Don’t Let a Home Inspection Failure Hurt Your Sale

inspector looking at ceilingIf you are a seller, you have anxiously awaited that moment when you accept a great offer, sign the paper, and all the conditions for the sale are just right, but then there’s the buyer’s home inspection you need to get through. Now you are beginning to worry about what might be hidden in your home that you didn’t even know about?

Will the home inspection uncover something? Absolutely!  An inspector’s report lists every single detail about the condition of the home – from small maintenance that may be nice to do – or is needed soon, to the fact that replacement of a system may be needed 15 years down the road.  It covers everything from urgent-do-it-now issues too beneficial perhaps–do repairs, from deal-breaking issues to preventative home care. It is lengthy!

What would be a major issue that you should be worrying about?

According to the National Association of REALTORS, there’s a few major issues that could affect the sale of your home.

  1. Damaged foundations. Hairline cracks in the foundation tend to be signs from the home settling. However, large cracks, uneven blocks or bowed walls could signal a more serious and pricey issue. Have a structural engineer examine the foundation if such a problem is uncovered. Cost to repair will depend on how serious the crack is to the structure.

  2. Mold. Small amounts aren’t uncommon to spot in bathrooms, kitchens, and wherever else water is usually present. However, buyers should be concerned about large patches of mold. It could signal water is entering the house and lingering. What you see on the surface could be much worse behind the surface. You don’t want someone just to come in and replace the drywall; you have to find the source of the water.

  3. Faulty wiring. Do-it-yourself electrical projects can be alarming and could pose a fire risk, inspectors say. Wiring should be done correctly and up to the code in place when it was done. Also, inspectors say they watch for knob-and-tube wiring – where the exposed wire is anchored by porcelain posts. This technique was commonly used in homes built in the 1880s to the 1930s. But inspectors recommend such wiring be replaced. In fact, companies won’t even insure homes with this out-of-date wiring.

  4. Failing roof. You would probably suspect this issue has occurred because of leaks or if your roofing tiles looking really old and curled. But sometimes a leak occurs and damages the wood underlay to your roof – and you may not know about it yet. It could be a small sectional repair or a whole new roof may be required. One could cost you hundreds, the other thousands to repair.

  5. Termite or pest damage. Often homeowners are shocked to learn termites have been eating away at their house. Again, the cost to repair depends on the damage – plus you will probably need to get the property treated for pest prevention.

Typically, the home inspection report will scare you and the buyer when it first arrives. Relax. It will be very, very lengthy, but filled with valuable insight into every possible repair or maintenance issue, now or in the future.  If a major issue is uncovered, you may be looking at doing some repairs –in order to keep the sale alive, or renegotiating the price with the buyers to cover the needed repair costs.

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