For many sellers, the home inspection can be a source of great anxiety because the inspector could find problems that you wouldn’t even think of. This may not be something you’ll have to worry about if you’re selling your house for cash since home inspections aren’t always required. However, if you have a buyer interested in your home and want an inspection done, then this will be a helpful guide.
You can avoid some of the stress by addressing these five most common repairs that are needed after a home inspection.
1. Dead trees
Dead trees aren’t necessarily something that needs repairing, but it is a good idea to schedule an inspection from a licensed arborist – especially if you live in a wooded area or there are a lot of big trees near the house. The arborist will be able to look at the trees and spot signs of wood rot, insect infestation, and if a tree is likely to fall over and land on power lines or damage your property.
2. Trip hazards
Something is considered a trip hazard if there’s a considerable change (the change must be 1.5 inches or more) to any walking surface. Examples of common trip hazards include tree roots uprooting walkways, broken pavers or cement, and even poorly lit steps or stairs, regardless if they’re located inside the house or outdoors.
3. Electrical hazards
You may consider yourself a handy person and can handle simple electrical wiring, but sometimes your DIY repairs can work against you. That’s why you should hire a licensed electrician or electrical contractor to look over any electrical work you may have done in the past. They know the safety benchmark for any electrical wiring, equipment, and installation protocols. The most common issues an electrician identifies include:
- Wiring not being in a junction box
- Three-pronged outlets that aren’t grounded
- Outlets covered with paint, which leads to overheating
- Improperly modified electrical panels
- GCFI outlets are either missing or not working properly
4. Fire hazards
Fire hazards typically come from electrical issues we mentioned above, but inspectors will look for gas leaks as well. Not only do they look at electrical fire hazards, but they’ll also look to make sure the home has adequate smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors and that they’re in the proper place (according to local fire codes). They’ll also check to see if there are fire extinguishers in the appropriate locations and the certification is up to date.
5. Plumbing, septic, and/or sewage issues
Home inspectors pay close attention to a home’s plumbing and sewage connections. They’re looking to make sure the pipes aren’t broken, rusted, or corroded. They’re looking to see that there’s no water damage around the pipes, no evidence of water leaks, and there are no signs of mold or mildew. Although the home inspector isn’t going to test the water itself, a water test may be required to ensure there aren’t any metals (lead, arsenic, or cadmium) contaminating the water.
Home inspections aren’t that scary!
There are a lot of things that could go wrong with a home inspection, to be sure. However, you don’t have to sit and bite your nails on inspection day. By taking the time to look through your house on your own (or even have a home inspector come out to your house before putting it on the market), you can make repairs as needed. If you don’t want to do the repairs, you’ll need to discuss what options are available so that the house can be sold in a timely manner.
Remember, when in doubt, ask your realtor for some advice!