How to avoid problems when it comes to the home inspection.
The home inspection. It’s a worry for every home seller. Face it, you haven’t kept up on every maintenance item you should have over the years (most people don’t). Between work, family and general life schedules, repairing the torn window screens and mulching the flower beds just haven’t been a priority. Now you are thinking about selling your house and you remember a horror story a friend told you about a home inspection done on the home they were selling and you worry about that happening to you. How can you avoid that? Where do you start?
Now that you’ve made the decision to sell your home, the best course of action is to be proactive—get ahead of any issues that might derail a sale. What we recommend to our clients who’ve been in their homes and might have deferred routine maintenance is to hire a home inspector and have a “pre-listing” inspection done by a trusted and licensed professional home inspector.
Home inspectors in Virginia are licensed by the state and are required to take coursework, pass certification exams and do an apprenticeship. It’s a fairly robust education. When you hire a home inspector, you want someone who approaches it from a position of identifying current deficiencies AND items that could present problems, and costs, later down the road. To do this, they examine the house from roof to basement, looking at the home’s systems, think HVAC and plumbing, to safety issues, think smoke detector and carbon monoxide systems. What they can’t do is peer through walls or see how the foundation is holding up (unless there are telltale signs above ground of trouble).
Once the inspection is done, a report is issued to the homeowner within a day or two. The report reviews the entire house and describes what, if any, problems there are. Photos of problem areas are usually included with the report. It’s best to then review that report with your real estate professional. They can help you identify and organize the items that would be deal breakers from those that are less important. Finally, once you’ve made a list of things that need attention and/or repair, hire the correct professional to do the work—it is worth the money spent and will save you possible sleepless nights.
If you need recommendations for a home inspector or other repair professional, call or email us with your questions and requests. We are here to help make your move a smooth one!