Whether you are considering buying or selling a home, conduct a audit of property items. This could make all the difference in the world. Although not everything will require costly repairs, some just might, which is why it is important to be prepared.
Before you head out to look at homes or put your home on the market, check these items to ensure they are properly working:
• Look for settlement cracks on the wall, floor, or ceiling. Every home, at one time or another, will get a settlement crack, so if you find a few, there's no need to panic. However, if you notice major cracks, this could be a sign of structural problems. Mark down the location of where you find cracks and point them out to an inspector, who will determine the degree of damage. If they are small cracks, they can easily be filled with plaster and repainted.
• Check for leaks. Water damage marks on the walls, floors, or ceilings may simply be from a bathtub or toilet that overflowed, or it could point to something much more serious. You should also check the tile in the bathrooms and kitchen for any indication of behind the wall leaks, such as mildew, cracked grout or loose tiles.
• Open and close all the doors and windows. Listen for squeaks or sticking. In most cases, this is simply a matter of spraying some lubricant such as WD-40, but it could also be another indicator of settlement.
• If there is an outside deck, check for rotted wood. This could be a sign of termites, or just simply old wood that needs replacement.
• Check all of the electrical outlets. If you remember to take a working night-light with you, you can plug it into each outlet to make sure they're all working properly.
• Check the garage doors, if applicable and/or possible. Make sure they run smoothly on the tracks and that the openers are in good working order.
• Check for pests such as termites or ants. The best place to look is around the foundation, wiring, pipes, doors, and windows.
• Check the grading of the yard, both in the front and in the back, to ensure that run-off water flows away from the house.
• Look at the gutters to ensure they are properly installed and that water flows out adequately. (Not all homes have gutters, but if yours happens to have them be sure to check them for blockages as well.)
• Check the driveway to look for cracked or crumbling concrete, pockmarks, or holes that would need to be fixed.
• Have the roof looked at by a professional. Make sure the turbans are installed correctly to eliminate any leakage, and that no portions of the roof need to be fixed or replaced.
• Carefully check out the heating and cooling systems. These can be high dollar expenses so it's important that they are running properly. Often times, these items are covered under a warranty; so check to see if they are covered in case you end up having a problem down the road.
• If there are any fireplaces or wood-burning stoves, make sure the chimneys are clear of debris.
• Check caulking and weather stripping as well. Improper coverage will cause air leaks into the home, raising utility bills and causing unwanted drafts.
Don't be discouraged if you're a buyer and you find a few problems or issues. Pretty much everything can be fixed. The important part is their discovery. You want to be aware of any of these issues BEFORE you agree on a purchase price. A good inspector should find all of these items, and your agent can work with the seller to negotiate what will be fixed or taken care of.
If you are selling your home, utilizing the list above will put you in a much better position to get a good price for your home.
--Our goal in maintaining this blog is to provide you with valuable information, tips, and general insight for buyers, sellers and investors in the Dallas Texas real estate market. If you choose to use Exceptional Realty Services, feel free to call us anytime, we'd be honored to help. We can assist you with the process of finding a home, help with getting a loan, information for relocation, listing and selling your home, investment tips and tools, foreclosure assistance, and short sale information.