10 Common Repair And Inspection Items
Over the years, your home, like every home, has likely accumulated some wear and tear. If you've had thoughts of selling, or if you've already decided that it's the right time to sell your home, taking the time to make necessary repairs before your home hits the market could have a potentially huge impact on the final sales price.
According to a Maritz Research poll, 63% of home buyers surveyed responded that they would pay more for a move-in ready home.
But where do you start? In answering that question, it's best to know what a home inspector would be likely to focus on. And then, what things are even worth fixing for a maximum return on investment?
Here are the 10 most important items/areas to get you started when making pre-market repairs.
A roof that's in questionable condition is a huge drawback for any buyer. Evidence of leaking, missing shingles, roof moss, and holes from old weather veins or antennas should be taken care of right away. A minor problem should turn into a huge (and very expensive) problem if the right storm came along.
When it comes to drainage, a home inspector is going to look for how well your home drains water away from its foundation. If you're unsure of how well your gutter system would function in this regard, carefully inspect the flow of water the next time it rains. Or, if you don't want to wait for the next downpour, you can use your garden hose to observe just how much water your drainage system can handle.
Be sure to replace any missing or rusted gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks. Also note the presence of any pooling water in your yard or side of the property and how that might be remedied.
3. Windows and Screens
Upgrading to newer, energy-efficient windows yields among the highest returns of all home improvements; up to 75% according to Remodeling Magazine. If replacing windows isn't in your budget, you should at least make sure they are sealed properly to prevent leaking and that they open and close properly in their frame.
Replacing or removing damaged screens is also something that a home inspector will point out.
If an inspector doesn't catch it on their report, chances are, one of the agents in your transaction will spot any damage or discoloration to your walls. This means holes of any size should be filled (if you love spackling, this part will be fun), and any texturing or painting should be taken care of as well.
Make sure all cabinets open and close smoothly and correctly. Installing slam-proof hinges on the cabinets and slides in the drawers is a nice feature to consider. For older looking cabinets and drawers, a quick coat of clean, white paint can do wonders along with new hardware.
Consider replacing cracked or missing tiles from the countertops and flooring. Cleaning the grout or regrouting altogether can make a big difference too. Be sure to check for any broken sealant along the toilet and shower/bathtub. And of course, all the plumbing should be in working order.
The most common item an inspector might not relating to a deck or porch is missing or damaged boards. Dryrot is potentially a concern, depending on how well the structure has been maintained. Safety is the highest concern for an inspector when examining a deck or porch, so make sure that any stairs and safety rails are still secure and intact.
Important note: any replacement boards must be suited for outdoor use. We've seen deck additions or replacement flooring done with interior-grade material, which was easily damaged once exposed to the elements.
Arguably, paint is the easiest item on the list to take care of. Any chipped or scratched paint to the interior or exterior can be fixed relatively quickly and easily. Prior to 1978, lead-based paint was the standard, so you'll need to disclose if you are aware of any on the property.
If you're considering repainting, stick to colors that will appeal to the widest range of people, like mild earth tones and sophisticated, light grays.
There's a lot an inspector could find here. Exposed wood, chipping, and bubbling paint are among the most commonly noted items. Also, foliage must be six inches away from the bottom of the siding with no earth-to-wood contact.
If you have natural hardwood floors, an inspector will keep a sharp eye out for any signs of moisture damage or warping. Minor wear and tear such as small scratches, scuffs, and scrapes can usually be removed with a hardwood repair kit.
Again, the main concern of the inspector is safety. Any missing boards, cracked or missing tile, and non-sealed flooring near plumbing should be remedied.
It should probably go without saying that the inspector will pay close attention to the property's foundation. Any large cracks, sloping floors, and evidence of water in any crawlspaces will certainly draw his or her attention.
If you believe you have any foundation issues, it's best to consult with a licensed contractor. Besides, if you're like most homeowners, that kind of work is well above your pay-grade anyways. Any questions relating to your property's foundation are a sure way to kill any deal, and you don't want a bombshell like that dropping right in the middle of escrow.
Safety Is The Highest Concern
It bears repeating that the most important repairs to make are ones relating to safety. Functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in all the appropriate areas, exposed wires must be capped, all fixtures must be testable, and and the circuit box must be covered with all switches in place.
As handy as you may be, any major repairs or installations should be completed by a licensed contractor. If any issues arise down the road regarding those items that were repaired, you will definitely want the liability to be on the company or contractor that performed the work and not yourself personally.
While this list is not exhaustive, it should give you a good start on where to start with repairs and what an inspector would be looking for. You won't be able to spot and repair everything that an inspector may call out, but you should be able to complete some of the obvious repairs before your home hits the market. By completing repairs ahead of time, you'll ultimately save yourself a lot of time, and potentially money during the escrow process. Not only will you not feel rushed to complete any repairs, but you'll also be presenting your home as a complete product to the new buyer, which will ultimately increase the value in their eyes.
Author: Andrew Ramirez
February 17th 2018
About Andrew: Andrew Ramirez was born and raised in Orange County, living in Irvine and Tustin as a child before m...