Home Inspection Hot Spots

As you prepare your home for sale, do so with an eye toward getting a favorable home inspection report.  This means, of course, that you attend to any structural problems and ensure that major systems like heating and cooling are functioning properly.  You should also spend some time on the following hot spots that tend to draw the attention of buyers and home inspectors.  

You can expect a professional home inspector to check for plumbing leaks and to test the water pressure.  Therefore have all plumbing fixtures -- toilets, tubs, showers, sinks, outdoor faucets -- in good working order and free of any drips and leaks.

Gutters and Roof
Clean dirt and debris from gutters and downspouts and divert the flow of water from downspouts away from the house.  Remove any debris from the roof.  Also repair or replace shingles or other roofing materials that have deteriorated.  Check the condition of overhangs to see if any repair work is needed.
Fireplace and Chimney
Be sure that your fireplace is clean and functional.  If you haven't recently done so, have a chimney sweep clean and inspect the fireplace.  Check the condition of the cap or hood that covers the opening at the top of the chimney.  Replace or reseal the flashing to ensure that the chimney's base is watertight.

Electrical System
Inspectors will confirm that the capacity of the electrical system is adequate for the needs of the home, as well as examine circuit breakers, electrical panel, and wiring.  So remove furniture or other obstacles that block access to the electrical panel; replace missing electrical outlet cover plates; and take care of any faulty or exposed wiring before the inspector arrives.

Decks, Balconies, and Porches
Examine all decks, balconies, and porches for loose or deteriorating components.  Make sure any railings or stairs are stable and in good condition.    Inspect all supports and footings for any current or potential trouble spots.

Attics, Basements, and Crawlspaces
Moisture or signs of past water intrusion are culprits that inspectors look for in these areas.  Reduce moisture in basements and crawlspaces with proper venting and by directing rainwater from your gutters away from the house.  Cover any exposed earth with plastic sheeting to help keep moisture levels down.  In the attic, check the condition of the roof, insulation, ventilation, and electrical wiring.  

Mildew and Mold
The presence or odor of mildew and mold can be unpleasant and send up a red flag with buyers and inspectors.  Even if your home has mold that is of a normal, non-toxic variety, get rid of it.  Use cleaning agents that kill mold; then find and fix the problem that is causing it.

Is Your Home Ready for Sale?
Even if you concentrate on these hot spots and others, chances are you will miss something that a professional home inspector will discover.  If you want a professional opinion of your home's condition before you put it on the market, have a pre-sale home inspection done.  This will uncover any previously unknown defects that you can address prior to selling if you so choose.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.