Preparing to Sell A Home? 7 Things Tampa Home Inspectors Look For Before Anything Else

Selling your home? After the offers come in, the buyer will probably request and schedule a home inspection. There are some things to know about home inspections if you want to prepare your home before listing to have a more favorable inspection. A home inspection with many issues can lead to price negotiations, repair requests, and sometimes even loss of interest by the buyer. Most offers on a home include a condition that the buyer can back out of the deal for any reason after the home inspection is complete, so ensuring the inspection goes well may be vital to selling your home quickly.

While no one has a perfect home, there are some ways that you can prepare your home before the inspection to improve the odds a home inspection makes a positive impact on the sale of your home. You can also request your own home inspection—a seller’s inspection or a pre-sale inspection is a great way to get ahead of needed repairs and uncover potential issues that could turn your buyer away or cause your home value to decrease. Alternatively, if your pre-sale home inspection comes back clean, you can provide a copy to all prospective buyers as a marketing tactic to show just how “move-in ready” your home truly is.

The following is a list of 7 things that home inspectors look for right off the bat when inspecting a home.

1. Water Damage

Water damage is a big red flag for an inspector and a buyer—with water damage comes leaks, structural damage, plumbing issues, and even mold. If you have ever had water damage but it has been repaired, be sure to check for old indications (like water stains on the ceiling) and be sure those are removed. Even though the inspector will note the indications are old and repairs were made, the sight of prior water damage can make buyers uneasy and back out of the sale.

2. The Structure of Your Home

Our homes are our safety net. They protect us from the elements and provide us a place of comfort. If the structure of your home is anything but strong, the buyer may severely rethink their offer. Starting with the foundation, if there are issues underneath the home, then it is likely there will be issues within the walls of the home itself. The following is a list of some ways you can tell if the structure of your home is worth questioning:

  • Any Gaps Between Floors And Walls
  • Cracks In Walls Or Door Frames
  • Bouncy Or Uneven Floors
  • Nails Coming Out Of Walls
  • Bricks Or Stonework With Cracks
  • Slanted Front Porch Or Stairs
  • Leaning Or Cracked Chimney
  • Gaps Around Door Frame And Windows
Foundation problem causing sheetrock cracks above door frame

3. Roof Damage

The roof of a home is just as important as its structure, without it there would be no protection for the home and those in it. The average roof can last up to 15 years (at least in the Florida heat and stormy weather) but if a roof is not well kept with regular inspections, problems could arise.

A faulty roof could lead to leaks, pest infestations, and structural damage. The following are some things to look out for when deciding if your roof needs repair or replacement:

  • Missing Or Loose Shingles
  • Curled Or Buckled Shingles
  • Lack Of Texture On Shingles
  • Rusting Or Cracking On Flashing
  • Algae Growth
  • Unevenness Or Soft Spots
  • Moisture Within The Ceiling Or Attic

4. Electrical System Problems

Electrical problems are one of the top 5 causes of home fires. The risk of electrical fires has increased exponentially over time and because of this, your home inspector will examine your electrical systems throughout your home.

If an electrical problem is found during your inspection, it is important to reach out to an electrician to evaluate the issue and your repair options. The following are some examples of common electrical issues that your home inspector could find during your inspection:

  • Exposed Splices And Wiring
  • Un-grounded Three-Prong Plugs
  • Circuit Breaker Double Tapping
  • Painted Outlets
  • Electrical Panels That Were Not Properly Modified
  • Reversed Polarity
  • Tube And Knob Wiring
  • Federal Pacific Breaker Panels
  • Knockouts In Panels Missing
  • No GFCI Protection
  • Multiple Neutral Wires In A Slot
  • Wiring Against Sharp Edges

5. Plumbing Problems

The plumbing system you have in your home could affect not only your home inspection report but also your water bill. Things as simple as a leaky faucet or a running toilet can significantly run up your water bill.

The following are some plumbing issues that may not be visible, but are very costly:

  • Polybutylene Or Polyethylene Piping
  • Galvanized Pipes
  • Rusty Or Broken Pipes
  • Running Toilets
  • Hidden Leaks
  • Clogged Sewer Lines
  • High Water Pressure
  • Broken Thermostat
  • Sediment Build-Up

6. HVAC Systems

A buyer will want to be assured that they won't be burdened with an aging and deteriorating AC system when the home is sold. Your home inspector will make sure that the HVAC system's basic functions are operating correctly and will note the condition and age of the unit.

Some red flags home inspectors will watch out for are:

  • Dirty Air Filters
  • Opened Seams In Slopes Or Flues Up To The Chimney Connection
  • Rusting Around The Unit
  • Combustion Gas Order
  • Cracked Ductwork
  • Signs Of Asbestos
  • Blocked Or Dirty Vents
  • Blocked AC Drain Pipe
Termites building a mud tube on wooden wall of a room / Termite problem in house concept

7. Infestations: Pest and Insect

Insect and pest infestations can deteriorate the parts of your home listed above. From wood to carpet, piping, and drywall, infestations can be discovered just about anywhere. The most common infestations in Florida are termites and roaches; however, spiders, mice, and other pests can still pose an issue to your home, your home inspection, and the outcome of your home sale.

Some pests, like termites, can cause damage to the structure of the home, particularly areas like the foundation, roofing, or walls, while others like roaches and mice can also pose a health risk to inhabitants.

Home inspectors look for signs of pest infestations such as droppings, weak spots in visible wood, nests, and termite tunneling. If there are potential indicators, they will note this on the home inspection report and recommend a more thorough pest inspection to verify pest presence and the extent of the infestation (and subsequent damage).

Looking for more information on a pre-sale home inspections or looking to set up an appointment to have your seller’s home inspected? AcuSystem Inspections can help you out! We specialize in home and business inspections.

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