Posts Tagged ‘Selling A Home’

DIY Spring Curb Appeal Landscaping

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 | No Comments

Curb appeal landscaping helps in a house sale.Curb appeal landscaping should be top priority now that the winter months are blowing away and spring is on the horizon. An overgrown or neglected garden may make the first impression in your potential house sale, turning buyers off before they ever make it through the door. That means less money in your pocket as well as a longer time on the market.

 

To remedy the situation, you have options. You may choose to hire a professional landscaping team. This option reduces your net profit on the sale but also reduces the time spent on preparations. However, with a little research and a free weekend, you can turn a drab yard into an appealing green oasis.

 

In getting your property ready to go on the market, utilize these five steps for DIY spring curb appeal landscaping:

  1. Assessment – Start your curb appeal landscaping endeavor by assessing the size and scope of the project. How much ground do you have to cover? Which areas present hazards or need complete revamping? Are there any features that work or should be highlighted, such as a particularly lovely oak tree? Make a plan for each area, but don’t overdo it. You want to showcase the yard as beautiful to many different tastes, and that means letting the buyer fill in the blanks, so-to-speak. Give them some freedom of movement with your choices. And ultimately, showcase the house!
  2. Cleanup – Your yard may include dead or fallen branches and trees to clear away or grass that needs to be ripped up. Maybe the soil should be tilled or weeds need clearing. Whatever green you take away, consider sending it to a green waste recycling facility.
  3. Irrigation – Now that the yard is primarily clear and uncluttered, you may want to assess or upgrade the irrigation system. Are there sprinkles in appropriate places? If not, are they needed? Perhaps you are building a low-maintenance yard or the house is in a dry climate. Take note of these things before proceeding.
  4. Planting – Finally, it’s time to plant! Follow your plan from the assessment step, adding life and color to your yard in a way that would catch your eye if YOU were seeing it for the first time. It need not be an expensive upgrade. A few flowers around a tree, in front of the house, or along a stone path can be a nice, welcoming touch!
  5. Fertilizer and Finish – Step back, take a breather, and congratulate yourself on a job well-done. Observe how the yard develops within the next week or two. If grass, plants, flowers, etc. need a little nudge to get going, add some fertilizer. Also, if your house was already on the market, be sure to ask your realtor to use updated house photos.

Are you ready to sell? Along with proper preparations and staging, don’t forget to Inspect-It 1st! A house inspection by the current owner goes a long way toward encouraging a quick and profitable house sale. Contact Inspect-It 1st today at (877) 392-6278.

Home Inspection: Infrared Thermography

Posted on: January 19th, 2016 | No Comments

Checking home with Infrared Thermology.Infrared thermography goes beyond what an inspector can visually see in a home inspection and exposes deeper issues. Infrared thermography captures and measures surface temperatures by creating videos and still images to display the temperature variations within the home and its exterior. The temperatures displayed on the infrared thermography inspection, shown in different colors, can mean a variety of things. Let’s take a look at what can be found during an infrared inspection and why you should get one done.

 

Energy Loss

An infrared thermography inspection has the power to detect areas in your home that are causing your energy consumption to be higher than it needs to be. Specific areas where energy loss can be detected are broken seals in double-paned windows, air-conditioner leaks, damaged heating systems, any structural problems, heat loss in walls, windows, ceilings, floors, doors, and anywhere else in your home that could be allowing energy to escape.

 

Electrical Errors

This is one area that can be quite dangerous if not addressed. Remember that most electrical problems increase the risk of fire. The infrared thermography inspection can see overloaded and undersized circuits, overheated electrical equipment, electrical faults, and circuit breakers that need to be replaced ASAP. Electrical issues can be costly if not taken care of promptly. This is an important inspection to include before purchasing a home to determine if you are getting quality electric wiring within the walls.

 

Moisture

Infrared thermography inspections can detect moisture problems before they get too far out of hand. If there has been any leaking or moisture penetrating an area of your home, the film and still image will catch it. Some issues that could lead to moisture issues are damaged and wet insulation, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, and foundation leaks. Identifying these areas as soon as possible can reduce the risk of mold build-up.

