Selling a home means different things to different people. For some people, it means they are moving on to a new job and new location. For others, it may mean upgrading to a larger home because they outgrew their current home. Some people sell their home because they want to downsize; maybe the kids have grown up, got married, and a large house is too much to keep up. Whatever the reason for selling a home, everyone will go through a lot of the same steps. One of these steps is getting an inspection
A home inspection can bring anxiety to some homeowners because they don’t know what to expect. They may wonder if the inspection will indicate costly problems they didn’t know existed, or they may worry about the issues they do know about. How severe are these problems and will they affect the sale?
A good real estate agent will connect you with an inspection specialist who will treat your property fairly. The price of your home could vary depending on the results. Some buyers will try to get the price down a bit if there are multiple issues on the report. However, you have the option to correct any problems that show up on your report and therefore keep your selling price where you want it or even increase it. If the cost of repairs is too high and you don’t have the time for them, then you could lower your price. In this way, an inspection report is a valuable part of the home selling process because it's a negotiation tool.
Let’s take a closer look at what is included on an inspection report. Keep in mind that every inspection company is different, but this is the primary information you should expect. On your report, safety issues and recommendations are separated. They may be under a different heading or color-coded differently, but it’s important to understand that safety issues must be corrected whereas recommendations are just advice. However, you may get more money for your home if you fix some of these areas.
This part of your inspection looks at all the exterior parts of your home. These include:
- Roof — are there any leaks, cracks, or wear and tear?
- Exterior doors — check for alignment, hinges, locks
- Sidewalks — check for cracks
- PatiosDriveways — is the material holding up?
- Eaves, Soffits, & Fascia
- Landscaping, Grading — are there any drainage issues?
The inspector will also look at your appliances for functionality and safety. Appliances include:
- Stove, Oven, Cooktop
- Garbage Disposal (if applicable)
- Dishwasher (if applicable)
Your HVAC system will be inspected thoroughly to ensure its safe operation. The inspector will test whatever parts are applicable to your particular HVAC system:
- Distribution Systems
- Vents, Flues, & Chimneys
- Heat Pump
- Vent Operation
- Electric Heat Systems
- Air Exchange
The interior of your home’s inspection will include the following areas:
- Steps, Stairways, & Railings
- Ceilings & Trim
- Floors & Floorboards
- Counters & CabinetryBaseboards
Your home inspection includes a section about the plumbing including:
- Drains, Waste, & Vents
- Exterior Hose Bibs
- Water Supply Systems
- Hot Water Systems
- Washing Machine Function
- Sump Pump
- Clothes Dryer
The electrical wiring in your home isn’t the only thing that an inspector will check out when doing the inspection. Several other areas need attention too. These include:
- Lighting Fixtures, Switches, & Receptacles
- Main Breaker & Subpanels
- Branch Wiring
- Smoke Detectors
- Service Entrance Conductors
Garage, Basement, and Other Structures
If your home has a garage or other outdoor structures, these will be inspected as well. The inspector will check for any visible damage to the floors, walls, or ceiling. The inspector looks for things like cracks in the foundation of the basement or garage. This indicates that moisture can get in and lead to mold. Here are other items the inspector will examine:
- Wood beams and I-joists
- Steel Teleposts for the floor
- Sub-floor Construction
- Concrete Viability
- InsulationVapor Barrier
- Ceiling Structure
Contained within your inspection will be recommendations for any necessary repairs. There should be a section that states what tasks are a safety hazard and need to be corrected. In addition, some inspectors will also indicate whether the repair requires the help of a professional or if it’s something you can do yourself. When dealing with electrical equipment, plumbing, or HVAC, you will probably need the help of a qualified technician. However, for minor repairs such as leaky faucets or drafty windows, you can do the repairs yourself.
Your inspection report can be an essential tool for you to use in the negotiation process. Your experienced real estate agent knows how to maximize your selling price. For more information about selling your home, get in touch with us today.