As a seller, should I get my home pre-in­spected be­fore list­ing?

The News-Times (Sunday) - - Real Estate - Linda Mc­Caf­frey Linda Mc­Caf­frey, Cold­well Banker Res­i­den­tial Bro­ker­age, (203) 994-3666 cell, (203) 790-9500 of­fice,­caf­[email protected]­, www.cold­well­banker­ Linda.Mc­Caf­frey

My ad­vice is to get your home in­spected, even if you are not plan­ning on sell­ing it. Think of it as a well­ness exam. You will get a good un­der­stand­ing of how your home works and what main­te­nance it needs go­ing for­ward. Think of it as a checkup for the health of your home.

Ev­ery home has is­sues of which the owner is not even aware. A com­plete “checkup” in­clud­ing sep­tic, which costs $400, will run about $1,200. You should plan on spend­ing $3,000-plus ev­ery year on your home. Ig­nor­ing and post­pon­ing main­te­nance projects will only al­low the home to de­te­ri­o­rate fur­ther and cost you more in the long run.

Since I do not like sur­prises, I al­ways ad­vise my clients to get at least a thor­ough sep­tic in­spec­tion. I get push­back from sellers, who say but I have it cleaned ev­ery three years. It is not the same thing.

The items that come up most dur­ing build­ing in­spec­tions are sep­tic is­sues, elec­tri­cal is­sues, decks, wa­ter qual­ity and mold. Many of my clients have found mold in their at­tics. This is not as scary as it sounds but wouldn’t you like to know if your fam­ily is be­ing ex­posed? Well con­tam­i­na­tion is an is­sue about 50 per­cent of the time. You should be testing your wells an­nu­ally, but who does?

Pre-in­spec­tion is a ques­tion agents have been de­bat­ing for sev­eral years. I get asked this ques­tion by home own­ers oc­ca­sion­ally my­self. Most sellers have a men­tal bud­get of how much they will spend get­ting the home ready for market. It is gen­er­ally be­tween $5,000 and $10,000.

Just as you wouldn’t put a car for sale with­out hav­ing it de­tailed, you wouldn’t market a home that hasn’t been well pre­pared.

Your Real­tor will ad­vise you on paint choices, get­ting the win­dows washed and things like that. Your Real­tor can­not ad­vise you on hid­den and struc­tural de­fects. Th­ese will come up in an in­spec­tion.

While your Real­tor will help you to “de­tail” your home, the in­spec­tor is the “me­chanic” who will make sure it is in top struc­tural/me­chan­i­cal shape.

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