Home inspections are a huge part of buying and selling a home. Usually, the inspection is the first and most difficult hurdle to cross when a home sale contract is signed. This is because, typically, a buyer can either walk away from the sale or ask for items to be fixed in the home. When a home inspector finds faults around your home, sellers and buyers need to negotiate price, sellers may have costly repairs, or the buyers may just walk away from the contract. None of these scenarios is good news for a homeowner. Here are 7 things to look for before a home inspection.
According to Repair Pricer’s National Home Inspection Study in 2019, Key findings The analysis of inspection reports identified more than 1 million aggregated repair items across 50,000 homes nationwide. The average home was found to have more than $11,000 in repair costs.
As a seller, you may want to tackle some obvious items before you put your home up for sale. Our community experts Matt and Lisa Lloyd, owners of Pillar to Post Home Inspections shared these great tips to help you be prepared. Here are 7 things to look for before a home inspection.
1. Water Around the Perimeter
According to Reader’s Digest, downspout extensions are needed to move water from the roof and gutters away from your foundation. Water settling near your home may cause serious long-term damage to your home. Walk around your home regularly to make sure that water is not collecting anywhere. Additionally, as the cold-weather sets in, remember to drain garden hoses, shut off outdoor faucets and make sure exterior pipes are drained of water.
2. Look for Condensation Around Windows
Condensation around windows in older homes may be caused by defective seals. These are relatively easy to correct and relatively inexpensive. Be sure to contact an expert to evaluate the problem and offer a solution.
3. Clean Gutters and Check Roof
Even if you aren’t prepping your house to sell, gutter cleanliness is something you should keep on top of. Gutters control the flow of water from your roof and protect not only your foundation, roof, insulation, and walls, but also your lawn. Damage from gutters that aren’t properly functioning for long periods of time can cost you a lot down the road. Readers Digest suggest making the roof and gutters top priority.
This can be taken care of by clearing gutters of leaves and other debris. Leaf guards may help to save you a lot of time the next time you clean and prevent clogging. Thankfully for many of us in Northern Virginia, HOA’s will assist with regular cleaning of gutters. For the roof, look for missing or damaged shingles. If you see something, be sure to hire a qualified professional to evaluate and repair the roof.
4. Check for Caulking and Sealant
According to the National Home Inspection Study, 54% of houses had exterior caulking and sealant missing. If missing this causes exterior wood around windows and door frames to slowly rot and degrade over time. Checked regularly, problems can be fixed at a much lower cost than if left unattended. Pillar to Post Home Inspections suggest you “caulk around exterior door and window frames for a tight seal. Look for gaps where pipes or wiring enter the home and caulk those as well to protect from water, insects and mice”.
5. Look for Indoor Leaks and Replace Damaged Plumbing Fixtures
To keep your home at its best, also consider looking for leaks on a regular basis and dealing with the problem right away. This includes replacing leaky faucets and cleaning shower heads on a regular basis. Over time, sediments collect and will cause trouble down the road.
6. Check that Rails are Secure before inspection
Stair and upper level rails can quickly lose stability and pose serious danger around the home, especially with small children. Be sure to test each rail in the home to see if any need to be tightened.
7. Check Light Bulbs and Fixtures
Be sure to also check that all the light fixtures in your home have working bulbs. If a home inspector finds a light out, they won’t know if its the bulb that burned out or if the light switch fixture is bad. It’s best to eliminate any questions that will require further inspection. Replacing burnt out bulbs is a quick and easy solution.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may also want to consider 8 House Chores When Getting Ready to Sell.