Thoughts on Common Seller Maintenance Resale Issues

Real Estate Agent with Monument Sotheby's International Realty

Thoughts on Common Seller Maintenance Resale Issues


Some home inspection issues that can substantially impact contracts that sellers should be prepared for. Two issues that are currently prevalent:


HVAC systems – Buyers are focusing on age and maintenance records for HVAC systems. Sellers should be able to provide maintenance records for buyers. Ideally, HVAC systems that have been on a maintenance plan is attractive to buyers. A home warranty is also attractive, particularly when the HVAC system is older, to alleviate buyer concerns with the expense of repair or replacement within the first year of purchase.


Smoke Alarms - Effective January 1, 2018, no smoke alarm can be older than 10 years according to Maryland Code, Public Safety Article, Section 9-103(d). Sellers will want to ensure their smoke alarms comply with the law.


For more information:


Maryland Smoke Detector Law


More generally, but always important to consider:


Roofs - Roofs must be in good repair. The insurance company will want to know the age of the roof and most likely won’t insure it if it beyond its life. The insurance company will ask for home inspections in some cases.


Basements and Crawl Spaces – Dampness and mold are common problems found in crawl spaces – professional remediation will be required if problems are noted. In basements, signs of water intrusion or mold are carefully looked at by inspectors – again, professional correction or remediation will be required if problems are noted.


Termites – It is good for sellers to have a plan in place so that termite presence and any resulting damage is regularly being monitored by a professional. Many plans provide for correction if a problem is found while under the plan. Treatment, and possibly repair, will be required if termites are found by inspector. The Maryland contract requires seller to repair termite damage found up to 2 ½% of the sales price. Condos many times have ongoing termite monitoring going on – that information should be provided to the buyer if questioned if condo is under a plan.


Water intrusion and leaking– Buyers will typically be concerned about comments on the home inspection regarding water leaks and penetration. On the exterior, gutters must be functioning properly and water should be directed away from the house. There should be no signs of active leaking on the interior of the home, whether caused by exterior issues or plumbing issues.


These are some of the home condition challenges that sellers are frequently confronted with, but they should also be prepared for other issues a home inspection might find.


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