Seller’s Checklist – Home Inspection
Home Inspections are a HUGE part of the Selling Process. The more a Seller can do to get ahead of the issues that may come up in the Home Inspection the BETTER!
It is the Home Inspector’s job to find every defect in your property. So to avoid getting blindsided, I highly recommend that you have your own Home Inspection before you list the property. You will save yourself a lot of headache, if you can get ahead of the most common issues. Want a smooth transaction, with few surprises and a lot less stress? Then tackle the most common areas that are sure to come up in the “Report.”
Electrical System: Have an electrician, a REAL ONE, not your neighbor or your uncle, check all the outlets to make sure they are grounded, have proper polarity and that GFCI’s are installed where they are required (4 feet from a water source: Kitchen, Baths, Laundry Room, outside, etc). Also, have them look in the attic! Inspectors always find loose wires in the attic space. Any rogue wiring should be put in junction boxes or removed.
Heater and A/C Systems: Have them cleaned and if you really want to go all the way, get them Certified. And make sure the company puts a sticker on the units so the Home Inspector can see that they were recently cleaned. This should be done within the year the house is being listed.
Plumbing: Often times, Home Inspectors note minor issues such as loose toilets (YES, they actually shake the toilets!) and leaking faucets. It’s also common practice that they shake the shower components to see if they are loose. These are usually simple fixes that the Homeowner can take care of, but if you can hire a plumber, then please just do that. Keep in mind that once the house is under contract, every repair needs be performed by a licensed professional, for YOUR protection, so it’s better to get it done right the first time.
Chimney: Clean the fireplace and get a Level 1 Chimney Cert. This inspection checks the liner and the exterior to make sure that the fireplace is in safe, working condition. A Level 2 Cert requires a bit more and is not usually necessary, unless you live in a township that requires a Level 2 Cert like Falls Township, Bristol or Warminster.
Roof: A General Contractor or Roofer should check the Flashing and the Vent boots on the chimney/roof. These are relatively inexpensive repairs that are sure to come up in a Home Inspection. Think about that last time you replaced these or even remembered they were up there. Enough said! The roofer should also replace any missing shingles, if need be. Knowing the age and life left for the roof is also helpful.
Attic Space: Have a roofer check for moisture and adequate airflow in the attic. If they find MOLD, you should have it remediated. NOBODY wants to buy a house with mold in the attic, and you could actually lose a buyer if the Inspector finds mold. Scary stuff, get it taken care of!
Windows/Doors: Make sure that all the windows and doors open, close and lock properly. Windows with broken seals are a very common issue that buyers ask to be corrected. If the seal is broken, you usually see fog and/or condensation inside the panes of glass. Many companies will measure the glass and replace it for less than $100/per pane. It’s much cheaper to replace the glass than the entire window. If you get the glass fixed, it should be acceptable to the buyers.
Radon: Radon is very common in Bucks County. It’s an invisible gas that can cause lung cancer. Acceptable levels are below 4.0. If the levels are above 4.0, then you install a Radon Remediation System. They usually run between $700-$1500, depending how many rooms need a system. Usually it’s just the basement.
Gutters: Clean out the gutters and make sure that they drain away from the house. Many damp basements are often the result of downspouts being too close to the house.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: There should be a smoke detector in every bedroom and hallway. If you have gas utilities or appliances, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed, too.
If all this info is making your head spin, then just take a deep breath and make a checklist. Start by doing one thing at a time. You don’t want these issues to come up after you are under contract and trying to pack and deal with the Home Inspection report of the place you are moving to. Selling a house is stressful, but by getting ahead of these common issues, you shouldn’t go into cardiac arrest during the sale of your home. Happy Selling!
Suzanne can be reached at:
Bus: 215-968-7400 • Cell: 267-243-8487