The inspector is part of buying team and is not influenced and or rewarded if the transaction closes or not. Additionally, the inspector is paid at the time of the inspection so that the fee is not tied to the transaction closing. Most inspections reports are automated and are turned over to the buyer within 48 hours from inspection completion. The report is to help the buyer understand the condition of the property to include any defects and or safety issues.
Items that a licensed home inspector will view are the roof, foundation, plumbing, heating and electrical systems. They will also look for pests, mold and other damages to the property. A proper inspection will take roughly three hours and generally cost $350 - $400.
During the inspection, the inspector will typically note items that need repair and others that need maintenance. Home inspectors have the same routine and certain items will flag the inspector to dig deeper into the house.
Listed below are the top inspection items that I consistently see. All these items can be prevented from being a part of the inspection report. LET US NOT GIVE the buyer additional items to negotiate.
1. Carbon Monoxide Unit/ Smoke Detectors
The carbon monoxide unit is a $15-$30 fix and is a safety issue. Carbon Monoxide is both a colorless and odorless gas that kills. About 170 people die in the United States from Carbon Monoxide produced by non-automotive consumer products. It’s a law in Colorado, as of 2009, that all homes are required to have a unit involved in a sale or transfer
Smoke detectors are part of fire safety and prevention. NFPA says that three of every five home fire deaths result from homes with no smoke alarms. Some reports say systems should be replaced every 10 years and batteries at a minimum once a year. Cost to replace is typically $15-$200.
2. Electrical or wiring
There are always outlets with reversed polarity. The hot and neutral wires are flipped in the outlet. This creates a shock hazard. This is an easy fix with an electrician.
Kitchen and bathrooms must have GFCI protected outlets. The outlet helps prevent electrocution. The outlet is designed to cut off the power if a person starts to receive a shock.
A roof can be a pricey repair and ages with the home. As the home ages, most homeowners will either pray to the hail Gods and or perform a hail dance in the spring months with the hopes of getting an insurance claim. If you have any concerns, you can purchase a five year roofing certification from an independent company to give the buyer.
4. Grading problems including gutters and downspouts
This is another easy fix. The goal is to keep water away from the foundation to prevent foundation problems. Dirt and rock can be added around the house at a minimum 30 degrees downslope from the foundation. Soil should not be in contact with the siding. Down spouts need to be extended from the property 3-5 feet and gutters should be clear from leaves and not leaking.
5. Doors and windows not operating properly
Most garage doors will have a garage door opener. The problem is that older units may not have the safety sensor so that the garage will go in reverse if there is an obstruction.
Over the age of the house, screens get damaged and or windows do not close correctly and sometimes do not lock. Typically a handyman can do minor maintenance.
6. Radon Gas
Radon is a gas created from natural deposits of uranium and radium in the soil. Radon gas in the basement is very common. Some studies show that prolonged exposure to radon decay products can significantly increase the potential for lung cancer. Radon is measured pico Curies per liter (pCi/L). The magic number is 4.0. Anything in excess of 4.0 will require a radon unit installed in the basement. The cost is typically $900-1300.
7. Rotting Wood Surfaces
Paint and caulking. This is the key to maintaining the exterior of the house. A good paint will last 7 years. Water that gets behind the siding can mildew/mold.
8. Furnace Cleaning and Certification
It cost $100 to have a furnace cleaned and certified. Plan on having it done because every inspector defaults their inspection form to have the furnace cleaned and certified. I think it is part of their training. In fact, I have had multiple Inspection Objections from the buyer to have it cleaned only to call the inspector on the table with a certification. How awkward is that??
The above 8 items are very common and easy fixes. Every buyer wants a deal and by taking these items off of the table will help you get top dollar for your property.
For complete access to Realtor MLS listings, contact Stephen Connelly or go to www.HouseHuntersColorado.com.