JUNE 16, 2020

Six things every careful home buyer is looking for

Many people selling their home highlight (and assume buyers are only interested in) things like design, spaciousness, utility, views, aspects, functionality and location.

But what savvy buyers know and sellers need to keep in mind is there are other equally important, long term (and possibly costly) aspects to home ownership that goes into any buying decision.

Here are six things you can address to help capture the attention and appreciation of the savvy homebuyer.

1.  The condition of external and internal plumbing systems 

Plumbing problems are one of the most common issues new homeowners want to avoid. To ensure your home doesn’t show signs of external or internal plumbing issues, check the following:

Water supply and meter

Hidden leaks in a plumbing system can cause serious and expensive issues. To detect leaks, inspect the water meter.

Turn off the faucets and look at the water meter. With the water off, the meter should stop. If it doesn’t, it means you have a leak somewhere in the plumbing system.

To check the shut-off valve, close it entirely and turn on the faucets in the house. If water comes out, this means the valve is faulty and needs to be repaired or replaced.

Also check the valves that control the water flow from showers, toilets, and kitchen faucets.

Water heater

Check the following to determine the condition of the water heater:

  • Are there any signs of a leak in the outlet or inlet valves while it is on?
  • Does the tank make any strange noises while in operation?
  • Is the water sandy or muddy when it comes out of the hot water faucet?
  • Do you see any rust or corrosion on any part of the tank?

Sinks, faucets, and toilets

The water pressure in toilets and sinks can give you a general idea of the condition of your plumbing system. Check them by:

  • Looking for water stains or leaks below the sink and around and under the faucet.
  • Turning on every faucet in the house and seeing if the water drains out quickly and completely.
  • Flushing all the toilets and making sure the water drains out.
  • Checking the base and water chamber of the toilet for signs of leaks or water damage

If you discover small leaks, signs of wear and tear or drainage issues, repair them quickly before they become worse and more costly to fix.

The main sewer drain

If your home is older, check that no tree roots have grown into the main sewer drain. You might want to contact a licensed plumber to do a camera inspection.

2.  Signs of dampness, mildew or mould

Below are the signs of dampness, mildew, or mould:

  • If you notice a musty smell in any area of the house, especially the basement, attic, or crawl space, do not ignore it. If you notice it, so will the buyer.
  • Check the floorboards, walls, and ceilings for spots or stains. They can be indicative of a prior leak and could be a source of hidden mould.
  • Is there condensation on the walls or inside the windows where moisture can be trapped?
  • Look at the foundation walls to see if there are any stains on the foundation itself or the walls.
  • Does the grading of the lot slope away from the foundation wall?
  • Are there any cracks in the foundation walls?
  • Check the attic to ensure that roof vents are free of insulation and the attic beams show no signs of mould.

If you find any signs of dampness, mildew, or mould, it is a good idea to contact a mold remediation specialist.

3.  A working security system

One way to make your home stand out on the market is to install a security system. Give buyers peace of mind knowing that they will be safe in their new home.

A working security system can increase the value of your home. With so many options available to homeowners, it is important to compare products and home security devices on the market. As the Australian Federal Police point out, many burglaries and home invasions are preventable if you have the right equipment. 

4.  Well-maintained foundations

Make sure your home is structurally sound with a well-maintained foundation. Use the tips below to identify potential issues or warning signs of a compromised foundation:

  • Are there cracks in the foundation, ceiling, or the drywall?
  • Is the porch or are the staircases sunken in any places?
  • Does the floor slope, or are there any cracked tiles?
  • Do you see any gaps above the doors and windows or around the garage door?
  • Is there any moisture in the basement or crawl space?
  • Do you see any separation between the ceiling and the walls?

If your home is more than ten years old,  it’s more likely to have foundation issues. Fix any issues you may find to ensure potential buyers will have faith that you home’s foundation is well maintained. 

5.  Ventilation

Without adequate interior ventilation, moisture can accumulate. Moisture causes mould and mildew and is not good for people with allergies.

Savvy buyers will be on the lookout signs of improper ventilation:

  • Is there any condensation on the windows?
  • Do you see peeling or bubbled paint around the vents, windows, or doors?
  • If yes, this can be an indication that there is moisture in the ceiling drywall or the walls due to poor ventilation.

Many buyers will also look for the presence and condition of air conditioning units.

6.  Window and door fittings

What condition are the windows and door fittings? Is the caulking in good shape? Do the windows leak? If they do, cold air will leak into your home during the winter months and hot air will seep in during the summer. Prospective buyers know that their heating and cooling bills will be higher. Also, heating and cooling appliances will work overtime and lessen their life span.

How about the latches, handles, and locks? These are easy fixes you can do to show buyers that you took care of your home and performed essential maintenance.

Keep in mind that homebuyers interested buyers may have an expert assess the property and report on the condition of your home.

Catch any issues above and fix them before a home inspector does. Addressing problems and fixing them will improve your chances of selling your home at a good price.


Feature Image, PX Fuel, CC0 License.

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