Buyers are typically the ones to request a home inspection before they agree to finalize a home purchase. However, sellers also have the option to conduct a few inspections on their homes before they choose to list their homes.
Sure, this costs a few extra bucks at the onset, but in the middle of a hot buyer’s market, competition can be fierce. In that sense, having a few inspections done before putting your house up for sale can make your listing seem more attractive. Not only that, certain undetected flaws in the home can come back to haunt you.
To get ahead of the competition, consider these home inspections before putting your home up on the market.
Newer homes likely do not have any trace of asbestos anywhere. However, older homes – particular those built before the 1970s – have a pretty good chance of having some level of asbestos around. Back then, asbestos was contained in a variety of building materials used to construct homes. We all know how dangerous the stuff can be, which is why if any is identified, it should be removed by industry professionals.
This material becomes extremely dangerous when it’s broken down and the particles become airborne. If an inspector is brought on site and discovers it, your next step is to bring in the experts to carefully remove it so you don’t have to worry about buyers being turned off by its presence.
Again, an older home is likely to have more suspicious materials lurking around compared to a newer one. Lead paint was banned back in 1978, but there are plenty of homes out there that still have plenty of this potentially hazardous material on their walls. If your home was built a few decades ago and you suspect that there is lead paint somewhere, hire a licensed lead abatement contractor to come and check it out. If there is lead present, make an effort to eliminate it safely.
Settling of foundation can be a real problem, especially if the soil around your home has shrunk quite a bit since the home was initially built. Some settling is expected, but a significant amount of settling, especially if it is uneven, can wreak havoc on the integrity of the foundation.
Ask a professional foundation engineer to examine the foundation walls and other components of your home for any signs of significant settling, such as cracks in the concrete, sloped floors, sticky windows, and separating baseboards. You may need to take measures to rectify this situation before listing your home, since most buyers will likely not want to purchase a property with major foundation damage.
If your roof is getting up there in age, the shingles may start to curl and the roof itself may become less effective at keeping moisture out. Have a roofing inspector examine the health of your roof. Find out if any damage exists, and ask for an accurate estimate on how much it would cost to repair or replace the roof if necessary.
It’s no secret that breathing in mold spores over a long period of time can be extremely dangerous to a person’s respiratory health. A home may look great at first glance, but further inspection behind drywall and under window sills can show a very different situation. Having a mold inspector check out your home from top to bottom can help identify the possibility of the presence of any mold, and what steps you need to take to rectify the situation.
There are certain types of insects and pests that may have set up shop in your home without you even knowing about it. While certain critters – like cockroaches or mice – can be easily detected, others aren’t. Termites are one such type of pest that can go undetected for a long time before any damage is seen. Having a pest inspector check out your home’s attic, crawl space, and other hidden areas can turn up any indication of their presence, as well as the extent of the damage caused.
The Bottom Line
Odds are, the buyers who purchase your home will hire a home inspector of their own to uncover any issues that they may not have noticed when they put in an offer. You may be better off finding out about any potential issues beforehand. Buyers will appreciate the effort and disclosure, and will be even more impressed if you took steps to fix the problems yourself.