Below are five items that will always get called and can be easily fixed. As a seller, doing these items prior to putting your home on the market will make the home inspection look cleaner and build confidence for the buyer during a stressful situation. Correcting these common items will show that you have pride in your home and can make the deal go smoothly the rest of the way.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors are required by the State of Washington to be installed for every home prior to closing. Per new guidelines effective in Washington State on April 1, 2012, Carbon monoxide detectors are required in the following areas: outside each of the sleeping areas and at least one detector on every level of the house. Please check with your local jurisdiction but this has become a common omission since it is a new law. Battery operated units are easy to install by homeowners or hardwired units can be installed by a professional licensed contractor.
- Servicing your furnace can be easily forgotten since it can be an extra cost. Most home owners will change out filters when needed but having a licensed HVAC contractor go through the entire system is recommended. The cost usually runs from $100 to $150 but will give you a detailed report on your system. If a home inspector does not see a current service sticker on the unit they may require a service check. If it has been done, make sure the report and payments slips are handy during a buyer’s inspection.
- Anti tip bracket on your stove for child proofing. This bracket usually comes with the purchase of your stove. Appliance installers or homeowners usually do not put them on due to time or not knowing what they are. The anti tip bracket will keep your child safe by keeping the stove from tipping when they use the oven door as a step to reach a top shelf.
- Earthquake straps for the hot water tank are required in homes that are built today but some earlier resale homes do not have them installed. The straps were required to keep your hot water tank in place during an earthquake. You can find them at any local home improvement store for under $30 and are easy to install.
- Trim back your plants at least one foot from your home. An easy one to forget since the small brush or tree you planted five years ago was perfect for the location but eventual they grow. I recommend all ground vegetation be trimmed a minimum of six (6) inches away from contact with siding to promote air circulation. Failure to maintain adequate clearance can result in moisture intrusion into the siding and associated damage/wood rot.
As a seller, correcting these issues prior to the sale of your home will save you money and will help avoid any stressful situations. Do you have any stories about a home inspection? Let us know in the comments section below.