Very often, when a buyer and seller come to terms with a home sales agreement, there stands one big hurdle to get over (other than the lending process.) It’s the dreaded home inspection. Sellers most often do not want to go through the expense of having their home professionally inspected before placing it on the market. Buyers on the other hand when purchasing a resale home often want the home in ‘showroom’ condition as if they are purchasing new construction.
When a seller places their home on the market, they are required (in Delaware) to complete a Sellers Disclosure report. Sellers are required to disclose everything they are aware of; good or bad, to the buying public. Surprisingly, many sellers don’t seem to know a good deal of information about their own home or property and just assume everything is good to go. They haven’t been in the attic or under the house for years and since the home has not collapsed, they feel all is right with the world. From experience, these are two of the biggest areas of neglect I see with many homes.
Case in point. Seller has never been in the crawl space. After an inspection when the inspector tells them they have apparent mold on the floor joists, they are shocked. The inspector tells them they have a slight leak in the plumbing under the house and most likely this is where the unwelcome growth is coming from. The inspector writes it up as a major health defect. By contract (in most cases) the mold must be professionally remedied (sorry, a bottle of bleach is not sufficient remedy.)
The inspector goes in the attic and finds a squirrel nest, although no immediate activity. The vent screens aren’t in place and the rodents invaded! Again, a major defect. The inspector notes some of the windows in the house have frosting in them. Not the good kind, but the etching inside the glass because the thermal seals are blown and moisture is trapped between the panes of glass. Oh man, the seller didn’t think anything of this and say they “bought it that way.”
Some other very common defects: Electric panels with double tapped breakers, mixtures of copper and aluminum wiring, knob and tube wiring in older homes, reverse polarized outlets, GFCIs that don’t safety trip, missing emergency discharge lines from hot water heaters, missing roof edging shingles, missing gutters, damaged roof vent boots, inoperative emergency backup heat, cracked heat exchangers, broken window sash cords, fireplace flues that don’t operate, rotting wood at the bottoms of doors and windows, termite damage, and on and on. Most of these things a seller may not know about by simply looking at them. But, and inspector will spot them in a minute.
My advise, get your home inspected so there’s no surprises when a buyer’s inspector looks at the house. Better to know up front, disclose everything up front, and let the buyer make their offer based on what they read in your disclosure.
Thomas Schoenbeck, Associate Broker, Keller Williams Realty, 18344 Coastal Highway, Lewes DE (302)360-0300(o) (302)632-7407(c) http://www.tom.kwrealty.com