Selling a house? Simple electrical repairs you should do.

Home Inspector with Gaudet Inspections 188

Most common problem I come across during a home inspection is electrical issues.  Loose hanging wires, connections missing junction boxes with covers, just covers, extension cords being used improperly(see below) or just outlets and switches missing covers.  If your trying to sell a home make these quick and easy repairs it will go a long way with the buyer.

front door

Front door missing light fixture, note condition of the box with live wires-SAFETY HAZARD


Dryer thats running on 240v power is secured to loose board-SAFETY HAZARD


extension cord

Extension cord supplying power for washer machine and sump pump.  Both should have a dedicated secured outlet.  What was worse was the washer was filling the sump pump crock and then pumping it outside on the ground.  There was a basement sink involed also.  All wrong.


hanging outlet

Just let it hang.

junction box

Junction box hanging by the wires-SAFETY HAZARD


Loose electrical wires missing junction box with cover-SAFETY HAZARD. In addition recessed lighting under insulation.  Unless recessed lighting fixture is rated for an insulated ceiling than there should be a 3" clearence from the insulation.

A label stating IC on the canister means it can be covered safely.  Otherwise safety recommends pulling insulation back. 

Cover is there just install it this way I wouldn't of seen the crap job and exposed wire.

Most homes have small issues like this that can be fixed quickly.  It goes a long way with the buyer because if they see the inspector making notes repeadily they get nervous.  Keep in mind it's the inspectors job to call them out and write them down. Most of these issues cost little to low money to fix.




Posted by


Steve Gaudet

Gaudet Inspections LLC, Bedford, NH 03110, cell:603-714-8628,


Comments (11)

Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Those are really obvious hazards, definitely a turn off for buyers. Broken doorbells and smaller 'quirks' in the home's electrical systems should be corrected, because even though they are small, buyers will notice.

Mar 17, 2011 05:27 AM
Stephen Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections - Manchester, NH

Thanks Ilyce, home buyers get nervous the more they see me write.  If the seller just fixes the small stuff it can really make a difference in the sale.

Mar 17, 2011 05:57 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Steve, thanks for the photos and the comments. I see this allot in older homes with unfinished basements. Thanks,

Mar 21, 2011 10:04 PM
Stephen Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections - Manchester, NH

Thanks Adrian.  If the home owner is serious about selling they should try to make these small type of fixes.

Mar 21, 2011 11:55 PM
Mark R. Hardy
Short Sales, REO, New Builds, First Time Buyer - Mesa, AZ
Short Sale Specialist Realtor - Mesa AZ

Hi Steve,

Very good points and a great talking point when your client when you are taking their listing.  This is just great home maintenance advice in general to keep things up to date and safe for kids and others visitors to your home, etc.  It makes sense to me to take care of the small things along the way so one day you are not all of a sudden spending a tremendous amount of money to get your home ready to sell.

Apr 06, 2011 08:54 AM
Stephen Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections - Manchester, NH

Thanks Mark,


Simple fact is "clients" don't want to hear about problems.  The more the home owner can do to fix small things the better the sale will go.



Apr 07, 2011 01:05 AM
Anaheim Electrical Repair

When it comes to electricity, we have to consider even the smallest part of it. At home, it should be safety first to save your property from hazard and to save your life as well. Regular inspecttion is highly recommended.

Nov 28, 2011 02:36 AM
Stephen Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections - Manchester, NH

That would be nice. However, people do not give it the respect electricity deserves.  Just did a 200+ year old home with open air splices under insulatuin in the attic.  Fire just waiting to happen.

Dec 01, 2011 12:15 AM

I am looking to buy an old house and this is really useful stuff to watch out for as I am not a specialist in this area. Do you think it is worth taking an <a rel="follow" href="">electrician in Bedford</a> with me to viewings as I know some of the older properties don't even have grounded circuits sometimes? Cheers, Matt

Mar 15, 2012 10:20 PM

hello matt,

no need for an electrican.  if your looking to buy have a complete home inspection done.  if there is a disclosure read about the electric, fuses, you may have problems getting home owner insurance.  knob & tube may have issues getting a loan.

if your looking at home 70 yrs+ read my blog;



Mar 16, 2012 09:03 AM