Whether you’re on the buying side of a transaction and want to make sure that everything in the home you have under contract is in proper, working condition or you’re a seller wanting to cover all your bases, home inspections are so important. Unfortunately, inspections on the selling side are often dismissed as unnecessary. 

Just before recording this video, I spoke with one of my seller clients. In our conversation, I recommended that they order a pre-listing inspection. Why is that something a home seller should even consider? In this case, my seller’s property was built in the 1950s, and in a house that old, there’s always going to be some unpleasant surprises. If you’ve thoroughly decluttered, deep cleaned, and put a little elbow grease into your property, there could easily still be trouble lurking behind its walls and throughout its nooks and crannies. 

Are there any signs of moisture in your attic? Are there any “double-taps” in my electrical panel? When’s the last time you had a thorough inspection of the plumbing system? The first time you hear of a huge issue in your home shouldn’t be when the buyer is doing their due diligence at the point of sale. Sellers: If your house was built before 1975, you should strongly consider getting a home inspection before putting it on the market. 

There are two main areas of concern that usually come back to haunt a seller during the buyer’s due diligence period. The first problem area is the roof. If your roof is more than 20 years old, there’s a good chance it won’t pass the buyer’s inspection. It doesn’t matter if it’s a shingle, barrel (very popular here in Florida), or metal roof; most roofs won’t last longer than three decades. An inspector will more than likely raise a red flag on any roof that’s 20 years or older. 

“Preserve your negotiating power as a seller; get a pre-listing inspection.”

As a seller, you’ll want to make sure that your roof can pass an inspection with flying colors (i.e., the inspector deems it to be in very good condition and believes it has a remaining lifespan of at least five to seven more years). Get a quick roof inspection done by a qualified roofing contractor or home inspector to see if any issues need to be fixed sooner rather than later. Also, be sure to have your roof cleaned (don’t pressure wash it at risk of causing leaks; there are proper chemical treatments for roof cleaning). 

The other common problem in homes built before 1975 is with the drain lines. Cast iron pipes that run from the drains down into the sewer or septic tank are often the reason for a bad home inspection report. I would advise getting a sewer scope (a camera designed to be passed through drain lines) to take a look at the condition of your pipes. 

If we find a serious issue, we can do something about it before putting the home on the market. That will mitigate the cost of having to make repairs on the buyer’s terms, giving the buyer a credit to handle the issue themselves, or worse yet—having to do a straight-up price reduction on the home. 

I have some great inspectors and contractors that can help with these problem areas and more, and I’d be more than happy to refer them to you. Do yourself a favor and preserve your negotiating power as a seller; get a pre-listing inspection. 

As always, if you have further questions about this or any other real estate topic, feel free to reach out to me. Also, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send an email if you’d like some personalized advice on how to proceed with your home sale. I’m here and ready to help!