When some buyers, particularly first time buyers, walk through a Windsor house for sale, they are often unsure about what is proper etiquette when looking and inspecting a home. Is it okay to open cupboards to determine what space is available? What about looking inside the dishwasher or ovens to make sure they are in good condition?
I always suggest that my clients do the following when visiting a house they are interested in. Yes, buyers should always hire an inspector, but the issues below are normally considered simple repairs, which means it will fall on you to fix if not discovered prior to selling.
1. Make Sure Drains Flow Properly:
Simply run the faucets and check to see that the drains are working correctly. It does happen that a buyer will move into a home and find his or herself standing in a pool of water in a shower. So don’t hesitate to check this out, especially with older homes.
2. Open windows:
It’s expensive to replace windows, so walk around, check to make sure the windows are not taking in any water (you will notice they are if windows are fogged), and open and close them to make sure this can be done easily. If they are stuck, or simply won’t open, take note and let your inspector know.
3. Check faucets:
Not only do you need to make sure the drains are working correctly, but you also want to make sure there is a nice even flow and good water pressure from faucets. Look under the sink as the water is going down the drain to see if there are any leaks. Again, your inspector should discover if there is a problem, but occasionally, items are missed.
4. Ask about chimney:
Ask your real estate agent to find out when the chimney was last cleaned. While it may look good on the outside, and be a proud focal point of a home, you want to make sure that when you light up a fire, it works properly.
5. Take a drink:
Yes, taste the water. While your town may be known for its fresh, clean water, in older homes, pipes can often be old. If the water tastes funny, you may need to invest in a filter. Again, take note and make sure your inspector reviews.
6. Flush toilets:
Not all toilets are created equal! Go to each one in the house you are considering and give them a flush. It’s good piece of mind to know that one of the more important plumbing features in a home is working properly. If not, you may want to have the buyers replace or at least give a credit for new fixtures.
7. Check the electrical panel:
It’s impressive when buyers see an organized and detailed electrical panel. What makes buyers nervous is if it looks like there are loose wires or those not connected to anything. This could very well signal the possibility of live wires in the walls.
8. Test the Heating/Air Conditioning:
The last thing you want to find out the first day of cold weather, is that the heating is faulty. The same goes for that first hot day when you discover the air conditioning blows out warm air. All you need to do is find out if they are both emitting the proper temperatures and that the unit turns on. The inspector should do the rest, but never be afraid to ask specific questions if you have concerns. Replacing, even repairing heating and air conditioners are expensive.
9. What’s under the carpet?
If at all possible, check the flooring underneath the carpeting. If it is hardwood floors, are they in reasonable condition? Is there any mold or mildew? If you can’t find an area to lift up the carpet, check the closets to see if they have an area where you can determine what is underneath.
10. Don’t forget the basement:
Of course, professional home inspectors always check out the condition of the basement, however, it’s always a good idea to review for yourself so you have a heads up if there is a problem. Look for signals, such as dehumidifers, even if the walls are not wet. Also, look and smell for signs of dampness. If a room feels musty, you may have a mold problem. Once again, take note and prepare to discuss with your inspector. Mold can spread behind walls and in other areas that are not clearly noticeable. This can cause health concerns if not removed properly. Depending on where the mold is located, this could be expensive.