Home Inspection Advice and Repairs for Sellers

Selling your home “as is” will scare off and also disqualify a lot of buyers with certain financing that is contingent on good appraisals. If you want the broadest market you need to be proactive and fix things prior to the sale. If you wait for issues to be discovered during inspections, they can often put off negotiations and closings. Here is a basic list of things they are looking for.

  1. Wiring & Electrical: Wire should be made of copper or aluminum and there should be no less than 100 amps of service throughout the house. Also make sure your electrical circuits are checked to make sure that the correct amps are drawing from the right circuits. Fuses and breakers are ok. But the old knob and tube wiring will not pass. Outlets, lights, and fans must work. Replace all light bulbs.  
    1. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection shall be provided for all 125-volt, 15 and 20-amp receptacle outlets installed outdoors, in boathouses, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, laundry areas, garages, accessory buildings, bathrooms, at kitchen countertops, and within 6-feet of the outside edge of all sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.
  2. Plumbing: No damaged or leaking pipes, proper hot water temperature, as well as functioning toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers. Fix all drips and water spraying in the wrong direction. If you have had your water tested, provide the results.
  3. Wood Framing/Windows: From the door frames to the staircases, make sure that there are no unforeseen rotting problems especially at the base of anything touching a basement floor. Windows should open and close freely, be free of fogging between panes and have no cracks. The weather stripping should be replaced if worn or decayed.
  4. Heating/Cooling systems: Home heating/cooling systems need to maintain the temperature the thermostat is set for. Change all filters. Have an HVAC tune up from your preferred company. Your water heater, fireplace and chimney should also be in good working order.
  5. Appliances: Proper function of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer, and all other appliances.
  6. Paint: No peeling or chipped paint.  This is most common on window sills. But they look inside cupboards, closets, the shed, garage, interior and exterior walls, fascia and soffits. Even if a shed is unattached and 200 feet away. Especially in homes built before 1978 when lead based paint was common. Scrape it and paint over it to encapsulate anything loose.
  7. Security features: Windows should have locks and be working, outside doors should have deadbolts and be working.  Doors and locks should work where appropriate. You must have operating fire and carbon monoxide alarms, hand and guardrails.

              Smoke alarms must be:

  • In hallways outside sleeping rooms. 
  • In sleeping rooms. 
  • On each level of the building and in basements.
  • Ceiling (at least 4 inches from wall) or wall (4-12 inches below ceiling).
  • Center of ceiling above stairways.

Stair Railings/Guard Rails:

  • Guard Rails at least 36” high on anything with a 30” or greater drop
  • Stair railings must measure 34-38” tall at the nose from the ground
  • Project at least 4.5” from the wall with at least a 1.5” hand clearance between it and the wall
  • 2 opposite railings must have at least 27” clearance between
  • A single railing must have 31.5” clearance from the opposite wall 
  1. Attic: Sufficient insulation, proper ventilation, and any sign of leaking or water damage.
  2. Structural elements: Construction of visible foundation on the inside and the outside. Is there evidence of sagging or bowing of the structure? Are any previous structural repairs to code? They will check window alignment. Doors should open and shut. Do the sidewalks slope toward the house indicating some type of settlement in that spot of the foundation? Is there any water intrusion or damage to the basement?
  3. Roof: Roof problems can come from deterioration, weather damage, a leaky flashing around a chimney or skylight, or a variety of other sources. They don’t want to see any lifting or curling of asphalt shingles. On cedar shakes they can’t be lifted or curled so much that you can see the felt, rotted on the tips, moss or vegetation growing. They want at least 3-5 years left on the shingles. Clear gutters and vents. Patch flat roofs.
  4. Exterior surfaces: They need to see the correct clearance between ground and siding material, Good condition of exterior paint or siding, and properly working lights and electrical outlets.
  5. Grounds: No leaks from septic tank, proper drainage, and decent condition of the house's driveways, fences, and sidewalk. A rotting fence should just be taken down or repaired.
  6. Garage/Sheds/Outbuildings: These also need to have a solid foundation, windows, ceiling, framing, and roof/shingles. No water damage to the structure. Working garage door opener safety feature if equipped. Up-to-code electrical system and proper function of outlets if equipped. No peeling or chipped paint.

I hope this aids in your preparations and your house sells as quickly as you find or build your new dream home! Call us at Kuhlmann Real Estate, Inc to buy or sell.  We will help you from before you start until after you are done. Thank you for trusting us as your neighborhood professionals since 1963. (320) 269-6481 www.montevideohomes.com