Even though the contract negotiations are over, you still can’t relax because the dreaded home inspection is right around the corner.  Below is a list of some of the most common defects that home inspectors look for during their detailed inspection.

- Improper or insufficient electrical wiring.  An inspector will be looking for potential fire hazards.  Wires need to be housed properly in a box, not hanging loose.  If you need electrical work done, make sure you hire a certified electrician who obtains the proper permits (when applicable).  This is an area where you don’t want to cut corners to save a few dollars because in the end it may cost you thousands!

- Plumbing problems such as leaky faucets, corroding pipes, improperly installed hot water heaters, and loose toilets.  Something as small as a leak can lead to mold, mildew and even structural damage when left unattended.

- Roof deterioration.  Home owners should routinely check for loose, missing or damaged shingles.  If you tend to the small repairs on a regular basis, you can stave off costly repairs (or even a full roof replacement).  Eventually, you’ll have to succumb to a roof replacement  but until then, take care of what you currently have.

- Overall neglect.  The details speak volumes as to what type of home owner you are.  If a potential buyer sees peeling paint, decayed caulking around windows and doors, broken fixtures, gutters overflowing, etc., it may lead them to the conclusion that overall “health” of the home is poor.  However, if you take care of the visual details and disclose service maintenanace records, chances are the buyer is going to go into the home inspection feeling confident about their decision and may overlook the small stuff should the inspector find anything.

Depending on the situation, a seller may want to have a pre-listing home inspection.  The benefit is that there won’t be any surprises once a willing, able buyer is identified.  However, sellers must keep in mind that what you know about your property you MUST disclose.  Therefore, if the inspector indicates that the current electrical wiring is insufficient for the current size of the home due to the family room addition, the seller has two options.  1) Upgrade the electrical service to accommodate the square footage of the home and document this upgrade in the seller’s disclosure, or 2) Do nothing and disclose the home inspector’s observation in the seller’s disclosure.  Obviously, it’s recommended for a seller to fix the problem so it’s no longer a potential issue. 

For more information, please contact me directly at Michelle@HarrisburgHouses.net