Most sellers dread home inspections, and with good reason. No matter how well you have prepared, that inspector’s job is to find some problem, however, small, and find it he or she will. Otherwise, your buyers are actually unlikely to believe that there is not any issue with the home and may give the home inspector a bad review or opt not to buy! While many sellers deal with this by leaving some small item undone (I know one investor who actually leaves the cover plates off outlets in order to provide a quick, easy-to-spot and easy-to-fix issue for inspectors to point out to buyers), there are some inspection issues that can really rear their ugly heads at the worst time. Here are three common home problems usually uncovered at inspection, and what to do about them:
Home Problem #1: Water Damage
You’d think that this would be an easy one to spot and deal with in advance, but home inspectors say that slow leaks in unused places, such as an unfinished basement, often go undetected. Check out all areas of the home before the inspection so that you can deal with any water-related issues up front.
Home Problem #2: Overworked Electrical Systems
If the lights are on, then you may be tempted to believe that the electricity is basically fine. However, if you have made any adjustments to the wiring in the home (or a previous owner did) then you may have an overtaxed electrical system that represents a fire hazard.
Home Problem #3: Foundation Issues
These can be hard to spot if they have not yet begun to cause major inconvenience, but you may get a hint of an issue if there are cracks at the corners of windows and doors, or if windows and doors do not shut tightly. If you have concerns about the foundation, have the home inspected yourself before putting it on the market. These issues can be difficult to repair and will almost always kill a deal.
Be prepared! Do everything you can to present a solid home with no major issues to your buyers’ inspector, even if it means having an inspection done first.
Point to Ponder:
What’s the worst problem you ever uncovered during a home inspection?
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Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.