Put the ‘pro’ in proactive to avoid added stress and expense
Of all the pitfalls that can derail an Atlanta home sale, a failed home inspection has to be one of the most frustrating. It is one of the final pieces in a long process, and can be costly, or worse, cause a buyer to walk away.
Dorsey Alston asked several expert Atlanta home inspectors for the most common issues with metro homes. Here are the five top items Jeff Luther, founder of Home-Probe, Inc.; Greg Spencer, founder of Building Knowledge, LLC and Brandon Ansley of The Cornerstone Inspection Group see over and over again.
If you are considering selling your home, you may want to get these things checked out before you get to the home inspection.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Addressing a small area of wood rot well before putting your home on the market will save a lot of money and frustration versus having an undetected deterioration come up when the property is under contract. Jeff Luther, founder of Home-Probe, Inc., recommends an annual home walkthrough, which can help reveal wood, exterior trim and siding damage before it becomes a bigger, more stressful issue.
“The biggest surprise I hear is ‘What do you mean my roof is at the end of its useful life? I’ve had that roof for 35 years and it’s never leaked!’” said Luther. If it’s been more than five years since the last inspection, you should have a roofer or other qualified contractor walk the roof looking for damage and debris and making sure it is clean and leak-free, advises Greg Spencer, founder of Building Knowledge, LLC. A roof replacement can easily cost $10,000 or more. Asphalt shingle roofs typically last about 15 to 20 years, says Brandon Ansley of The Cornerstone Inspection Group.
Few things cause buyers to become more alarmed than evidence of rodents in the attic or elsewhere in a home. Sellers should have a licensed pest control contractor inspect for rodents, roaches, termites and other critters. The cost of extermination and “exclusion” can reach $3,000 to $4,000, according to Spencer.
Homeowners can be surprised that “the guts” of their electrical panel are obsolete and need to be replaced, Spencer said. “Remodelers are notorious for trying to get a little more electrical out of the service.” Calling it a serious safety hazard, Ansley looks for not only insufficient electrical service to the house, but also aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and “dangerous amateur wiring connections.” Sellers should also make sure that all appliances and equipment are in working order.
An easy maintenance step is changing filters prior to the inspection. “We see some very disgusting filters, and buyers can't help but wonder what else is poorly maintained,” adds Spencer.
The bottomline is a proactive approach to home maintenance keeps problem areas from worsening and extra stress and expense out of the home-selling process.
Feel free to reach out to one of our experts, and please post your questions and comments below. We’ll get the answers.