Common Home Inspection Issues and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to selling your home, you can pretty much assume that the buyer is going to request a home inspection before going through with the sale.  Of course, this process can be a bit scary if you’re unsure of the state of your home. Unfortunately, if too many issues are found on the home inspection report, it could send up red flags to your potential buyer and scare them out of the deal altogether.  

Fortunately, many issues can be avoided and remedied before the home inspection process begins so that your report comes up clean and ready for sale.  One thing that you can do, for example, is a home inspection. That is, have your home inspected prior to putting it on the market. This way, a home inspector will go through your home just as they would for any potential buyer and give you a list of any issues that they find.  With this pre-listing inspection in-hand, you can make certain that your home is presented at its absolute best so that no time is wasted should a sale go bad due to unforeseen issues.

Common Home Inspection Issues

Whether you choose to call in a pre-listing home inspection or not, there are many common home inspection issues that you need to be aware of up-front.  Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:

  • Electrical – You’ll want to check to make sure that all electrical and GFCI outlets work properly as well as all electrical outlets.  And, while you’re at it, go ahead and replace any broken light bulbs.
  • Water and Plumbing – All plumbing issues, like drippy faucets, leaking drain pipes, or faucets that spray water in the wrong directions, should be repaired before you list your home for sale.  Water, plumbing and mold issues are very serious matters for buyers, and they will be listed on an inspection report.
  • HVAC – Before you list, make sure everything is in good working order with your HVAC system, and replace all filters.  It is wise to have an HVAC company come out and perform a tune-up on your system. They will be able to tell you if any issues are found and can repair them before the buyer’s home inspection.
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly, as home inspectors do check their operation.  If you find problems with them, you can replace them very easily and affordably.
  • Windows – In addition to making sure your windows are clean both on the inside and outside, you should also make sure all of their hardware is intact and operating properly.  All windows should be able to freely move up and down, and all weather stripping should be in good condition. 
  • Pests – Visual signs of pests should be investigated for signs of infestation as soon as possible.  Pests can wreak all sorts of havoc on your home, and any damage must be professionally treated to ensure that the problem no longer exists.  If extensive damage is found, you’ll need to call out a contractor to evaluate the condition of the damage and repair and replace the affected areas as soon as possible. 
  • Foundation – Cracks that are found in the foundation walls, basement water intrusion, uneven flooring, etc. can point to foundation issues.  Sometimes, the shifting or settling of a home can cause noticeable issues.  In cases of excess shifting or settling of the home, a qualified contractor will have to evaluate the home for correction of the problem.  
  • Doors – All doors should open, close and lock properly.  While cracked or broken doors may not be a deal breaker for a potential buyer, fixing or replacing those problems before listing your home is advisable.  You should also ensure that your garage doors have working safety features.

Sometimes, investing a little money up-front to take care of any of these possible home inspection issues can save you from wasting money further down the road.  Buyers will only compromise so much before they decide a home isn’t worth their time or money when issues arise, and they will walk away. So, double check your home before putting it on the market, and repair any issues so that you can make your sale on the first try.

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