If you are planning on selling your home you may want to consider getting a pre-listing home inspection. Homes that have had a pre- listing inspection typically sell faster and for more money than homes that haven’t had one, and they usually have higher perceived values. Pre- inspections help remove surprises that can sink a deal. Finding deficiencies up front also helps avoid the last minute rush and angst of trying to get repairs done quickly. Buyers often have a lot of emotion built up when they have searched and searched for a home, and then find one that appeals to them. It can be very deflating to a buyer to have their own inspector come into their dream house and announce, “The furnace is shot, there’s a bad leak under the kitchen sink and there’s squirrels living in your new fireplace!” It’s much better to tell a potential buyer “We found some problems in our inspection so we had them fixed. Here are the receipts for the repairs”.
For all these reasons, we recommend pre- listing inspections. However if you choose not to get one, there are still things that you can do to increase the chances of getting your house sold. We have compiled a list of 12 of the most common types of deficiencies that we see when we do home inspections. If you see these common problems in your home, it would be a good idea to fix them. By doing so before you put your house up for sale, you can achieve many of the advantages of having a pre- listing inspection. So here is our list of the dozen most common house deficiencies:
Cracks.For some reason cracks freak people out. Cracks in the exterior brick, cracks in driveways and patios, cracks in interior walls and ceilings, etc. While it’s true that larger cracks can indicate foundation settlement, most of the cracks we find are minor in nature. Minor cracks in exterior brick can be filled in with mortar and don’t indicate significant problems with the foundation. Cracks in interior walls and ceilings can be patched with joint compound and then painted.
Water leaks and stains. It goes without saying that if a known leak is present, it should be fixed. However, often times we see water stains that are likely old leaks from that bad roof that was replaced 5 years ago. To hide the ugly water stains that are still present, do some touch up painting.
Shingle/ roof problems. If a roof covering has outlived its useful life, it will need to be replaced, but if it’s not to that point yet, repairs can be helpful. In windy West Texas, shingle tabs can be lifted up and torn off by the wind. A roofer can replace these for not too much money and fix this problem.
Damaged exterior areas & peeling paint. Painting, where needed, is something that can really help a place look better. Paint door and window trim, the fascia area at eaves, and other areas in need of paint. Damaged concrete asbestos or concrete fiberboard shingle siding can be replaced and the problem is solved. Damaged mortar at brick veneer walls can be re-pointed.
Missing electrical cover plates at outlets, switches and panel boxes. Buyers will notice this. Besides being a shock hazard for children, these are very easy and inexpensive to replace.
Exposed household wiring. In addition to cracks, this is another thing that people don’t like to see. In finished areas of the house, household wiring should not be out in the open. It should be behind walls, in conduit, or otherwise protected. The worst thing to see is exposed wiring, at a back porch for example, that has been damaged by the sun and is loose. Buyers are rightly leery of a sight like this.
Dirty filters. Specifically the air conditioning filter and the kitchen range exhaust vent filter. It’s pretty easy to clean or replace these filters.
Plumbing leaks. At Lubbock Inspections, when we see deficiencies that we think are more significant than most others, we call them a “High Priority Item”. And plumbing leaks are something that we always give this label to because of the damage that leaking water can cause. Most plumbing leaks can be fixed pretty easily.
Slow drainage at sinks and bathtubs. This problem doesn’t make a good impression and home inspectors check for it. Try some drain cleaner to get rid of the clog. If this doesn’t work, a plumber’s snake put in at a plumbing clean out will likely fix the problem. If you don’t want to tackle this dirty job, a plumber can be called. They do this sort of stuff all the time.
Missing water heater drip pan. Most water heaters begin to drip water when they are failing. The drip pan catches this water and prevents water damage. If the water heater has a drip pan but doesn’t have a drain line for the pan, an alarm can be purchased which will sit in the pan and notify the home owner if water starts leaking.
Rusted and/ or damaged dishwasher racks. This is pretty common. Dishracks can be replaced for a nominal fee and will make a much better impression on prospective buyers.
Bathroom vent fan problems. Bathroom vent fans and/ or heaters can become noisy and even quit working over the years. Many manufacturers make these devices and the old ones can be replaced pretty easily.
And that’s our list of the 12 most common house deficiencies. By looking for and fixing these items you can increase the chances of having a smooth transaction between you and a potential buyer. And for a more thorough inspection, be sure to call us at Lubbock Inspections. Since we’re a multi- inspector company we can respond quickly when you need a home inspection. - Kim Christensen