Inspection Checklist for Pre-Listing Your Home
Traditionally, home sellers didn’t bother getting a home inspection in Central Ohio before listing their home because they didn’t want to draw attention to potential defects. They would list the home and hope that the buyer also didn’t opt for an inspection and simply purchase the home as-is. However, today’s competitive real estate market has changed all that.
Buyers are much more likely to invest in an inspection before finalizing the deal so that they know exactly what they are getting into. That makes it important for home owners to invest in a home inspection before they list their home. Otherwise, any problems can be used as a negotiating tools to lower the price of the home. A pre-listing inspection can help ensure that sellers get the price they are asking for and help to create a fast and smooth selling process.
Ultimately, when the home’s condition is transparent and disclosed to all parties involved, it creates a win-win situation. The next challenge is finding a home inspector who is familiar with all the various systems of houses and can provide a thorough and detailed inspection that includes a hands-on inspection instead of just a visual overview. Hiring the right inspector will help you get the maximum amount for your home.
What To Look For
Here are some of the essential areas that your home inspector should examine:
✔ Structural Elements
- Has the home ever experienced a fire that may have created lasting damage that needs to be addressed?
- Are there horizontal or vertical cracks along the walls and ceilings that could be an indication of foundational problems?
- Are there any signs of stains on the floors, walls or ceilings?
- Are there obvious cracks in the foundation? Are there superficial cracks or deeper problems that could be affecting the structural integrity?
- Are there trees located near the foundation that could allow roots to cause cracks and damage?
- Is there adequate drainage that is leading water away from the house and the foundation?
- Are there exterior areas that stay wet and are clearly pooling water?
- Are all the surfaces, such as driveways and sidewalks, in good working condition and free of cracks and obvious damage?
✔ Roof and Attic Space
- Is the roof missing shingles that will need to be replaced or may have let water reach the sheathing and attic space?
- Will the roof need to be completely replaced in the near future?
- Has flashing and trim been properly installed along ridges and seams?
- Does the attic show any signs of leaks or water damage?
- Are the appliances well-maintained and in proper working order?
- How old are the major kitchen appliances and when will they need to be replaced?
- How energy efficient are the existing appliances?
- Are there noticeable leaks around or under appliances and sinks?
- Does the plumbing system make unusual noises when in use?
- Do the faucets and shower heads provide adequate water pressure?
- Do all the light switches and outlets work properly?
- Do all the ceiling fans work?
- Are the outlets properly grounded for safety?
- Is the electrical panel up-to-date? Has it been subject to any recent recalls?
✔ Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation
- Does the house have a distinct smell? Is it easy to identify the source of any smells?
- Is the HVAC system in proper working order and operating efficiently?
- Does the water heater provide enough hot water to accommodate the house and its needs?
- Does the kitchen include a working exhaust fan?
- Do any of the elements of the garage show signs of damage or excessive wear and tear?
- Inspectors should check the slab, wall, ceilings, vents, garage door, lights, windows, roof and other components.
Common Problems and Fixes
If you own a older home in the Columbus Ohio area, there is a good chance that at least a few issues will be identified during the inspection process. Fortunately, most common problems are easy and inexpensive to fix and addressing these issues will allow you to get the most money for your home. Here are a few common problems often found during the pre listing inspection process along with how they can be fixed.
✔ Electrical: It isn’t unusual for the electrical system to contain some faulty wiring, missing wire nuts and amperage mismatches. Fixing junction boxes and upgrading to a 100 or 200 amp panel should get your home back on track.
✔ Roofing: Storms and harsh weather can blow off shingles and cause them to become brittle and curl. While these issues will need to be addressed, they don’t necessarily mean that you will have to replace the entire roof. In a lot of cases, you can simply replace problem shingles and replace loose flashing. It is also important to unclog or replace faulty gutters where necessary. Gutters are an essential component that help direct water away from the roof and foundation. If water is allowed to collect, it can cause major damage.
✔ Exterior: While chipped paint, cracks in caulking, worn carpeting and floors and other superficial signs of aging don’t affect the integrity of the home, it can make negotiating a maximum value more difficult. Cleaning up these areas and giving your home a minor facelift can help you increase your profits. Plumbing: Low water pressure and wobbly toilets are common in older homes. Often times, plumbing systems can be given new life by cleaning drains, clearing debris from aerators. This will remove any clogs, improve drainage and increase water pressure. Putting down a new toilet wax ring seal will also help to provide a secure and level surface and prevent leaks.
✔ HVAC: Over time, cracks can form in the heat exchanger or water heater. To prevent these problems, be sure to invest in regular maintenance. To fix the problem, you will need to hire an expert who can make the necessary repairs.
✔ Ventilation: Attic and roof soffits can become block and cause extreme temperatures and condensation. Be sure to clean soffits and add extra vents while also making sure that the bathroom and kitchen fans are properly sending air to the outside.
Before You Sell Your Home
If you want to sell your home in the Columbus Ohio market at the highest price possible, be sure to invest in a pre list inspection from the experts at Home Inspections. We have experience in home construction and are certified inspectors, which means that we have a deep understanding of what makes your home tick and where to look for problems. Our experts also take a hands-on approach to identify any areas that you might want to address before listing your home. Call us today 1 (800) 241-0133 to schedule your pre list inspection.