Buying a new property is a matter of serious consideration and what you can’t afford to lack is credibility.
You must conduct a thorough check to sell the property at the right price. People don’t mind paying the big bucks for something that meets the standard, but if they find faults during the tour, they’ll lose any trust they had in you.
To ensure that you stay true to your word, we’ve narrowed down the 11 most vital things for you to avoid as a seller. While there are other aspects, we feel that taking care of these points will place you in good stead to create a positive impression.
So, let’s not waste time and start our tour of the property to highlight the different areas you need to focus on. But wait, don’t run upstairs.
Let’s begin with the ground floor because that’s what you should do too.
Building Inspection Checklist
Table of Contents
The reason we’ve chosen to start with the tour downstairs is it’ll suit you and the potential owners to grasp the architecture of the building better. It provides a clear idea of where you need to go rather than shooting around from one room to another in a haphazard manner. Significantly, it immediately comes across that you know your job and can be trusted.
But that’s for later. For starters, it’s essential to get an idea about the stumps during the inspection. Most older buildings suffer from something called concrete cancer, which degrades the stumps and can be prevalent in houses that date back to the 1950s. It’s also a common occurrence in Colonial styled homes where the timber stumps start rotting from the bottom.
In some cases, white ants may munch their way through the structure, thereby leaving the stumps wonky. It isn’t a favorable situation and requires immediate addressing, but what can you do about it? After assessing the condition, if it comes to light that only a couple of stumps have gone dead, you can get those specific portions replaced.
If the numbers are higher, there’s not much you can do other than pricing the home appropriately. The new owners may opt for restumping the entire area and further go for lift and redevelopment, which as a seller, you won’t want to pay. So, it’s best to come clean and highlight the problem when the time is right.
We recommend you mention the issue and the fact that you’ve factored it into the price, which will show your honesty. However, even if homeowners agree initially, they might change their minds later upon receiving the report. Hence, don’t take anything for granted unless the property is handed over.
Now, we journey up the stairs to see what other architectural anomalies are hiding about. If your roof hasn’t been replaced, then you may have a hard time convincing the buyer of its durability since it’s a common problem with old roofs. The obvious thing would be to get the roof replaced as most buyers wouldn’t want to incur additional work on the roof after accepting the purchase price.
Nevertheless, it’s better to exercise caution and allow the homeowners to decide for themselves. You may come across someone who might restructure the roof, in which case there’s no point in making the change beforehand as it can be done during construction.
Consequently, we suggest you don’t play the guessing game and adjust the price accordingly if the roof is in bad shape. If the buyers specifically mention that you should have the roof replaced, you can decide on the next course of action but not before that.
And while you’re on the roof, it would be best if you gave the tiles an once-over and ascertain whether they are straight. The tiles need to be free from deflections to serve the purpose, and you need to set them right. Besides, it’s critical to check the roof downpipes, which you can do by circling the perimeter of your home.
The downpipes should ideally discharge the water into soakwells rather than on the ground, and it’s these little intricacies that will make you come across as reliable. Also, look along the base of the pipes, which may conceal signs of past flooding. It may lead to excess water flow, meaning the soakwells need to be more comprehensive in terms of width.
The next thing to look out for is your gutters, which also includes roof gutters. But irrespective of the type, they are prone to rust, and you’ll need to carry out a thorough check or employ professionals to ensure there are no issues with drainage.
No one would like to purchase a house where the gutters are in poor condition, and the best way to examine them is to look from above. From the ground level, the corrosion or damages may not be particularly visible, and what’s more, if you’ve trees nearby, then it could make the situation more complicated.
As a result, you’ll need to clean them of debris like leaves and dead branches that have fallen into it. For more severe problems, it’s best to hire professionals to replace the damaged parts and provide an anti-rust coating.
While addressing the next issue, we’re reminded of the famous quote from Jurassic Park – Life Finds A Way. And if you’re negligent white ants will undoubtedly find a way to damage your beautiful property. You don’t want a family to move in and encounter a white ant problem, leading to severe repercussions.
It would be best if you guaranteed no timber lying around inside the property, which acts as an invitation for the critters. Get rid of wood left behind from an earlier renovation. Even old cardboard boxes, fence posts, and furniture offer the perfect haven for white ants.
Armed in their millions, the tiny insects will quickly make their way into the home and create an unbearable situation. Therefore, what you can do is keep the timber away from the earth and on cement floors that will allow you to see underneath and tackle the problem quickly.
People have often reported placing their old cupboard against the wall with the bottom resting on the ground. Before long white ants attacked the post on the other side of the wall, and when the cupboard was removed, what came to light was nothing short of scary. A hoard of white ants was having a gala time chewing through the wood.
Meanwhile, it’s necessary to check the vertical battens, although the required ground clearance is 75mm. But it’s not sufficient to make sure that the battens are off the ground since having a flower bed against them will lead to similar complications.
Consequently, you might need to hire a local pest professional to take care of the issue and throw away old timber stumps formerly used for landscaping.
