Summary: Home inspections are an important piece of the home buying and selling process. There are many different types of inspections you should perform, yet general contractors will be able to fix or subcontract the task out.
Home Inspection Tips for Sellers
A home inspection will examine almost every aspect of your home including the foundation, roof, attic, basement, electrical, and plumbing to name a few. A home inspection is one of several common contingencies you will encounter while selling your home. It allows the buyer to inspect your home in good faith by choosing their own 3rd party inspector. If a problem arises, the buyer has the power to renegotiate with you to address the problem.
Hiring a Home Inspector
Even though the buyer will hire their own inspector, being proactive and addressing any physical issues with your home is a perfect way to make the home selling process easy for both parties. In fact, a home inspection is a great way to prepare a disclosure packet, but keep in mind that a disclosure packet is not the same thing as an independent inspection performed by the buyer.
FSBO Tip 1: Even if you are a FSBO seller, you can still ask a real estate agent for home inspector referrals.
You have a few options when hiring a home inspector. Even if you are going for the FSBO option, you can still ask for a referral from a local agent or brokerage. You can use popular home service aggregators like Home Advisor, or you can search directly on the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors websites.
Common Home Inspection Issues and Resolutions
Once you’ve hired a licensed home inspector, the inspector will look at physical elements of your home including the attic, basement, foundation, all mechanical systems, electrical systems, and the health of your plumbing. In addition, your inspector will look at the structural elements of your home including the foundation and roof.
FSBO Tip 2: Sewer and septic tank inspections may not be covered in the home inspector’s scope of work. To ensure accuracy, err on the side of caution and consider hiring a structural engineer and an inspector who specializes in waste.
The plumbing inspection. In order to test the “health” of your home’s plumbing system, the home inspector will ensure that each toilet can flush properly, hot and cold water taps work on every sink with proper flow and drainage and that bathtubs and showers can adequately operate. In addition, the inspector will check for any unusual noises and will check the health of the water heater.
Common issues. Leaks and blockages are common with any plumbing inspection. Addressing plumbing issues can be as easy as unclogging pipes or as expensive as replacing the water heater.
The mechanical inspection. The home inspector will test the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. In addition, the inspector will ensure all the electrical wiring is up to code. Each system will be run for a period of time to ensure adequate operation.
Common issues. Light switches fail to work or outlets are not properly grounded. In addition, fuse box panels may need to be updated and expanded to accommodate repairs or future remodeling jobs. Furnaces may need to be replaced. Although the inspector may recommend replacing appliances, you may be able to negotiate these costs with the potential home buyer.
The structural inspection. In general, the home inspector will examine the foundation, basement, walls, attic, and roof. The foundation inspection will look at the base of each wall to see if there are any cracks or shifts. The basement inspection will check for dampness, insulation, and odors. The inspector will also look at the roof and check its overall condition. From the inside in the attic, the inspector will be able to check for signs of leaks.
FSBO Tip 3: The structural inspection encompasses much more than the other two inspections and may require a few specialists.
The foundation assessment is the most complex as it’s not readily visible and issues are the most expensive to repair. Consider hiring a separate structural engineer for a more in-depth inspection of the foundation.
Common issues. The most common issues are water-related. Dry rot, mold, and mildew are common yet easily treatable depending on the extent of the damage. Termites are also common and are also easily treatable with the help of an exterminator. The structural engineer will be able to recommend solutions to any foundation issues as these are the most expensive repairs.
Additional Inspections and Important Considerations
The home inspector will also look at the lot and examine how water drains away from your house. In addition, the inspector will perform a full exterior inspection to see if the home needs repainting, new windows, or new gutters.
It’s important to keep in mind that your inspection may not reveal every issue with your home. The buyer will also perform their own inspection as well. Look carefully at the buyer’s offer and see how they plan on handling any unforeseen circumstances down the road.
Who Pays for Home Inspection When Selling a House
Sellers usually pay for home inspections hence as important home inspection tips for sellers
Issues found from the buyer’s independent inspection can put you in a difficult negotiation position if you haven’t prepared a disclosure packet. By performing your own inspection ahead of time, you’ll uncover and address every potential issue regarding your home. Although there are many different types of inspections you should perform, yet general contractors will be able to fix or subcontract the task out.
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