Avoid Home Inspection Surprises
With all the many things you have to think about when selling your home in Victoria, a “surprise” during the home inspection should not be one of them!
One of the most common conditions in all Real Estate transactions is a home inspection that is paid for by the buyer and performed by a licensed, professional home inspector.
When selling Real Estate, a home inspection is typically done within the first couple weeks after an offer has been submitted by the buyer and accepted by the seller. This is typically referred to as a Home Inspection Condition. On the Contract of Purchase and Sale, the condition will read as follows:
Subject to the Buyer obtaining and approving an inspection report of the Property on or before (month/day/year). Upon first receiving reasonable notice, the Seller will permit the Buyer and a representative of the Buyer’s Brokerage to have access to the Property to conduct inspections. This condition is for the sole benefit of the Buyer.
This agreement gives the buyer an “out” to terminate the contract if structural or mechanical defects are found during the home inspection. It is Bosdet Homes experience that the home inspection is one of the most common reasons a home sale falls apart and is one of the biggest hurdles a home seller faces in order to have a successful sale. By preparing for the Home Inspection well in advance, you will save yourself from the possibility of the buyer asking you to fix a long list of issues or provide a $ credit to deal with the issues before the sale can go through.
Bosdet Homes recommends that Sellers have their home pre-inspected prior to listing. This will allow you to know what things need to be addressed and find out if you have any deal breakers (big problems). This way you can fix most items and disclose the rest. If you don’t want to do a pre-inspection then before your home is inspected by a Buyer, use this home inspection checklist to do the following:
MAKE SURE THE INSPECTOR CAN SIMPLY DO HIS JOB!
To make sure the inspection goes smoothly, be sure that the inspector can access all areas of your home. Make sure you declutter all entrances and that all the electrical and plumbing fixtures are approachable. This includes every room in your house, the basement, the attic and all around the exterior of your home. Although a home inspector isn’t looking at your mess, an unkempt home does give an impression of uncaring homeowners and may raise a red flag of possible homeowners who do not regularly maintain their home.
CHECK FOR ANY EVIDENCE OF WATER DAMAGE
This is a home buyers’ top concern: the possibility of water issues in their new home. Often, it is not a major issue which caused a stain on the ceiling or around the window or door. Perhaps a toilet over-flowed, a window was left open during a storm or the shower door/curtain wasn’t closed properly. Ensure there are in fact no real issues causing the stain and be sure that it is properly repaired prior to viewing. Sellers have to disclose what they know about a home and being prepared will ease a Buyer’s concerns.
RULE OUT ANY POTENTIAL ELECTRICAL VIOLATIONS
If you have done any electrical improvements to your home without an electrician, we highly suggest you have a licensed electrician check them out prior to the Home Inspection. If the work is not up to code, even on just one small renovation, the buyer may not be confident with the electrical framework for the rest of the home – again more $.
Also, another complaint is a lack of GFI outlets (Ground Fault Interrupter) in kitchens and bathrooms. These outlets are designed to prevent electrocution in areas where they could come in contact with water. Be aware of the benefit for up-to-code outlets in these areas!
BE SURE YOUR BATHROOM/KITCHEN VENTS ARE NOT CREATING UNSEEN MOLD
Check all the exhausts in bathroom and kitchen fans. Where are they venting? In the past, some kinds of bathroom fans just ventilated the moist air into the attic. Many times home inspectors have found mould in the attic that the home owner was not previously aware of. If the vents are in fact going into the attic, get up there and check for old and have a roofer come in and vent them out. This is not costly but mould repair can be.
CHECK THE EXTERIOR FOR ROTTED WOOD
West Coast of Canada = very moist environment! It is necessary you are certain that any wood outside of your home has been properly protected. The most common places for wood rot to occur are the external trim, window trim and areas around decks.
FIX ANY MINOR PLUMBING DEFECTS
Often as home owners we “get use to” small annoyances like leaky faucets, loose toilets or slow flowing drains. These are easily fixed and need to be attended to prior to listing your home and the Home Inspection.
Another issue an inspector might enounter are leaky valves on water heaters or boilers. Be sure to do a thorough inspection of all plumbing mechanics and get these simple fixes done prior to inspection.
CHECK YOUR WINDOW SEALS
If you have experienced fogging on your windows, your window seals are not working properly. If the thermal seal between the panes of glass is not properly sealed, there will be moisture exchanged creating the fogging effect. This is common in older windows. If you have this issue, it is not a very expensive fix.
ENSURE YOUR CHIMNEY IS IN WORKING CONDITION
Usually a defect in a chimney will be located on the top of the house, where it is exposed to the elements. If your home has a chimney, check the mortar for cracks. A bigger issue would be finding cracks in the bottom of the chimney that run upwards. If you do find such cracks, this may mean a structural issue which can be unsafe. This is a time to hire a professional to check it out rather than just repairing the surface.
ON THE DAY OF HOME INSPECTION
- Replace any burnt out light bulbs. This allows the inspector to get a good view of all areas in your home and he or she won’t have to spend additional time to find out if it’s the receptacle or just the bulb that is not working.
- Thin out the clothing in your closet so the closets can be thoroughly examined.
- Remove items from the perimeter of your basement so the walls can be checked for cracks.
- Make sure the entrance to your attic is easily accessible.
- Change the filters to your furnace and leave any service tags on so the inspector can see them.
Always be upfront about any defects you have come across in your home. Never try to conceal issues , this will throw up major red flags! The last thing you want is for the inspector or buyer to think that you are being dishonest. If you are upfront with the buyer, you will have more authority when the Home Inspection negotiation process begins. Need further assistance from a qualified local inspector?
Bosdet Homes: Handcrafted Real Estate
If you are interested in buying real estate in the Greater Victoria area, Bosdet Homes is ready to help find your dream home. Working with a professional agent who is dialed into your preferred community is essential to ensure you don’t end up paying too much.
We would love to discuss how we can make your dreams a reality. Consultations are of course, always complimentary.