Okay, the house is SOLD!
You have made it through attorney review, the buyers have applied for their mortgage and they have hired an inspector.
What do you do now? I advise that you NOT be at home during the inspection. You might think you can help, but you really can’t. The inspector has seen tons of homes, and probably knows where everything is! The buyers and their agent will be uncomfortable if you are there. If you want me to be there, I certainly can – but my presence also sometimes gives the buyer a bad vibe.
Rest assured that I will be in touch with the buyer’s agent soon after the inspection is over. I can typically get a preview of how it went. We won’t hear anything official until the report comes out. And, their requests may be different than what their agent tells me. SO, it’s a bit of “hurry up and wait”…
You can be prepared though, the following is a list of items commonly found during home inspections; especially in homes built more than 10 or 15 years ago. These things are easily remediated – it’s not a bad idea to run through the list and nip some in the bud if you can!
1. Improperly ventilated attics; sometimes “mold” or condensation is evident.
2. Bathroom exhaust fans ventilated into attics – the need to go outside
3. Windows: broken window seals, windows that don’t open, windows that don’t stay open
4. Furnace: have your furnace or boiler serviced prior to listing the house
5. Central air: during cooler months a central a/c unit cannot be run. A buyer may request that money be held in escrow until such time that the system can be tested. Alternatively, a buyer may request records that the unit has been serviced. Have the unit serviced prior to listing the house. The compressor should be level, on a concrete slab and away from the house
6. GFI outlets – in older homes these outlets aren’t always present. 2005 building codes state that these must be present in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Some buyers will ask that you do that – if your home was built prior to 2005 you are not obligated to do this, but it’s an easy, inexpensive fix. And it will make things safer for you too!
7. Other electric issues: reversed polarity; issues with the electric box outside – often weather related, older outlets should be converted to three prong
8. Permits for any work that has been done; if the township requires a permit, the buyer is going to want to know that the permits were done
9. Any possible water issues such as loose tiles in the shower, or loose toilets
10. Doors from garage to living area should be fire-rated
11. Radon – radon levels must be under 4.0 picocuries. Buyers will have this tested; if it is over 4.0, you have an obligation to remediate
12. Termites and other wood destroying insects. Buyers will inspect for these pests and any associated damage. If present, you have an obligation to remediate and repair any existing damage especially if structural.
In Basking Ridge, carbon monoxide detectors are required on every level where there is a bedroom. Smoke detectors are required on every level including the basement and a fire extinguisher must be mounted in the kitchen.
This is a short list of things that come up frequently during home inspections, please contact me if you have any questions.
If you are thinking of selling, I am happy to provide an estimate of your homes value in today’s market.