How to pass a Home Inspection – What Buyers Are Looking For…
You’ve accepted an offer, fantastic news! But please don’t cheers yet – your buyers likely have a few conditions on their offer such as financing, property appraisal, and a PROPERTY INSPECTION! Now what? How do you pass a home inspection?! That is a common question most of our clients ask us as soon as they have accepted an offer.
How does a house pass a property inspection?
When you put your home up for sale you place it directly under the scrutiny of buyers. Superficial changes, such as new paint and resurfaced floors can do a lot to enhance your home’s appeal, but when it comes to an offer, most serious buyers will seek the assistance of a professional home inspector to ensure that the house is sound beneath the surface.
During most home inspections there are over forty problem areas that will be examined for correct function and condition. It is important that you are aware of what areas buyers will examine, and what you can do to ensure that these are in proper working order. In most cases you’ll be able to conduct a reasonable inspection yourself, if you know what to look for.
Selling your home can be a difficult job, especially since you’re competing against hundreds of other properties. It’s important that you ensure that your home is in top condition, and doing a pre-inspection in anticipation of buyers doing the same is extremely important. Below are some areas that you should inspect:
Plumbing is of high priority when it comes to home inspections. Defective plumbing is classified in three ways namely leaking, clogging, and corrosion. A visual inspection will detect leaks and corrosion on pipes. Turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet can gauge water pressure. The sound of water flowing through your pipes often indicates that the pipes are undersized. Additionally, if water coming from the pipes is dirty or contains debris, then the pipes are most likely rusting. The home inspector will evaluate all of these. Run all of your water in your house at the same time and look at the pipes, are any leaking? If so, have fixed immediately. Also check behind your washer, those slow leaks sometimes get missed.
Damp or Wet Basement
The basement or crawl space is often the most revealing area in the house.
An inspector will check your walls for a powdery white mineral deposit a few inches off the floor, and will look to see if things you store right on your basement floor, or baseboards have suffered any moisture-related damage. Mildew odours are also a red flag for home inspectors. Difficult to eliminate and indicative of other problems, an inspector will certainly be conscious of them.
Look behind the furniture in the basement! Some people buy homes with existing furniture and never look behind it if it is up against a wall. There could be a missed foundation crack if you don’t look. Do a walk around the exterior of your house and check for any cracks along the parging and or foundation walls if you find any that are more than just a hairline wide or go through the parging have it checked by a professional. It might have to be sealed to prevent further or future damage.
Damp Attic Spaces
Just as detrimental to a home seller as basement dampness are mould and mildew problems in the attic. Improper ventilation, insulation and vapour barriers can cause water and moisture to accumulate in the attic. This moisture and associated mould and mildew can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials.
The major problem associated with roofing problems is leakage, which can occur for a variety of reasons. Physical deterioration of asphalt shingles, mechanical damage from a windstorm or ice build-up as a result of poor drainage are all common causes of roofing issues. Leaky gutters and downspouts can also damage siding and exterior walls. Remember that it is only a matter of time before external damage becomes an internal problem.
Rotting wood, an issue particularly prevalent in older homes, can occur in many places such as door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences. Building inspectors will oftentimes probe the wood to check its integrity – and are particularly sceptical of woodwork that has been freshly painted.
Inadequate Wiring and Electrical Systems
Inadequate wiring can occur in many forms. Home inspectors will look at octopus plugs and extension cables as indications of inadequate circuits and potential fire hazards. Also your home should have a minimum of 100 amps service, and this should be clearly marked. All wiring should be copper or aluminium or the buyer may have an issue obtaining insurance on the property. Also watch for overloaded electrical panals – this will cause concern.
Ensure all your lights are working and light bulbs are replaced if needed.
Poor Heating and Cooling Systems
A home inspector will scrutinize heating and cooling systems for efficiency and performance.
Insufficient insulation, and an inadequate or poorly functioning heating system, are the most common causes of poor heating. A home inspector will check the age of your furnace to see if it exceeds the typical life span of 15-25 years. Additionally, in a forced air gas system, the inspector will place the heat exchanger under particular scrutiny examining for cracks and damage as a potential source of carbon monoxide in your home. If the heat exchanger is damaged it must be replaced as it cannot be repaired. Change your furnace filter before an inspection!
Check your hot water tank for rust and/or leaks.
Cooling systems are of equal importance. A home inspector will examine your air conditioning unit to evaluate size, installation, noisiness, dehumidification and cooling ability. A home inspector will pay particular attention to the exterior compressor/condenser units to make sure they are free of debris and have sufficient room in which to operate.
If you have any questions about preparing your home for listing, or looking to sell, contact us and we would love to have a chat.