A home inspection is a vital part of the buying process.
It protects you from unknowingly purchasing a house that has serious deficiencies – and thereby turning what was initially a dream home into a nightmare.
So what actually happens during a home inspection? Here are a few snapshots of what to expect.
- There is no quick way to properly inspect a house. A thorough examination by a qualified home inspector will take at least two hours, and possibly longer.
- Don’t just wait around. Accompany the home inspector during the examination.
- Expect the inspector to check the house inside and out, top to bottom. The inspection should include a trip to the roof, a visit to every room in the house, a crawl into the attic, a look inside electrical outlets, and more. (If all of these are not done, ask why.)
- An inspection is a lot like a doctor’s examination. It should check every system of the house for potential problems: structural, electrical, heating and cooling, roofing, ventilation, grading (to ensure that water drains away from the house), and plumbing.
- Ask questions during the inspection. Learn all you can about the maintenance of the house, what needs to be repaired and other issues. If there are problems, find out if they are serious or relatively minor.
- When the inspection is complete, you should receive a comprehensive written report. If you don’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask.
There are several options for dealing with deficiencies, including asking the seller to make required repairs or asking to renegotiate the price based on the cost of repairs.
Read any Top 10 list of things to do to prepare your house for sale and “Get rid of the clutter” is sure to be on it.
But how important is cleaning up really? Does your home have to look immaculate, like it’s been torn from the page of a decorating magazine? Can’t the average buyer look past a little clutter and see the value of your home for what it really is?
The answer lies in psychology.
Clutter – a disorganized garage, an overstuffed closet, a disheveled basement – can make people feel uneasy and even edgy. In a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, clutter was even linked to depression.
In addition, clutter can create a feeling of hesitancy, even inertia. “At the sight of clutter people shut down,” says organization expert Cathy Philips. “They don’t want to do anything”. But you want a home buyer to do something – make you an offer!
Clutter can also draw attention to the wrong things. Instead of a big double garage, for instance, a buyer’s attention may be focused instead on boxes, lawn equipment and bikes piled in the corner. Clutter can instantly turn a great selling point into a turnoff.
And if all that isn’t enough, clutter has the knack for making everything seem smaller. A big spacious closet can look downright claustrophobic when stuffed to the ceiling with shoes, clothes and boxes.
So don’t underestimate the psychology of clutter. According to research by HomeGain, getting rid of clutter ranks as one of the best investments you can make in preparing your home for sale, averaging a 594% return on your investment.
Looking for more ways to sell your home faster and for more money? Call today.