 

Before you schedule your infrared thermography inspection, there are a few tips and tricks to make sure your inspection reads as accurately as possible. Move furniture away from exterior walls and remove drapes. To get the most accurate inspection, schedule it for when there is a large temperature difference between indoors and outdoors. In the northern states, the winter is best while you have the heat on, and in southern states, summer is best, while you have the air conditioning on. Save on energy and maintain the safety of your home by setting up your infrared thermography inspection today with Inspect-It 1st®.

DIY Yearly Home Inspection Tips

Posted on: January 4th, 2016 | No Comments

A man completing a home inspection.It’s a new year, meaning it’s time for you to take control of your home with a yearly DIY home inspection, completed by, you guessed it, yourself! Whether or not you are selling your home in the near future, don’t forget about the importance of an annual home inspection. This will keep you aware of your home’s normal wear and tear, while also keeping you informed about needed repairs and updates. Doing this can make it easier to sell your home down the line. Tackling your own inspection might seem like an intimidating task because it involves looking at areas of your home that you may not fully understand. With these tips, you can get started on your DIY home inspection.

 

  • Outdoors. The outer area of your home, whether small or large, is a good place to start. The grading of your home should slope away from your foundation at least six inches within the first ten feet. If anything, the slope should be even greater than this. If you are experiencing any water or flooding in your basement, there is a possibility of poor grading outside. Other key issues to look for outdoors are standing water, branches or shrubs scrapping the house, fence condition, and concrete slabs with cracks.
  • Indoors. Throughout the interior of your home, there are a variety of places you should be examining when completing your DIY home inspection. Start in your attic. Check for stains on the ceiling (which could indicate a leak), decaying or rotting wood, and take a look at the electrical wires. Also, keep your eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary. If something doesn’t look quite right, call a professional. As you move through your home inspection, look at the walls and ceiling for cracks and whether they are level. All doors and windows should open and shut without force, and heating and cooling should be flowing throughout each room. Also, make sure that the lights are working properly and all water sources are running efficiently. Check for stains underneath sinks indicating possible water leaks. Keep in mind that there are other areas to review during your home inspection, these are just a start.
  • Miscellaneous. There are a few things to check no matter what room you are inspecting. Look for caulking in good condition, evidence of moisture where it shouldn’t be, and check for surface cracks. Check smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, visible wiring, and be sure that heating and cooling systems are operating without excessive noise and with a clean air filter. Also, walk around to see if you detect odors coming from your heating and cooling systems. This is a possible sign of improper care that should be addressed by a professional.

Now that you have these tips, walk around your home and look for signs of general wear and tear. It’s important to catch small issues before they become big problems. Being proactive about maintenance can help you save on repair costs when you decide to sell your home at some point in the future. If you come across an issue that doesn’t seem right, consult a professional. It’s better to be safe in your home, than sorry that you didn’t address an issue when it first arose. If you come across any issues that require further inspection by a professional, set up a home inspection with us at Inspect-It 1st®! We will inspect the interior and exterior of your home to make sure you and your family have a safe and happy space to call home.

7 Home Staging Tips to Sell This Summer

Posted on: May 20th, 2015 | No Comments

Get your house ready to sell with these 7 home staging tips.Everybody has an opinion about the best time to sell a home. In our opinion, the best time is whenever you are ready. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of selling quickly and for the best price. We’ve put together a list of 7 home staging tips to help you sell your home this summer!

  1. Set a good first impression. It’s no secret that first impressions are everything. Catch the eye of potential buyers by keeping the outside of your home clean and maintained.
  2. Ditch the clutter. One of the biggest turn-offs for potential buyers is clutter. When trying to sell, one of the most common home staging tips you hear is to box up anything you can live without for a couple months. Doing so will help keep rooms tidy and appear larger. When rooms are full of stuff, especially personal belongings like photos and memorabilia, it can be difficult for people to visualize their family in the home.
  3. Give the home a deep clean. Set aside a day to clean every nook and cranny in your home. Much of a home’s appeal is in the cleanliness. Throw away all those old newspapers, scrub the floors, and even clean the toilets. If there is a stain or smell, do everything you can to get rid of it! The home should be as fresh and clean as possible.
  4. Style common rooms as neutral as possible. Now that you have cleaned your home, it’s still important for the space to have character. This is where our home staging tips become a bit more fun. It’s best to keep “common” spaces such as the living room, kitchen, and bathroom fairly neutral and functional. A fresh coat of paint can bring life to a room, but make sure not to get too crazy. Neutral tones tend to appeal more to buyers.
  5. Arrange furniture to make rooms appear larger, as long as it makes sense. Furniture tends to get moved around for holidays or activities, but they don’t always get put back in the best spot. Try moving your furniture around to create more open space. Open space gives the illusion of a larger room. However, be careful that the furniture placement makes sense. If your furniture is outdated, or large and bulky, you can rent staging furniture to help boost the appeal.
  6. Style your master bedroom. Style your master bedroom to be gender neutral. This is one of the home staging tips that people often forget. A master bedroom is the homeowners’ sanctuary. It’s best to set a neutral tone, so either gender feels welcome.
  7. Keep pet evidence in check. You love your pet, we know, but evidence of pets in the home can turn away potential buyers. Keep toys in a storage bin when not in use and always clean up after your pet. Also, don’t forget to clean up any waste your furry friend may leave in the yard!

