What to look for on your home inspection report

Every article I write is written with the intent of writing about something that may interest you, the reader. In January, I did a Facebook poll to find out what some of you are interested in reading about in this article. Here are a few questions that were posted from readers.

1. What specific red flags should you look for on an inspection report? – Yvette Lincoln

The first thing to know is that inspectors are hired to find things wrong with the home or any safety concerns in the home. Sometimes their reports can look like there are a lot of things wrong with the home, when in fact they are minor fixes. It is important to determine what is minor and what is a “red flag” in the way of a costly repair or something that would make you not want to proceed with the sale.

Termites, active leaks and safety issues like a non-working HVAC system in the summer would prevent a loan from being approved until repaired. Some “red flags” on a report the buyer should be concerned about are cut trusses in the attic, foundation issues, electrical problems and water damage.

Based on these issues coming up on a general inspection report, a further inspection may be needed by a structural engineer, electrician or mold inspector. A buyer has 10 days to get a home inspected and negotiate the repairs or they may lose their earnest money. Most foreclosures or HUD homes that are bank-owned are sold “as is.” This means you can get the inspection but most likely no repairs will be made. An inspection is always recommended.

2. If you have limited funds to make any updates on your house before selling, what areas should you focus on to get you the most bang for your buck? – Janice Stead McCracken

In preparing to sell your home with limited funds, the most important thing you can do is to make sure it is de-cluttered and clean. If you have to rent a storage space to move some of your “things” out do it. It is OK to have boxes in the garage, but a cluttered room will cause a buyer to turn around and walk out. If your home needs a deep cleaning, pay to have one done. If you smoke or have animals, do what you can to eliminate the smell. Paint is probably the next single thing you can do to improve the look of your home. If your home needs paint or you have walls that are not considered neutral, adding some fresh paint can really make your home pop. A clean, uncluttered, neutral home will sell the fastest for the best price.