With home values at historic highs, many homeowners are rushing to put their houses on the market to take advantage of the increase in their equity. But our real estate agents want to caution sellers that hasty decisions can mean necessary repairs can go unidentified and delay closing the sale. A pre-inspection can be a worthwhile investment and reveal issues that can be resolved before listing.
- Inoperable Appliances
Sellers typically leave kitchen appliances, including a refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher, but built-in items may also include microwaves. Less considered but equally important items include water heaters, heating, and cooling. FHA loans require all appliances that contribute to the home's value are fully operational. Further, the electrical system must be able to support the operation of these appliances safely.
- Plumbing Problems
No one wants dripping faucets or toilets that don't flush properly. But inspectors don't stop there. They look for signs of water damage from faulty pipes. While they're at it, they check to see that the correct pipes were used and that there are no cross-connection problems. This means that there is a point where clean drinking water could come into contact with contaminated water due to backflow. So, connecting pipes must be thoroughly inspected to ensure no issue exists.
- Asbestos or Lead Paint
Asbestos was used in construction until the 1970s. New York homes built before this have the potential to have been built with products including asbestos or lead paint. It is frequently found in vinyl flooring, insulation, and ceiling tiles. If the inspector finds asbestos, the report will include recommendations for resolution, which a specialist in the field should do.
A pest inspection will search for signs of insect damage, such as termites and roaches, that can damage the structure or create a health hazard. In addition to bed bugs and fleas, inspectors will look for signs of rodents. Pest control companies do more than spray for bugs. They also search for and seal holes where unwelcome creatures can enter.
- Roofing Problems
Roof inspections will uncover any loose shingles or tiles, clogged gutters, and leaks. If the roof fails the inspection, the buyer may not be able to get a lender to give them a mortgage, and home insurance will be difficult to obtain. Whether the buyer or the seller pays for the repairs is a matter of negotiation, but either way, the process could slow down the closing process.
- Electrical Hazards
An electrical contractor can discover and correct common issues such as taped or spliced wires, missing or faulty GFCI outlets, and improperly installed circuit breakers. GFCI outlets, or ground-fault circuit interrupters, are circuit breakers on individual outlets designed to protect people from electrical shock in places like bathrooms, which could be exposed to water. The inspection is generally inexpensive, as well as the repairs if addressed in a timely fashion.
- Fire Hazards
In addition to the electrical issues discussed previously, home inspectors will check for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They will check to see if fire extinguishers have current certifications. They will check to see if windows and doors are in good working condition, opening, closing, and locking easily.
Many of the repairs discussed are inexpensive and can be done by the homeowner, leaving the more extensive repairs to the experts. If you have addressed most of them or need additional assistance from an experienced real estate professional, contact us. We'll help you navigate the sales process and maximize your profits swiftly and stress-free.