Staging your home to appeal to a variety of potential buyers can make a huge difference. With these home staging tips, you will be setting yourself up for a faster sale, and hopefully at your asking price! Before you sell, contact the home inspection experts at Inspect-It 1st. We can make sure your home is ready to sell with an honest inspection!

7 Tips for Staging a Home in the Winter

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 | No Comments

Staging a home for the winter.The winter months are typically a time for settling down in front of a warm fireplace with your family gathered around, passing a plate of brightly frosted cookies. However, it can also be a time for staging a home to sell. After all, if you have plans to move after the holiday season, you can’t stop showing your home to potential buyers.

 

While you may think that staging a home during the winter months is more challenging given a hectic schedule or the dreary grey world outside, there are ways to make your home shine and sparkle with a holiday cheer that will work in your advantage. In fact, many buyers will be able to picture themselves in front of that warm fireplace with family – if you are staging a home correctly to capture the magic and character of the season.

 

 

Here are seven tips to make staging a home in the winter more successful:

  1. The Path to Perfection – Keep in mind that guests won’t be pulling into your garage. If there is snow on the ground, the first step to staging a home is to shovel the driveway and/or a path to the front door. Also check for ice, as traffic over the snow can easily pack down and melt the snow into a dangerous walkway. Sprinkle sand or salt over the path to reduce this risk. In addition, place a mat or two at the front door to limit the spread of snow and muck into the house.
  2. Let There Be Light – If you are staging a home for the evening, turn on the porch lights and enough light inside to be welcoming – that means at least one light in every room. Did you put up a Christmas tree or garland? Turn those lights on. However, the less personal the decorations the better. And if you are staging a home in the day, do away with fake lighting and opt for natural. Just open the window drapes or blinds and let the sunshine in, and only turn on lights where the natural light does not reach. Light also helps a space seem larger.
  3. “Brr” Be Gone – Even if it’s not snowing outside, it’s sure to be chilly. Keep your house warm enough to render a coat unnecessary. A few degrees warmer will keep the heater from kicking on (which could be noisy) and help convince the buyers to linger inside longer. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s lit for warmth as well as charm.
  4. Eye Candy – Eye candy can start with a festive wreath on the door or twinkling lights outside. Inside, consider staging a home with decorations in the most lived spaces. The living room may have a Christmas tree or stockings hung on the fireplace. Add folded throws or blankets over the arms of couches. Place poinsettias or other holiday plants in the room. The kitchen table might be set with clean dinnerware over a tablecloth or placemats.
  5. Dial Down the Scents – Candles are appropriate to the season but can often be overwhelming. If you light candles, consider the scentless kind and instead bake or cook prior to visiting buyers. Most people would much rather smell chocolate chip cookies than overpowering floral waves.
  6. Set the Mood – Music can be appropriate for this time of year, but keep in mind that not every guest enjoys the same type of music. Try to choose music that is more classic or instrumental, and turn it down to a barely noticeable level that will accent the mood.
  7. Provide Specifics – When staging a home, set out a small card or piece of paper with a list of items of features that you want to highlight in the house. This step is especially helpful in the winter when something like a back porch and jacuzzi might be covered and hidden.

Staging a home is a crucial step in the selling process, enabling you to move onto your next residence and also transition the new family in. These are big decisions for you and those closest to you, and that’s why you should Inspect-It 1st before moving in. Have your new house tested and examined by the experts to ensure that it’s a safe environment. Inspect It 1st offers services to check heating, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, foundation, and everything else that will keep your new home running beautifully!

