We’re sure you’ve noticed, the real estate market is HOT right now in Austin Texas – and the Shannon Schmitz Group is here to help guide you through the intense negotiation process that has become more and more prevalent in this climate.
When you sell your home, there will be a critical moment when you’re going to need a home inspector – and whatever turns up on that inspection report will ultimately affect your final closing price. We recently chatted with a professional home inspector/energy auditor who shared some of the things they said they wish they could tell homeowners before they arrived.
Make sure your inspector has access to everything he needs to check. Can he get into the attic, the crawl space, storage areas, garages, gates? Are there keys or remote controls they will need to access these areas? Any home inspector will tell you how frequently they arrive to inspect a home and can’t get into one or more areas, and have to schedule a time to return. This adds cost to you and it also slows down the negotiating process.
Your inspector needs to be able to walk (or crawl) through every part of your property, including the yard, the fence, the crawl space and every part of the interior. Having to move and secure your dog takes time and energy. Not to mention, many dogs react badly to seeing strange people poking around their houses – and you don’t want to add an accidental biting/scratching/jumping incident to your inspection process. We’re sure your dog is very sweet and friendly, but take him to a friend’s or doggie day care the day or your inspection.
If you’re having an uninhabited home inspected, make sure the electricity, water and gas are turned on before your inspector arrives. This may seem obvious, but inspectors run into this all the time. “I’m sure it works,” is not going to cut it, and they’ll have to make another appointment.
4. Have your HVAC tuned up.
The most common problems on an inspection report are going to be with the HVAC. Have a professional come and do a standard tune-up on your system before your home inspection, and have the paperwork available for the inspector. This way, if there are any problems, they can be addressed before the inspection, and don’t have to go on the report.
Have you had foundation work? Have you replaced plumbing, roofing or HVAC? Keep all the paperwork and show it to the inspector- this way, if he sees anything, he’ll know exactly what’s going on. If you’re hoping your inspector won’t notice a problem, this could backfire. If your inspector has to guess, he or she may assume the worst, and you’ll end up having to call plumbers, contractors and other home professionals in.
If you’ve purchased or replaced appliances, equipment, roofing, plumbing- anything major- keep the documentation, owner’s manuals, etc. and provide these to your inspector. Not only does it show that you take care of your home, but it provides a reference should any question arise.
Things like caulking around sinks, tubs and showers, sealant around windows and doors, loose toilets or fixtures, can be easily fixed before your inspector arrives. These are items that show up on reports and sometimes require a professional to be called, when you could have easily taken care of it ahead of time. Make sure windows and doors open, close and latch properly. Check drains in sinks. Change the batteries in smoke detectors. These little things add up and can mean a negative report.
The other most common issue that comes up in home inspections is water leakage. You want to be able to make decisions about any damagesbefore they go on the report. An easy way to check is to obtain a water key to check your meter. First, turn off all the water (inside the house and out), and then check the meter – if it’s still moving, you’ve got a leak.
At The Shannon Schmitz Group, we have over 35 years of combined experience, both in boom and bust markets. The current state of the Austin real estate means that every transaction is rife with intense negotiation. If you don’t choose to list with us, please be sure that you choose someone that is experienced in navigating a complicated negotiation process. If you ever have any questions – even if you are not sure you even want to sell, please give us a call. We are here to help educate you about your options, regardless of what stage you are in the process.