Here’s an article you can give your Realtors/Brokers on some things to look out for or upgrade before the inspection is done on the house to help keep the sales process moving forward smoothly. Research shows that home buyers will more likely buy a house with a ‘clean bill of health’ from an inspector who will make them aware of any deficiencies. Also it has been shown that people will not pay extra for a house because of improvements. They would rather negotiate a lower settled price after a professional inspection and make their own improvements.
Preparing for a home inspection:
When people look to buy a house, they are looking for move-in condition. Any deficiency scares them. The potential buyer will have the house inspected by a professional, so prepare in advance.
All roofs age. The roof is one of the most important parts of a home and it is important to be aware of its condition. It is the first thing a prospective buyer will see as their eyes wander up past the well-kept lawn and bushes to the roof, occupying about a third of the total picture they will first see.The first question they will ask is, “does this house need a new roof?” A prospective buyer and the seller share the viewpoint that neither wants to pay for a new roof in the near future.
The second question asked is “ how long will this roof last before it has to be replaced?” The quickest way to find out if and when a roof needs replacing is to hire a reputable roofing contractor (with references). A second opinion will verify the findings. Observe the neighbors. How many are replacing or have recently replaced their roof? Houses built in a subdivision are generally all constructed at the same time. When several neighbors have recently replaced their roof, and the house is 20-30 years old, the chances are that the roof is near ready for replacement.
A roof in need of replacement cannot be hidden. Some evidence can be seen from the ground. Look for roof damage or wear. Aging shingles will warp, split and crack. Vent pipes rising from bathrooms and other places should not be broken. They are sealed against water leakage with roofing material. Look for excess flashing, indicating a hard to seal opening.
Check roof drainage:
Gutters and downspouts are important to roof drainage and should be cleaned free of leaves and other debris. Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to back up behind debris. The weight of this debris and water can tear the gutter from its roof attachment. Gutters and downspouts should be cleared several times per year to make certain water is flowing free. Look for shingle granules in the gutters. As shingles age, they shed more and more granule particulate. This is a sure indication that the roof is approaching replacement timeSpotting moisture problems from loose shingles requires a thorough up-close inspection on the roof. Loose shingles can allow moisture to sit under the shingle instead of traveling over the shingle surface to the gutter.
The roofing contractor will make a judgment and estimate of roof replacement or repair and give an estimate of remaining life. The opinion should be in writing from multiple contractors. It should be kept in mind that a new roof is more profitable to the contractor. The cost of a new roof will not be totally reimbursed in the sale price of the house although it may raise the appraised value.
Outside the house:
Walk around the house, is there a grading problem where rainwater pools? Is the drainage by lot grade and structure directed away from the house? If the house has a septic tank, check that the pooling is not from the septic tank overflowing.
Does the house ridge line appear to be straight and level without sagging? Do the house sides appear to be square? Are window frames square allowing windows to slide up and down?
Do all the windows open, close and lock easily? Are any cracked, broken or foggy? Are there any ripped screens?
Is the driveway in good condition?
Does the garage door opener work?
Are trees and bushes trimmed and not touching the roof or the house?
Is the siding or exterior paint in good condition?
Do all water hose connections open and close easily? Is there strong water flow pressure?
Does the doorbell work?
Are exterior structures (decks, fences, sheds, retaining walls) in good condition without indication of termite damage? Are railings on decks and stairs secure?
Inside the house:
Water leaks, no matter how small, can create problems in the future.
Check ceilings and around windows in each room. Check all water outlets. Run the water in all bathtubs, showers, sinks. Check under sinks and behind toilets for leaks or drips.
Water pressure should be strong.
Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room for obvious or repaired cracks indicating shifts in the foundation. If the house has a basement, is there an indication of dampness?
Ensure clear access to crawl spaces, attics and other places rarely accessed. Make sure attic ladders are easily pulled down. Organize the attic. Clear out access to the main electrical panel, air conditioning or heat pump, water main, hot water tank. A home inspector will want access to these areas. He will also test plumbing, heating and cooling, electric and utilities in general to see they are working properly.
Again, look to the neighbors. Houses all built at the same time will have heating and cooling plants installed with the same 10-year warranty. Calculate the end time of the warranty and see how many plants have been replaced.
Test all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and other detectors work as they should. Replace all non-working light bulbs including those in lamps, on wall fixtures and ceiling and under-counter fluorescents. Check all outlets with a tester to see if they all work. Check all on/off switches. Plug in a small lamp if necessary.
Check appliances to see they are in working order. Test the clothes washer and dryer, oven and microwave to see they function properly. Check the dryer venting is metal and the pipe is clear to the outside. Remove any lint that has accumulated in the vent.
These plus much more a good home inspector will look at and verify the condition of the home.