Inspection Choices

Inspections are an important part of the process – In some cases a generalized whole house inspection is used – but depending on the situation it may be better to have system inspections by a licensed professional – or a combination of both. In my case, the only element I chose to inspect when I purchased my home was a slate roof inspection because it was beyond my personal ability – so what you choose is personal to your sense of ability and risk

5 Reasons to Stage Your Home Before Buyers Visit

Sellers seem to have mixed reactions when they hear the word “staging.” Some go all-in, while others are somewhat resistant to the idea. The more reluctant homeowners ask questions like: Why would anyone bother staging a home before selling it? It sounds like a lot of extra work for me. What do I get out of it?

There’s a simple answer to these questions. By staging your home effectively, you have a better chance of selling it quickly and for the highest possible price. This alone should be enough to motivate even the most reluctant seller.

But those aren’t the only reasons to stage your home before inviting buyers for a visit. Here’s a more complete list of benefits…

1. Staging forces you to de-clutter and organize the home.

Clearing away shelves, cabinets and closets is a big part of the home staging process. It also helps with the moving process, because you’ll have to pack things away at some point anyway. So when you stage your home, you will also be giving yourself a good head start on the packing and moving process (in addition to making it seem more spacious).

2. Staging requires you to think like a home buyer, and that’s a good thing.

When you set out to stage your home for the market, you’ll be viewing the property as if you were a buyer and not the actual owner. You’ll be thinking about the home more objectively, with less personal attachment. Adopting this kind of mindset early on will help you in many ways, from marketing to negotiating.

3. Staging increases the likelihood of a quick sale.

When listing your home for sale, you’ll want to do everything in your power to increase the chance of a quick sale. Because let’s face it, having your home on the market isn’t very much fun. It can be invasive and inconvenient. Anyone who has sold a home in the past can attest to this fact. So the less time your house is on the market, the better. Besides, you probably have a timeline for your move, your next residence, etc. Home staging can give you an extra edge in selling the home quickly.

4. Staging helps to justify the asking price.

If you are in a seller’s market, and you price your home correctly, you probably won’t have to go back and forth negotiating over the asking price. You’ll get offers soon enough. But in a market that leans toward the buyer, you need everything in your favor to get top dollar. When done right, staging can help you justify the asking price by positioning the home more favorably in the buyer’s mind. And even if you are in a seller’s market, you still want to earn the best possible price. So stage away!

5. Staging can actually be fun!

At first, home staging might sound like “all work and no play.” De-cluttering, painting, strategic furniture placement — all of these things require some effort on your part. You’ll have to roll up your sleeves and put in some elbow grease. But staging a home can be a creative process as well, and many people find they enjoy it once they’ve begun. Put on your amateur decorator hat, and have some fun.

5 Things Buyers Should Know About Home Inspections

Home buyers tend to have a lot of questions about home inspections. Are they required? How are they different from appraisals? When does it take place? Here are answers to these and other common questions.

1. Home inspections aren’t required, but they’re worth it.

There is no law that says you have to have an inspection when buying a house. It’s an option that is generally left up to the home buyer. But while you’re not required to have a house inspected before purchasing, it’s generally a wise idea to do so. Unless you are a licensed contractor or builder, you probably don’t have the experience necessary to evaluate the structural aspects of the home. Home inspectors specialize in that very thing.

2. It’s different from a home appraisal.

Home appraisals and inspections are similar procedures, but they have two very different goals in mind.

  • A home inspector will alert you to any potential repair issues, or other problems with the structure and installed systems.
  • A home appraiser, on the other hand, is primarily focused on determining the market value of the house.

If you are planning to use a mortgage loan to finance your purchase, there’s a good chance the mortgage lender will require you to have a home appraisal. They do this to determine how much the house is worth. But the inspection is usually optional, and it focuses on the condition of the home. They are two different things.

3. It usually happens soon after the contract is signed.

As far as the timeline goes, a home inspection typically takes place shortly after the buyer and seller have agreed on the purchase price and signed a contract. At that point, the buyer will often hire an inspector to perform a complete home inspection.

The seller does not need to be present for the inspection. In most cases, the seller will actually leave the premises so the inspector can come in and do what he/she needs to do. Home buyers are almost always present during this process. The seller’s listing agent might grant the inspector access to the home. Or they might put a lockbox on the door. But as far as the timing goes, it typically takes place soon after the purchase agreement has been signed.

4. It helps you uncover any serious issues with the house.

The inspector will closely examine almost every aspect of the house. That includes the foundation, the roof, the electrical and plumbing systems, HVAC and more. He will provide you with a detailed report of any repair issues or other problems that he finds. This kind of report is invaluable to someone buying a home, especially when you consider how much money is on the line.

5. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Home inspections typically range from $250 – $400, depending on the size of the house and other factors. When you consider the amount of money you are going to put into the home – and the amount you might be borrowing from a lender – it’s a relatively small price to pay for peace of mind.