There’s something that I see generated in almost every transaction — a list of repair items found during due diligence inspections that buyers would like completed before closing. This can cause heartaches for sellers, who have negotiated their best deal and then feel “put upon” because they’re being asked to make repairs to close the sale.
The problems that arise, however, could be remedied upfront if a home inspection were done when the house was listed. Let’s face it: We live in our homes and don’t address or even see some of the issues that arise because they don’t affect our daily lives. We look at homes online with a more critical eye than we do our own homes. I have seen too many sellers caught by surprise regarding the same issues that seem to pop up frequently.
Have these items addressed prior to listing the house, not before your seller has negotiated the best possible sales price, and everyone will be happier on the day of closing!
A seal has broken, and although the window is functional, it really is “windy.” If your new listing has one or 12 of these drafty portals around the house, encourage the seller to replace them prior to listing.
Jet tubs that leak
Some of my recent experiences indicate that this applies to all jet tubs. In the past month, whether I was acting as a buyer’s agent or listing agent, every single jet tub has leaked in the homes that I’ve seen. Many of us don’t use bathtubs as often as we used to, and I am convinced that most jet tubs go unused for, potentially, years. Checking your tub for leaks prior to listing will ensure that no leaks appear during a home inspection. No buyer likes leaks, after all.
Water damage to exterior trim
On any home that’s more than 8-10 years old, I frequently see rotten wood on exterior trim. If you can see splitting or rotten boards as you walk along the front or rear of your property, have them replaced, then caulk and paint. Nothing says “well maintained” like a coat of fresh paint on fascia and trim! Pay special attention to chimney areas on homes built before the late ’90s (and the advent of HardiePlank or cement board).
Are there split or missing roof shingles on your new listing? If so, the best thing a seller can do is pay a roofer to give the roof a once-over, replacing any missing or damaged shingles.
Loose handrails or deck rails
Last year, a buyer told me that he checked the stair handrails and deck rails in homes. If they were wobbly, he took that as a sign that the house wasn’t cared for overall. Whether that’s fair or not, this is a safety issue that seems to sneak its way onto inspection reports more times than I can remember.
Gutters that are not functional or do not properly channel water away from the foundation of the home are problems. Have them freed of debris and functional prior to listing.
Leaky showers and faucets
And, in fact, leaky faucets throughout the house. If it leaks, it shouldn’t. Have it fixed by a licensed plumber.