciate, are relatively easy to implement and shouldn't cost a lot. And they'll
create a great impression!
Installing good quality smoke detectors
Installing a good quality carbon-monoxide
Ensure adequate outdoor lighting, especially
in suburban and rural locales
'GFCI' outlets outdoors and in wet locations
such a bath & laundry areas.
Keep the stairwells tidy and free of debris
and obstructions, and leave plenty of clearance around the garage door, electrical panel
Keep flammables and combustibles away from the
furnace and other utility areas.
If you have direct entry from the garage to
the interior of the home, consider installing a hydraulic or other form of auto-closure
device on the door.
Check the 'down' tension on garage door
openers, and ensure that the door reverses without an excessive amount of pressure.
Make cosmetic improvements.
An attractive, clean and tidy appearance will enhance your home's appeal.
In addition to making any necessary repairs, remember to:
Keep the lawn mowed and the house 'picked-up'
Clean the exterior walls & trim, and wash
the windows squeeky clean.
Open the shades and curtains to create a
bright, inviting atmosphere.
Pay particular attention to the cleanliness
and comfort of the kitchen and bathrooms.
Prepare for the buyer's inspection.
More and more purchasers are requesting pre-purchase inspections.
It's a good idea to assemble in advance, the various house records that can be used to
answer questions from the purchaser and their inspector.
You should try to have on hand:
Appliance receipts, service records and
Information on the age of major components
such as the roof coverings, furnace, air-conditioner, etc.
Major component warranties (e.g. roofing,
siding, windows, carpeting furnace and other appliances
Heating, water and electric bills from at
least the past 12 months
How did your house make out?
Hopefully, this home seller's checklist has helped you gain a clearer
knowledge of your home's overall condition - from a buyer's perspective. Now you can
make repairs or improvements will will increase your home's marketability. And
remember, you ARE marketing your house - you probably wouldn't try to sell your car
without making it clean and ready. It just makes good sense! Of course, even
if your house is already in optimum condition, a professional home inspection can also be
a good marketing tool. Just leave a copy of the report on the kitchen table for
agents and purchasers to read.
Show it off!
Take a peek inside!
|If you had your home inspected when you bought it, chances are
you've implemented some or perhaps all of your inspector's recommendations. Why not
use your HORIZON inspection report as a marketing tool?
Didn't get the house
inspected when you bought it? Perhaps you made some
substantial improvements, some valuable upgrades? Have you thought about having a
This is a home inspection report that "shows" nicely!
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