How To Check Your Home For Damages Before Selling It?
Every old and used home has its quirks. You might get used to the fact that the living room electrical outlet isn’t working for years, or that a drainage system is partially clogged and needs to be cleaned out. These are some small things everyone can live with, so you’d expect new buyers to just overlook these small issues, right? Wrong!
New buyers probably won’t tolerate those small concerns (that can turn into major ones) because they’re usually deterred from making an initial offer if your house isn’t tight and problem-free. Neglecting to maintain your home properly or make necessary fixes for obvious problems can place your home right back into the market. Therefore, it’s better to fix any damages before putting your home for sale, or you’ll end up fixing more things than you thought needed fixing.
Check State Disclosure Requirements
Many state laws require sellers to notify potential buyers of any issues and needed repairs before the sale. The moment you’ve accepted the offer, a potential buyer will most likely hire and send a home inspector to comb through the house in search of anything that requires fixing. After the inspection, the buyer will give you two choices: accept a lower offer or make all those repairs before finally selling your home.
Additionally, making a lower offer isn’t something that all potential buyers are willing to do since some of them are looking for properties they can move in instantly without having to fix anything around the house they’ve bought. Therefore, it’s a good thing to keep your home’s bones in excellent shape so you wouldn’t lose any of those potential buyers.
Talk To A Real Estate Agent If You’re Unsure About The Things You Need To Do
If you’re not 100% sure about how to spot these problems within your home, talk to your real estate agent, and they’ll help you understand which things to focus your attention on. Some repairs are apparent, but your untrained eye may miss some less obvious ones. Therefore, it would be best if you performed a pre-inspection of your entire home to help you fix all issues before putting your home in the market.
Go through the inspection report with your realtor. By doing so, you’ll use his knowledge of the current situation in the real estate market. Moreover, the experience he has will help you evaluate the home inspection report you’ve got. Real estate agents are equipped with enough experience and knowledge to advise you on what to do first and which repairs must be resolved before you can sell your home.
Check Your Home For Damages
Perform these repairs before deciding to sell your home:
Air-Conditioning, Heating, And Ventilation Problems
It won’t be easy to sell a house before winter if it has a malfunctioning heating system or faulty air-conditioning (AC) in the summer heat. Therefore, it’s of vital importance to double-check if your HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air-Conditioning) system works appropriately. A brand-new unit costs thousands of dollars and can go up to USD$11,000, which includes system installation. Therefore, try to avoid this expense if possible.
An inefficient or broken HVAC system doesn’t mean you have to buy a new one. Find and hire a qualified HVAC technician to assess and fix your HVAC unit right away. You have to be ready for the service expense though, and they often offer flat service rates for the service call, but there might be additional charges for the extra parts needed for repairing your unit.
Most homes usually have additional ventilation units besides the main HVAC system. These ventilation systems are small fans installed in bathroom, kitchen, or attic vents as prevention from overheating. A home inspection may list down poor ventilation as one of your home’s problems, and one way to resolve this problem is to clear the vents from any existing blockages and dirt.
Resolve All Foundation Issues
Faulty drainage found in your home’s exterior is a frequent cause that leads to various foundation issues, including both insignificant and major ones. Having minor foundation issues is much better than having more significant foundation problems. It means some necessary foundation repairs will be enough, although they might be costly. Moreover, you’ll need to hire a structural engineer to assess the damage before making any repairs.
In case your home suffers from significant foundation issues, you were probably already aware of these issues. Therefore, the structural engineer’s report won’t catch you unprepared. Standard signs of foundation problems are noticeably slanted floors, cabinet gaps, doors, and windows that can’t be closed, visible exterior foundation cracks, or interior wall cracks. In some cases, people had to pay hefty amounts of money to fix all foundation issues they had because a heavily damaged foundation is a massive threat to your house’s structural integrity. Selling a home in such a bad shape would be virtually impossible.
Fix Bad Electrical Wiring
Ensure that there aren’t any electrical problems since these issues are usually the biggest concern for any potential buyers. Bad wiring causes many electrical fires each year, and potential buyers want to ensure their new home isn’t a potential threat to their family’s safety.
The chances are high that any potential electrical work you need to perform is relatively small like fried wiring, faulty outlets or light switches, damaged or open junction boxes, missing wire nuts, etc. A qualified electrician can fix all these small electrical problems, and they charge by the hour on top of material cost.
When it comes to electrical issues, they run from pretty simple and inexpensive fixes to major rewiring, which is quite costly. Fixing a circuit breaker because it doesn’t meet the needed amperage can cost you a lot. Although it’s advisable to use 100-amp circuit breakers, bigger houses may require 200 amps. Circuit breaker replacement is not a cheap and easy fix. Therefore, make sure yours is in pristine condition before listing your home.