Hot Water Systems
Given the fluctuating weather conditions, you’ll need to keep the hot water systems up to speed. But another reason you need to take care of them is that white ants thrive in dark, moist spaces that don’t receive much air. You should specifically look for the overflow outlet, which is the most prone to a white ant invasion.
You’ll have to ascertain that it flows away from the house and not under it and get the system changed if it’s faulty. White ants move fast, and you’ll need to be proactive to cut them off, for which recent documentation of treatments come in handy to provide a comprehensive idea.
It’s vital to check the directions in which water flows around the property to avoid a soggy home. As a seller, it’s up to you to ensure that all the gutters and pathways inevitably direct water away from the house; otherwise, you’ll end up with a messy situation. It’ll cause dampness, which will shoo away prospective buyers, so you’ll have to hire a team of professionals to make it right.
There are times when you can’t do anything, and the best option for you is to reduce the pricing and reveal the situation as it is. Owners may or may not like it but leave it up to them to decide, and awareness about the problem will soften the blow since you know what to expect.
For anyone who disregards the importance of having proper steps, tell them about the fate of Mughal Emperor Humayun. The Emperor fell from the steps of his library, which ultimately took his life; therefore, never disrespect the simple aspects of a property. It may not seem much, but it adds up to a lot.
You certainly don’t want the new owners to trip and have an accident for which you need to examine the external stairways. While doing so, ensure that the treads are in perfect order and analyze how much degradation has occurred. In that regard, you must check that the railings are firm for added safety.
Moreover, you must look out for signs of rusting and get the required work done for longevity. The treads that are deteriorating need to be replaced while you also need to check the bolts on the handrails.
It would be best to take care of the outdoors, especially the garden, to create a positive impression. A well-trimmed garden will go a long way in having an immediate impact on prospective buyers. Do check to see that the trees or shrubs aren’t looking too wild. Meanwhile, as you’re walking around, pay attention to the evenness of the walkway and other paved areas.
It’ll help you decide whether people could trip on it, and you can make the required repairs. Moreover, having a neat and tidy garden reduces the chance of the gutters being clogged up or white ants lurking around.
There are other minor details you need to consider, and when your credibility is on the line, these specifics will add up to a lot. The approach should be to give the buyers as less to complain about as possible because the more errors they encounter, the more your price will take a hit.
In some instances, a picky buyer may even terminate the contract, and so you can’t afford to take any chances. When you’re scrutinizing the interiors, it would be best if you remember to check the door handles along with the hinges. Similarly, open and close the windows to see if the operation is smooth and the glass is intact.
The locks on the doors and windows shouldn’t jam, nor should they be hard to unlock for greater convenience. Significantly, review the electrical appliances like lights, fans, and air conditioners and particularly the connections. If needed, get an electrician to look at the circuits, and during the inspection, have the person replace the smoke alarm and safety switches with new ones.
Meanwhile, for remote-controlled garage doors, examine if the mechanism is working fine. All the switchboards should be appropriately screwed to the walls while the appliances should be in working order. These are the things that will elevate the property from good to exceptional.
For any current or future improvements to the property, you’ll have to get the necessary approvals for the construction work. In that regard, the onus is on you as the seller and you need to be meticulous to avoid slip-ups. All the information is available online meaning buyers have a prior knowledge of what needs to be done.
It won’t speak highly of your professionalism if you fail to get the permissions, thereby halting work. It might even cause the owner to terminate the contract.
In some cases, owners prefer to get the permission themselves but you must be wary lest they fail to meet the compliance period.
Verandas, Decking Timber, and Swimming Pools
For the final round of building inspection, you should look at the veranda and decking timber, which could be prone to rotting. These are portions of the home which lend a degree of refinement, and it’s essential to review that everything will stand the test of time.
You may encounter some of the problems we’ve already discussed, such as those with flooding and white ants. So, replace the old wood to ensure the railings won’t break off under pressure, but most important perhaps is checking the capacity of the deck.
If the owners have kids or pets running around, it’s vital to check the deck for cracks or missing boards, which need to be immediately addressed. Furthermore, they will want to put furniture out on the deck, and in the case of multi-tiered decks, it’s all the more essential there’s no dampness underneath.
You’ll need to inspect the stairs and make sure no loose bolts or unforeseen cracks are opening up. Meanwhile, if your home has a swimming pool, be sure to replace the water to give it a nice, clean look. You’ll also have to get rid of the dead branches and leaves that may have fallen in from the garden.
What’s more, closely look at the tiles and run your hands gently along the sides to check for sharp edges. The last thing you need is for the buyers to move in and experience cuts while in the pool. If you see there’s too much work to be done, you may need to hire a professional pool service but not before consulting with the future owners.
Ask them about their preferences and then get to work. You would then get an idea of the work the owners want done, rather than spending a fortune for nothing.
We’ve reached the end of our guide, and hopefully, you’ll keep in mind the pitfalls you need to avoid.
Please, remember that nothing matters more than the owners who are moving into the property. Apart from the necessities, get their opinion on all things that need to be worked out.
Until next time. Bye!
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