7 Home Inspection Red Flags for Sellers

For many homeowners who are contemplating a home sale, one area that causes anxiety is the home inspection process. Despite the care and attention you have shown your home since you bought it, you may be concerned with lingering issues that could dramatically reduce a home’s value that you are unaware of. Luckily, there are a number of specific concerns that home inspectors look for that can be identified by conducting a walk through with your RealtorĀ® or paying for your own home sale pre-inspection. Here is a list of things to think about when planning for your home inspection.

Water damage: Is your gutter system in good shape? Many prospective buyers dread water damage, as that can mean major problems ranging from foundation issues to mold growth. Experienced home inspectors will look for water damage on the interior of your property, but will also make sure that the signs of ongoing water management are in good shape. This particularly includes the condition, construction, and positioning of your gutter system.

Graded sloping toward the foundation: Many home inspectors also look for signs of the land sloping toward your home’s foundation. Over time, this indicates the inability of the surrounding soil to properly manage drainage. As a result, water pools around your home’s foundation and you end up with significant structural damage to your home. In many cases, landscaping can easily fix this problem.

Ventilation and insulation: Does your attic have enough ventilation? This is critical to both climate control and the long-term health of your home. Inspectors will check the general condition of an attic, as well as your soffits and fascia to ensure that you have sufficient ventilation to prevent heat buildups and improper air escape.

Faulty appliances: Any appliances that come with the home, such as the refrigerator or the range, should be in good working repair. It is important to establish their age, their warranty status, and any known issues with these appliances prior to the sale. If your home has older appliances that are likely to be a point of contention during the sale, consider replacing them with new ones.

Damaged siding or stucco: Many homeowners focus on the condition of their exterior cladding, such as siding or stucco, for purposes of appearance and curb appeal. But your home inspector is going to be looking for any areas of damage that could indicate moisture seeping through. Siding and stucco play a critical role in protecting your home from the elements. Repairs can be inexpensive and save you thousands in future costs.

Heating and central air systems: When you live in an area that is fairly temperate, you may not use your heating and central air systems as much as other parts of the country. But it is important that they are in good working order. If it has been awhile since you have used them, consider investing in a thorough cleaning and check up to make sure everything is up to code.

Checking beneath the carpet: If you have wall to wall carpeting or areas of paneling in your home, you can expect an inspector to probe what’s underneath. Is the padding or wall in good condition? Checking what is under the carpet is an important signal of the care you have shown your home and what can be expected.

Are you contemplating putting your home on the market? If so, start your process by contacting a knowledgeable real estate agent. He or she will be able to help guide you through a smooth sales process, with their knowledge of the local market and years of experience managing real estate transactions.

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