Inspect Before Listing

If I had a dollar for every time I came across a missing cover plate....

Sure it's a simple fix but for an inspector it gets written up as a safety concern and nothing stands out in an inspection report like a safety concern. They have the potential to scare a client depending on how you word your findings. The below defect is in fact a safety issue and not to be minimized in the inspection report.

Ann Arbor Michigan Home Inspection  - 52678371az3 Ann Arbor Michigan Home Inspection  - 25536051bs3

I report on the above as follows:

Wire splices are exposed due to not being contained in a covered junction box. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock and fire. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary. For example, install securely mounted junction boxes with cover plates where needed to contain wiring splices.

OR

Cover plate(s) are missing from one or more electric boxes, such as for receptacles, switches and/or junction boxes. They are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from exposed wires. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire and shock. Cover plates should be installed where missing.

I'm not really surprised at these findings during an inspection but it does bring to mind the benefit of having a pre-list inspection performed. I don't know about other Home Inspectors but I find most of the content in my reports are general maintenance issues that really don't require a substantial amount of time or money to resolve. Of course there are exceptions to this and a good inspection report will list not only general maintenance issues but those issues that might require extensive repairs or replacement.

Having a pre-list inspection will give the seller the opportunity to repair or upgrade those items that will no doubt be pointed out during the purchase inspection. Being able to limit the number of items needing attention will increase the marketability of the property being sold. While I'm not a Realtor I do believe in my area in particular it's not an easy time to sell so anything that can increase that potential has got to be considered.

Eventually your buyers are going to conduct an inspection. You may as well know what they are going to find by getting there first. Having an inspection performed ahead of time helps in many other ways:

  • It allows you to see your home through the eyes of a critical third-party.

  • It permits you to make repairs ahead of time so that ...

    • Defects won't become negotiating stumbling blocks later.

    • You have the time to get reasonably priced contractors or make the repairs yourself, if qualified.

  • It may alert you of items of immediate personal concern, such as radon gas or active termite infestation.

  • It may relieve prospect's concerns and suspicions.

  • It adds to the supporting documentation for your disclosure statement.

  • Alerting you to immediate safety issues before agents and visitors tour your home.

Pre-Inspected Homes yard sign

Ann Arbor Michigan Home Inspection  - preinspectionfw1nw3

After completing the pre-list inspection the above sign is placed in the sellers yard informing those interested in the home of the availability of an inspection report. Of course the seller will have repaired and/or replaced various items prior to placing this sign in their yard. While pre-list inspection and report do not substitute the purchase inspection it does allow them to review the general condition of the home.

 
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