You have butterflies in your stomach. You can’t decide which perfume to use — flowery and feminine or bold so he knows you mean business. Should you start in the kitchen or go straight upstairs? And should you tell him about that thing in the attic?
You have a date with a house inspector, and you can’t back out now.
A home inspection is a crucial step in putting your house on the market. Buyers need to collect as much information about the property as possible to be sure they’re investing wisely. And for sellers, a poor prognosis can mean the difference between an easy sale and a long list of costly repairs.
A successful inspection boils down to these five priority areas:
Your heating ventilation air conditioning system
A functioning HVAC unit is key to making your home comfortable, and, more importantly, keeping your family safe. If your home gets too hot and the air conditioning stops working, dehydration and heat exposure can be dangerous. Setting up an appointment with a professional to have a thorough check of the unit twice a year will put you and your inspector’s minds at ease.
The roof protects your home, defending the interior from outside conditions, so inspectors will carefully investigate the age and state of your roof. If you have leaks, areas of mold, or rotting, this could signal trouble to come for your interior walls and assets. Regularly check your roof, attic, and gutters for any early signs of these potentially destructive elements.
Your doors and windows
Home inspectors will check windows and doors for cracks in the glass, cracks and rot in the frames, and caulking around the windows and frames. These can cause air leaks and make your HVAC work less efficiently. Learn the type and age of your windows so you can replace them at the right time. If they need caulking, this can be a fun job to do yourself — all you need is a caulking gun and a steady hand.
Your plumbing and electricity
Poor plumbing and electrical wiring can cause serious damage to your home and turn potential buyers off. Drippy faucets, wobbly toilet flushes, and more serious issues such as leaks and water damage should be discovered and sorted out before you complete the sale. If you don’t feel confident wielding the tools yourself, call your favorite handyman.
If your property’s foundation is damaged or structurally unsound, your entire home could become insecure. This can damage the floors, basement, walls, ceilings, or roof. Inspectors will check for cracks in your foundation and walls, determine whether your home is tilted or sagging, and examine your windows for any bowing. Keep an eye on these warning signs before they become a problem, and enlist the help of a professional to point out what an untrained eye can’t.
Dominate your inspection, and reassure potential buyers that their new home isn’t going to fall in on their heads by keeping these areas a priority. Passing your home inspection will make the sale go much smoother, and keeping up with these repairs will take the burden off when it comes time to sell. Your house doesn’t have to smell like a bakery to impress that inspector; fix these top problem areas, and selling your house will be a piece of cake.
Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, a cloud-based home improvement and organizational software tool. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home improvement projects, maintenance, inventory, property information, and property value. Check out HomeZada’s blog for more helpful tips!