Look For Roof Issues
A good roof is what will keep your entire home safe and sound. Having clogged roof gutters will cause water to run off your roof and collect along the edges. This’ll cause water damage to your shingles, while the wood in fascia boards will rot as well. Moreover, there are other damages that your roof can suffer from like heat-caused curled shingles or torn up roofs caused by severe storms.
Having a small water leak through your roof during heavy rainstorms doesn’t mean you require a brand-new roof. It may be an easy fix by simply replacing the damaged shingles and weather stripping. However, leaving these damages unattended for far too long will require you to get new replacement roof at some point.
Poor Maintenance And Upkeep Isn’t Good
If your home suffers from peeled off paint, damaged tiles, cracked pavement, or worn out floor, you should consider fixing them. Although all these issues may seem like minor cosmetic issues, they may be the cause of losing a potential buyer. Therefore, make sure to give your home a small facelift to make your property much more appealing.
Start with a fresh coat of paint, but make sure to replace all worn out carpeting as well. Fix all small damages like loose handrails or broken tiles. If your bathroom and kitchen aren’t as representative as they should be, update their looks with several cheap upgrades like new cabinet pulls, new faucets, light fixtures, etc.
Ensure that you don’t spend too much money on cosmetic updates since you won’t get a significant return on these investments. Cosmetic upgrades serve the purpose of attracting buyers and making your home more appealing, which raises the chance of a sale. However, buyers are unlikely to raise their offers because of these cometic upgrades you’ve performed.
Inspect For Any Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues can range from small concerns like leaks around toilets or faucets, to severely damaged pipes that must be replaced. Small leaks are usually resolved by replacing worn-out parts like the toilet’s wax ring or your faucet’s washers. However, more complex problems like pipe replacements or clogged drains require you to hire a licensed plumber.
If the sun is up and you see water leaking into your home, this a huge cause for alarm. This usually means you have an urgent plumbing problem, and if that’s the case, your home will suffer from water damage until you get things resolved. This is a primary concern for potential buyers because dampness in walls and floors causes more serious issues like dry rot and mold. Prices for repairs caused by water damages can vary and are based on numerous factors like the extent of the damaged area, water source, and how long was it before you’ve noticed the damages.
Fix Any Damages Caused By Flooding Or Mold
If you’re trying to sell a house that has been flooded, you’re going to have a tough time ahead of you. Before you can start the repairs from damages caused by the recent flood you had, you must wait until it dries out completely. In case it didn’t, you’ll notice a pitch-black, toxic mold forming in the damaged area within the first day or two after the water has receded.
Buyers are aware of these things, and they tend to avoid houses that had experienced flooding in the past. Moreover, even a small body of water in the basement will deter buyers from putting forward an offer for your home.
The damages left behind a flood can be severe. Standard damages include wet sheetrock, paneling, or plaster along with wet framing, sub-flooring, and floor coverings. Some materials like sheetrock can’t dry out, and you’d need to remove and replace them entirely because mold will start forming on it immediately. Moreover, prolonged moisture exposure will cause your houses’ framing structure to decay.
Since water can easily penetrate most surfaces and materials, suffering from floods will require numerous repairs and materials, making it quite a costly investment. Hiring a home inspector will make things easier since they’ll assess the damages caused by flooding. You’ll get a detailed report about what needs to be fixed, so you know how big of an investment it’ll be.
Delaying water damage repair work will undoubtedly cause more severe issues. Therefore, make sure you resolve everything as soon as you can. Although a wet basement is not as severe an issue like flooding, it’s an excellent indicator of having a flawed drainage system. Additionally, mildew and mold tend to grow on damp surfaces with high humidity levels.
Poor Drainage And Grading
To make it simple, drainage and grading mostly refer to how external waters like melted snow or rain is directed away from your house. Downspouts, rain gutters, and subtle lawn slopes are meant to direct water flow to street gutters.
Moreover, if your rain gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves and debris, the excess water won’t be directed to street gutters, and it’ll end up in your basement. If you notice spongy soil around your home’s foundation, you’ll know you’ve got drainage issues that require fixing.
These fixes could either be straightforward, like removing whatever clogged your gutters and cleaning the area around them to prevent potential clogging from happening. If you haven’t looked at your drainage and grading for some time, poor drainage may be what’s causing more severe issues with your foundation or roof.
A poorly sloped yard also causes drainage problems, and if that’s the case, you should consider re-grading your lawn. Although a yard re-grading isn’t cheap, it’ll solve drainage issues and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Stop and think about the potential damages your home may have before deciding to list it for sale. Roof issues and drainage problems can cause considerable damages and expand from small problems to larger ones. Fix any electrical wiring issues before receiving potential buyers to look at the listing. A flawed HVAC system will deter buyers from making an offer, while poor maintenance isn’t appealing at all. Fixing all these issues is of paramount importance, and if done correctly, you won’t have any trouble getting a fair offer for your house in no time.