Thinking of selling your home in 2022?
Before you upgrade your kitchen or paint your walls to get it ready to put it on the market, take an even more important inventory. How are the bones of your home?
Take a hard look at the structure and core systems of your house. And get ready to identify at least a few areas that need work now. Fix them this winter and you’ll be all set to pass your home inspection with flying colors this spring. And for perspective buyers, feel free to use this troubleshooting guide (as well as our 5 ways to protect yourself at closing post) as a checklist!
Experts recommend these key areas ship-shape (or at least shored up):
1. Is your roof giving you good coverage?
Even if Hurricane Ida didn’t visibly damage your roof, it’s likely that an inspector will find something as a result. Especially if the last time you got a new roof was after Hurricane Katrina. Major roof repairs can be expensive, and most buyers won’t compromise here. If you didn’t have an inspector take a look after the storm, you might want to now. Just so you know what you’re up against. If they say the roof still has a few years of life left in it, get that in writing.
2. But does it actually wash dishes?
You might think that just because your appliances are all stainless, you make the cut. But how old are they? Does the ice maker work? Does your stove vent out (instead of back into the house)? Does the dishwasher actually get the plates clean? Appliances are built to last only so long, especially if not regularly maintained. Buyers and inspectors will be looking for the telltale signs.
3. How cool is your house? (And how hot in winter?)
Heating and cooling systems are so expensive! It’s easy to put off that upgrade, but it’s even easier for a buyer to say no to a home with an ancient, inefficient HVAC. Especially one that’s not well maintained. You’ll thank yourself for taking care of this one right away because –bonus–your utility bills should reflect immediate savings.
4. How cool/how hot? Part II
Another easy (and much less expensive) way to make a big impact on temperature and efficiency is with an insulation upgrade. Blown-in insulation can usually go right over older fiberglass batt and roll insulation as long as it isn’t wet or damaged. Or add fresh fiberglass and watch your energy costs drop. It’s usually more affordable to have this done in winter because the team won’t need IV hydration after a day in a hot attic. Better time for you, too, if you choose to DIY.
5. Is there a shockingly simple way to look good on the electric portion of the inspection?
Yes. Simply by getting your home’s electrical systems up to code. Unless you have the older and considerably less safe knob and tube wiring, your electric issues are probably a quick, affordable fix. Inspectors will always point out the need for grounded outlets near water sources, exposed wiring and switches that don’t work. Especially in older homes. Find an electrician you trust and with just a few hours’ work, you should be able to avoid that dreaded “hazard” label on inspection.
6. Can I flush out trouble before it gets worse?
Plumbing is that out-of-sight out-of-mind system we forget about. Until it’s backing up during a dinner party. Or a home showing! If you’re noticing any slow drains, stay on them. And while you love your big, old-growth oak, it could be growing roots into your pipes. Depending on the age and landscape of your home, springing for a video inspection of your pipes could be the ticket to finding out too late that your plumbing system is compromised.
7-10. Can local weather sink my sale?
With proper maintenance, your home will stand up to the ravages of mother nature. But around here, we all know that
- poor drainage
- leaky gutters
- mold and
- wood rot
are all big red flags for buyers. Even newer built homes will break down under the elements eventually.
The good news is, most of these items are quickly visible. The bad news is, if left unchecked, it might seem like you could care less about the upkeep of your property and makes buyers look more closely at other potential problems. For every issue you’re unable to take care of now, be prepared to negotiate on it in the final sale price.
When you do finally land that sale and make an offer on another home, keep Clean Title, LLC, in mind. We’re researching the past to protect your future! Don’t miss our popular Title FAQs for tips that will give you the peace of mind only a clean title can. See us on our Facebook page and check out the details of our services on our website. Or call 985-277-5095 to speak to one of our title professionals today!