Spring has sprung! Even more important than buds, birds, and bees, spring brings buyers! When buyers are looking for a place to nest, they would really rather not see problems. As it turns out, nearly every home inspected has problems or imperfections of some sort or size. Most issues are very minor and simple to correct. Almost all are a result of deferred maintenance.
Most of these simple deferred maintenance problems, when discovered during the home inspection, cause the majority of the headaches when trying to bring a contract to close. With the five quick checks described below it is probable that 90% or more of the minor maintained items typically discovered in the home inspection could be eliminated, and with them a great portion of the time and stress associated with their correction:
- Dirty Filter and Coils in the Heat Pump. The clean and efficient flow of conditioned air as well as the longevity of this very expensive system is dependent on proper airflow. A professional cleaning is most always well under $100. Routine filter replacement can be done by a homeowner for about a dollar.
- Poor Caulking of Ceramic Tile in the Tub and Shower Area. The cost to repair or replace a rotted shower wall often exceeds thousands of dollars. This is an avoidable event! A homeowner can accomplish caulking of tiled areas easily for under $20. If a crack in the caulk or grout is visible, you can believe it’s large enough for water to pass!
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) not Properly Functioning. GFCI’s are the electrical outlets that have the “press” and “test” buttons. These devices are critically important in reducing the chance for electrocution. The homeowner can test the devices by pushing the “test” button. The cost of a new GFCI is less than $10. They can be installed in less than 10 minutes.
- Amateur Workmanship. When something looks like an amateur did it, that means an amateur did it, even if the perpetrator was paid for his work! When amateurs do things, the materials are often improper for the intended purpose or of poor quality. Many times they are both. Seldom are proper permits pulled or inspections performed when work is performed by amateurs. Amateur work is also difficult to maintain. Amateur work and the people who perform it always complicate a closing.
- Wood Rot. Closing contracts sure would be simpler without wood rot. It sure would be nice to see a home listed that said “clear WDO on file”. Consider doing the WDO inspection at the time of listing to greatly reduce the greatest challenge in Florida real estate.
The act of selling real estate can be made simpler, more enjoyable, and more profitable by educating buyers and sellers about preventative maintenance. Spring is a time of renewal – renew your interest in home care and take a few simple steps to keep safe, comfortable, and ready for some summer sun!