Moving Checklist – Where to Start

Posted on: July 28th, 2014 | No Comments

Moving checklistAre you contemplating a move? Already made the decisions to put your home on the market? This is a big undertaking with a lot of moving parts, so being prepared and organized is important. Today, we’re going through the pre-moving checklist. This list outlines everything you’ll need to do to prepare your home for the sales process.

 

  • Collect the papers: Utility bills, appliance manuals and even notes on paint colors or swatches for fabrics, all of this information can help to entice a potential buyer. It also gives you a chance to get organized and clean out some of the outdated information you may have been hanging onto otherwise.
  • Start getting repair estimates: Is your washing machine acting up or A/C unit on it’s last leg? Some buyers will want a discount on the overall price of the house to replace such things, while others will want them taken care of prior to signing. Repair estimates give you a realistic number and a bargaining chip to be used in during negotiation.
  • Assess your home’s curb appeal…objectively: We know you love your garden gnomes but potential buyers may not get their charm. We have many blogs with useful information about enhancing the look of your home’s exterior.
  • Start going through the clutter: Go through your entire home and begin to sift through everything. Find something you never knew you had? Get rid of it. Six spatulas in the kitchen, 3 can go. Old clothes in the back of the closet are only taking up room. Consider donating to a local charity or host a garage sale to move the merch and make a little money while you’re at it.
  • Start to put away the personal photos and trinkets: People who tour your home are trying to picture themselves in it, not you. Removing these personal touches may seem strange or cold but it can help move the house toward a sale more quickly.
  • Begin the deep clean: By this point in the sales process, you’ve likely boxed up and moved out the majority of your things. In some cases, you may have already moved into the new home or a transitional housing option. Once the house is essentially empty, it’s time to get on your hands and knees and scour everything. Floors, walls, ceiling, appliances, kitchen, bathroom and even the garage should all be gone over with a fine tooth comb. If you’re unable to do the deep cleaning yourself, enlist some family members or contact a local household cleaning company to help.
  • Take a step back: Once the deep clean is complete, it’s your realtors turn to take over. You’ve gotten through the most difficult part of the process and now you can sit back, relax and let your realtor do their job.

We understand that this list may seem overwhelming to start. Fortunately, you can find detailed moving checklists on our homepage to guide you. Each week has specific tasks and recommendation to ensure a smooth transition into your new home.

 

Selling a home? Here are some tips for handling the transition.

Posted on: January 14th, 2014 | No Comments

The process of transitioning your home from one owner to another can be a stressful experience. From the sales process to getting your paperwork in order and

fresh start home inspection tips

finally, handing your home off to the new owner, it can be a long and stressful journey. So, what are the steps that can be taken to cut back on the stress? Here are a few that can be used when selling a home!

  • Get Inspected – We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this step is absolutely vital. Whether you are buying or selling your home, you’ll want an expert and thorough inspection to save you major headaches down the road.
  • Get Organized – There will be a lot to do, so a little planning and organization now, will go a long way. Not only will you be dealing with the stress of moving, there will be the business side of the transaction.
  • Make Lists – There will be so many things to do, a simple list can keep you from having the “I can’t believe I forgot that” moment later. Start with a good solid list (change address with post office, get boxes, organize maintenance documents, etc.)
  • Keep good records – From maintenance to financial records having this information pulled together before starting the sales process will save you the last minute scramble to find things you need.

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Seller’s Agents: Tips for a Smooth Inspection

Posted on: January 3rd, 2014 | No Comments

Sold home.

Seller’s anxiety associated with the home inspection can be greatly reduced by the cooperative involvement of the Seller’s Agent. Here are our top recommendations to ensure a smooth and successful inspection experience for all parties:

 

Provide the inspector with the proper access code for any lockbox. Make sure that the code operates properly by testing it in advance. Many times our inspector will try to gain access to a property only to find out that the code doesn’t work.

 

Make sure that all utilities are “ON”. In order to allow the inspector to inspect all areas of the property, coordinate with the seller, bank or other entity to have all utilities on for the inspection. Utilities that are “OFF” are an impediment to successful completion of the inspection and will likely cause delays in closing.

 

Advise your client that the inspection is a thorough activity. Most inspectors are on site for 2-4 hours and likely longer, if the house is very large, has detached garages, “out buildings” or contains a pool or spa. It is much easier for the inspector to complete the inspection if nobody else is on site during the inspection. Families that use the kitchen during the inspection are actually an impediment to the smooth completion of the inspection.

