Home Selling Tips From a Home Inspector

This month we had the pleasure of working with Charlie and Sarah Ragsdale who utilized ListingSpark’s services to sell their home in Leander TX in the Crystal Falls subdivision.  

In the midst of peak selling season, Charlie and Sarah decided to push the envelope on their price, listing the home at the upper end of both price and price per sq/ft for the neighborhood.  They ultimately executed a contract in less than 2 weeks of hitting the market at 98.4% of their asking price.  A number they were very pleased with.  

That’s all great news, but what was very impressive to me and something that I thought was worth noting was that their 10 year old home came out completely unscathed from the buyer’s inspections. There were no repair requests at all, which is extremely rare.  

Now here is where Charlie’s profession comes in to play.  He is a professional home inspector with Able Eye Inspections (Click the link to check out his site) and has over 20 years of both construction and home inspection experience.  So that got me thinking, what does an inspector do to prepare their home to hit the market.  Or better yet, what are some of the things that ALWAYS show up on a report that can create concern for a home buyer that you as a seller are able to prepare for.  Here is a list of a few items:

  • HVAC is out of code or underperforming.  We see this on EVERY report.  Have your unit serviced by an HVAC tech and change the filter before the inspector comes.
  • Caulking around exterior doors and windows as well as tubs and showers on the interior. A tube of caulk cost $3-$5 at home depot and takes very little time to do yourself.  If you don’t have the skillset required, you can hire a handyman much cheaper than many buyers will perceive the cost to be when negotiating repairs. 
  • Electrical issues. Issues like open splices in the attic not in a junction box or failing to have GFCI’s in wet areas are GUARANTEED to get flagged.  First time home buyer’s can get very spooky around electrical items flagged on an inspection report. Here is a great article outlining other electrical items to look out for.
  • Wood rot on trim and siding. This issue is almost always a result of failing to keep a quality coat of paint or caulk on the exterior and will come back to bite you.  In the Texas heat, you can expect every 5-7 years to start to see the wear and tear of deteriorating building materials on the outside of your home if you don’t stay vigilant
  • Water Heater out of code. Code requirements have likely changed since your water heater was installed.  Though you are not required to bring every item up to code, you can still run in to issues passing an inspection.  If your water heater is not sitting in a pan with a drain line, that will definitely get flagged along with a few other things that are worth getting looked at to make sure you meet current safety requirements. 

There are definitely more than 5 things to keep an eye out for since the average inspection is 30+ pages.  But these are the most glaring and tend to come with the highest price tags once you get back to the negotiating table during the option period. 

The moral of the story here is that on top of saving over $12,000 dollars in commissions by listing with ListingSpark, Sarah and Charlie easily added thousands more in to the equation by having their house ready to hit the market and prepared for the buyer’s inspector.   

If you need a home inspection done, reach out to Charlie, he’ll take great care of you!

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