Prior to putting a home up for sale, every owner should take a look around and figure out what needs to fixed and cleaned up so the property will sell quickly. August and September are good months to prepare, before the weather gets too cold and snow starts to fall.
As the leaves begin to turn, a number of problems might crop up in a home. Instead of waiting for potential buyers to point anything out, a proactive homeowner should have a property inspection completed before listing. Doing this critical step will prevent any bumps from occurring during the selling process, and might even make the home safer.
Prevent pests from entering a home
One of the biggest problems homeowners face are pests, and no buyer wants to view a house and learn that there have been a number of issues in the past, especially recently.
From roaches, ants and spiders to even bedbugs and termites - a few common household goods might attract a variety of pests. For example, firewood is typically collected during the fall, to help a homeowner prepare for winter. One problem might arise, though. Stacks of wood, when left up against the side of a home, could become nesting areas for spiders, according to MSN Real Estate.
In addition, firewood piled near the siding may collect moisture, leading to rotting walls. A home inspection could find damaged siding, or areas where wood-boring pests are hurting a property.
Fruit and vegetation around a house might also result in a pest problem. Any excess plants should be trimmed back away from the foundation, MSN Real Estate noted. Trees that drop fruits and nuts should be cleaned up immediately. Any of these steps should also reduce the number of places insects and critters could hide.
Check plumbing, septic systems
Before a homeowner lists a home, it is absolutely critical that any concerns with the plumbing or septic systems are sorted out.
Yvette Chisholm, associate broker with Long & Foster Real Estate, recently contributed to real estate website Active Rain about a home-selling faux pas. In some cases, the current owner was unaware about whether or not the house was on a well or septic system.
Figuring that out before selling is a must, and a professional home inspection could do just that. Knowing this information is beneficial for everyone involved, including the agent. Common problems that pop up often include dry wells, failed septic fields and changing regulations, Chisholm noted.
A comprehensive property inspection may take care of some of those problems, making the buying and selling process easier.