Cool Weather Maintenance Tips for Home Inspection

 December 12, 2014

You’ve shown buyers a listing and they’ve made an offer, all that’s left is a home inspection. While a home inspection may be one of the last stages in the home-selling process, it is a major one. It can make buyers love a home more or make them withdraw their offer. It is therefore important to make sure that your sellers are ready for home inspectors. Here are some fall maintenance tips to share with them.

Remove Clutter for Added Appeal

A home inspection can take longer than expected if a house is filled with clutter. While your clients might have already started packing, they should declutter their homes. Tell them to leave the spaces beneath their kitchen and bathroom sinks empty to ensure inspectors can access the plumbing easily. They should also move belongings that prevent access to water heaters and other home appliances.

Examine Gutters and Downspouts

Tell sellers to set aside one weekend to clean their gutters and downspouts. They should remove leaves, twigs, and any dirt to ensure water drains through them. Wind, snow, and other elements can break or move downspouts and gutters making them ineffective. Sellers should examine the two to see if they are damaged. They should also make sure their downspouts extend more than 6 feet from their homes. They can use downspout extensions to direct water away from the foundation.

Inspect the Roof

Harsh weather conditions can wreak havoc on a roof over the years. Tell sellers to inspect their roofs for holes and damaged or missing shingles. Shingles can crack, bulge, curl, or cup. These issues might seem insignificant but they can greatly affect a home. For example, holes and cracked shingles can lead to leaks and loss of heat during the cold season. Homeowners should take proper steps to repair their roofs as failure to do so may lead to extensive damage.

Check for Minor Plumbing Problems

Many homeowners consider themselves DIY experts. They would rather carry out repairs than hire professionals. While this may be cost-effective, it can work against them when they are selling their homes. Many a time the work is not done to code resulting in leaky drains, dripping faucets, and loose toilets. Boilers and water heaters may also have leaky valves. While all these are not big issues, they need to be rectified before the home inspector comes knocking.

Check the Attic for Mold

Older homes were built with bath fans which deposited the exhaust into the attic. This made attics the perfect breeding ground for mold. Advise sellers with older homes to explore their bathrooms and attics. They should check their attics for mold and study every nook and cranny. If possible, they can have the fans removed. Oftentimes, when a home inspector discovers mold in a home, the owners have no idea it exists. Tell sellers to take proper precautions to ensure they are not caught by surprise.

Schedule an Inspection

It is important for sellers to have their homes inspected before putting them on the market. This rule applies more to older homes than newer ones. Sellers with new homes which don’t have any problems can skip this step. A home inspection costs about $400 but is worth every cent. Once it is done, a seller will have peace of mind as he knows his house is free of problems. Furthermore, it also gives homeowners ample time to address any problems their homes may have rather than work under pressure from buyers.

Regardless of how much a seller knows his home, a home inspector can find issues buyers will want addressed. Sellers should prepare in advance to make their homes buyer bait. Help sellers understand that the easier they make the job for a home inspector, the more appreciative he’ll be of their efforts.

Ronique Gibson

By Ronique Gibson

Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, who has been in the design industry for over 13 years. She started her design blog in 2009 and today it has become a premier destination for helping homeowners with everyday lifestyle challenges. Her readers check in daily for help with their homes, DIY project ideas, recipes, crafts, and inspiration to beautify and enjoy their homes.