Depending on the style, age, and location of the home, the inspection process can change, but one overarching theme across the board is the curiosity of what inspectors are looking for and what buyers are most worried about.
Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to speak with some of my most trusted inspectors and expert professionals to compile a list of the top five aspects of an inspection that continuously arise and how sellers can better prepare their homes. Keep reading and let me know if there are any negative inspection results that you think they have missed!
Whether it is in your basements, old plumbing leaks, or even water intrusion from less than optimal exterior grading, when moisture experts see that issues have been listed on the inspection report it immediately sets off alarm bells. So, if you’re preparing to list your home, it is important to consider some key tactics for moisture control and management. One great example from the experts is getting set up with a top of the line dehumidifier in the spaces of your home that hold moisture the most like the basement, lower levels for split or bi-level homes, and underground garages. In addition to the humid spaces in your home, consulting with a licensed plumber to take a look at your toilets and sinks for possible leaks is a great tactic as well so that you can combat any moisture issues prior to even listing the home.
With so many other tasks to do around the home, homeowners tend to forget about HVAC maintenance. If you’re able to spend the money to have your HVAC professionally inspected yearly that is great, but if not, there are some inexpensive tasks that can prove to potential buyers that you have taken care of your home. Experts say that taking the time to check and replace your air filters and keeping your AC and heating systems free of dust and debris can help your systems to have a longer lifespan and need less frequent professional maintenance. Save yourself the cost of replacement equipment after a negative inspection report and keep your HVAC in great shape now.
Roof Age and Condition
As most sellers can remember from their initial home buying process, the age and condition of the roof is one of the most important factors to most buyers. In fact, roof maintenance items and overall condition are one of the first items a buyer looks for on the sellers disclosure. Knowing how expensive a new roof could be if the condition is not satisfactory, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure the longevity of your roof. According to roofing professionals, first and foremost clean your gutters regularly, not only can this cause added strain on your roof, but flooded gutters can also cause leaks to siding and moisture in your basement. Another tip to keep your roof in great shape is to trim large overhanging tree branches and remove moss growth. Overhanging tree branches can cause holes and leaks in a flash, so it’s important to keep them in check.
Stucco specialists would agree that failure due to compromised windows, which were not installed correctly, surfaces on inspection reports quite often. Moisture seeps into the crevices where flashing is either non-existent, worn, or incorrectly installed, and this can mean major cost to complete stucco remediation. Some important identifiers of stucco failure to look out for are missing or aged caulk along trim lines, cracked or heavily stained stucco indicating mold or rot, and improper sealing between transitional elements like vinyl siding. Take note of the health of your stucco by frequently checking for any of the above issues.
Sewer Line Scoping
Last, but certainly not least, is the sewer line scope. Plumbing professionals today recommend you get your sewer line scope to make sure there are no cracks in the line or disruption from roots, since finding a crack in a sewer line can lead to costly repairs. As the seller, how can you ensure that your sewer line may have an active issue? Professional plumbers would say that the most obvious sign of sewer issues are a strong odor coming from the drains, a damp or mushy lawn, and any cracks in patio slabs.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, looking out for these key items on your inspection report is very important. Hopefully the information above from the trusted experts, has armed you with the best possible insight into your transaction process, and for the sellers, hopefully you can take the time to evaluate your systems and structures to save yourself a major remediation cost prior to closing.