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6 Questions to Ask Your Potential Home Inspector

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 | No Comments

inspector_smiling_while_looking_at_a_water_heaterWhether you are buying or selling, having an inspection is the first step to understanding the condition of any residential or commercial space. This information can influence whether you make an offer or how high or low you set the properties price. Inspections can also point out safety hazards and other concerns. That is why it is important to find an inspector who is going to be thorough, knowledgeable and honest. There are many questions to ask a potential inspector to determine if they will exceed your expectation. Here are six that will give you a realistic expectation for service and hopefully narrow down the field for you too.

 

Are you state certified and compliant?
This question should always be your first. These certifications require extensive training and qualification that are necessary for any inspector to do their job effectively. Being compliant is the second part but just as important . Many inspectors will be certified but do not take steps to renew as this certification expires. An up to date certification means an inspector has proven their knowledge and are providing top notch inspections and reports. Since these reports can make a huge difference in price and buyer consideration, having a certified inspector also adds weight to the inspection report.

 

What was your training?
There are many way to become a home inspector. Unfortunately, online courses that provide certification same week are available. These courses are not recommended as they provide no hands on training. When deciding on your inspector be sure to ask for proof of certification, hours of training completed, field experience and continued education. By ensuring your inspector has all of this, you can be assured they are well qualified and competent to perform a top notch inspection.

 

Do you carry insurance?
There are two types of insurance every inspector should hold. The first is Professional Liability Insurance or Errors or Omissions Insurance. Inspectors occasionally may miss something in the chaos that usually accompanies an inspection. This insurance protects you and you inspector from future costs that may be incurred by these errors or omissions. Additionally, General Liability Insurance protects from damage incurred or injury sustained during an inspection. Ask for proof of both of these insurance to ensure you have an inspector who will stand by their report.

 

What type of report will I receive?
Reports can vary between inspectors. Insist on a detailed report including photographs and descriptions. This will be immensely helpful when it comes time to make the necessary repairs and adds accountability and value to the inspection report.

 

Are you an independent inspector or a franchise?
Independent inspectors may not require as much training or continued education as a franchised branch. Be sure to look into the requirements of your state as well as any companies you are considering using to determine their level of training and education. When choosing a franchised inspector you are more likely to find more rigorous training, continued education and insured inspectors. Franchises also tend to hold high standards of customer service and inspection because they represent a larger organization.

 

Do you have any referrals from past inspections?
The opinions of former customers can mean a lot. No referrals should be a red flag to anyone because even though it might mean they were not terrible, it also means they did not provide a stellar inspection. So, do your research and find out what other consumers are saying about the company, services and employees. These can help you narrow down the last few inspectors and find your winner.

 

You may not have known there were so many steps to choosing an inspector but keep in mind, these men and women are catching safety hazards and other concerns with your home. By asking these questions early, doing your research and insisting on education, certification and insurance you are more likely to receive the most thorough report possible. These reports can greatly influence buyer interest and price so the more information you have the better. Don’t settle for anything less than the high expectations set by the questions above.

 

Having trouble finding an inspector you can trust in your area? Check out the Inspect-It 1st website to locate a franchise near you, research services and get your inspection questions answered all in one place.

 

Home Staging Tips for Selling Your Home Faster

Posted on: August 2nd, 2012 | No Comments

If you’re selling your home in today’s market, there are a lot of homes to compete with.  So how do you get an edge on the competition?  Home staging has been shown to have a lot of influence over buyers, but it does take a bit of work on your part.  Outside of making sure that your home would pass an inspection, these cosmetic changes can make all the difference in how quickly you sell.

 

Follow these quick home staging tips:

 

Declutter: When you live in your house and see it every day, it can be difficult to see your home in a new light.  Really take a hard look at your rooms and remove any clutter.  This goes for stacks of magazines, refrigerator magnets, storage boxes, and stacks of mail.  Clutter can make a homebuyer think there’s no storage in the home, which could scare away your potential buyer.

 

Depersonalize: Yes, your dog is the cutest, but your potential buyer may be a cat person! Remove anything personal in your home, like photos of your family, sports flags outside, or any religious items.  Your potential buyers need to be able to envision themselves living there, and if your house still feels like you, they may not be able to get past that.

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Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections.

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