A Pre-Listing Home Inspection is a Good Investment

Home InspectionOne of the things that a home seller can stress about during the marketing and escrow period is how their home measures up in the eye of the buyer. Are there doors or windows that don’t close properly? Are there leaks or tell-tale water stains that point to leaks? Do all the electrical and light fixtures work? Are fences worn or wobbly? Do you have the requisite smoke detectors installed? Buyers can usually pinpoint some of these items, and a buyer’s home inspector will catch many items, even if the home is in good repair. It may be wise for the home seller to hire their own home inspector to catch and fix as many of these items as possible prior to marketing the home for sale.

During escrow, a buyer has the right to inspect the home, and the seller has the duty to allow them access. The buyer may opt for several different types of home inspections. The inspector then prepares a list of items of concern, and the the buyer may then present a “fix-it” list to the seller. Depending upon the buyer and the condition of the home, this can be a lengthy and costly list!

Get a Seller Home InspectionIf a nervous buyer sees a couple of water stains or loose boards, etc., they may inflate these potentially minor issues into larger issues and may devalue the property in their mind. They may even re-think the wisdom of the purchase. If a buyer sees a couple things amiss, they may think even more things are wrong with the property, even when there aren’t.

I can do a cursory visual inspection of your home when you get ready to list for sale, but if you have concerns or several things wrong with your home, a pre-listing home inspection done by a professional is a wise investment. They can catch many things before the buyer does, giving you the option to fix things a buyer will either want the seller to fix or provide a credit for. A home in good repair or with few things amiss (all homes have something wrong with them), will have more value in the eyes of a buyer. They will feel more comfortable going through with the purchase and perhaps happier paying a higher price for it. A home in good repair will give a buyer fewer reasons to back out or try to “ding” the seller with items to fix. You, the seller, may even feel happier, prouder and more confident showing and selling your home. You will most likely be able to ask a higher selling price, too, depending upon how many fixes and repairs are made before going on the market.

If you are thinking of selling, call me, and we can assess whether or not you need a pre-listing home inspection. 949.525.5905.

Love Your Home

Take Care of Your Home It Is a Big InvestmentYour home is a pretty big investment. You probably worked hard to get it, and now is not the time to stop working hard to keep it! Maintaining it and keeping it in good repair will ensure many years and maybe many decades of continued enjoyment in your current home.

I always say that here in Southern California the things to keep an eye on are termites and water damage issues, though these are not the only things to maintain and keep an eye on. Have your home inspected for termites and/or damage. Repairs and fumigation may be an order, but well worth it in the long run. Perhaps schedule a routine maintenance program with a professional pest control company.

Have your pipes tested or inspected for leaks. Have your water heater serviced or replaced if needed. Adjust sprinklers so they do not hit the walls of your home. Have your furnace inspected and serviced and keep the filter clean. A roof inspection can detect any leaks and perhaps head off larger leaks in the future. It is far less costly to have a routine maintenance program than to wait for disaster to happen at inopportune times like when you are away or in the middle of the night. When you go to sell, a buyer will want to see that the home has been well-maintained and may ask you to repair or replace things if it is not.

A well-maintained home will reward you in money saved, added equity, pride of ownership and peace of mind.

Christmas Tree Safety

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I just got an email from one of my home inspectors with a timely holiday tip. It is in response to the question, “Can I burn my Christmas Tree in the fireplace?”

No! You could burn your house down if you throw even a few pine branches into the fire. Dried-out evergreens burn like tinder. Their needles go up in a flash, creating huge, fast-burning sparks, which can fly across a room or onto the roof and set your shingles on fire. Plus, the pitch in the wood creates huge, fast-moving sparks that can jump right out of the fireplace and into your room, or up the chimney and onto the shingles. The combination causes flames, heat and smoke to pour out of a fireplace opening with no warning. And the fire from a Christmas tree burns so hot that you’re sure to damage the firebox and the chimney.
So don’t put your tree—or any of its branches, even for kindling—in the fireplace. Instead, compost it or bring it to a recycling center, which will chip it up and turn it into mulch.