Beyond Staging: A Better Home Inspection Report

Conventional sales advice calls for removing the clutter from a home when you put it on the market. Tiding up a home’s appearance helps prospective buyers to picture themselves living in the home without the distractions of the previous owner’s personal belongings. More recently, this has evolved to include staging the home with rented furniture and sometimes a certain amount of judicious redecorating. With the right professional help, staging can make a tremendous difference in the appearance and marketability of the house. This is all the more important in a buyer’s market where you need to differentiate yourself from other properties in the same price range.

You’ve done all the right things to beautify the house on the surface. Why not take a little more time to remove the easily addressed defects beneath the surface? They may not be obvious to the seller or the prospective buyer, but to a Home Inspector they are. By the time the inspector arrives, you have a deal on the table and it seems as if he or she is pouncing on tiny little flaws in an otherwise beautiful home. Each defect, tiny or not, adds to the volume of the report and to some degree can taint the buyer’s overall perception of the house. A short repair list is a lot more attractive to a buyer.

Missing cauking is a quick fixAs a Home Inspector, I see lots of defects that a few minutes attention could fix. It can be as simple as a broken cover-plate on an electrical switch or receptacle, a dirty furnace filter or some missing caulking. Some defects can be addressed with a little physical effort and some might call for a few dollars investment. Here’s a guide that explains a variety of common defects and organizes them starting with the quick and cheap fixes. There’s also a checklist to help manage the work. You don’t have to be a trades-person to do these repairs. But if you are just not into the do it yourself stuff, hiring a handy man for a few hours can get a lot done in a hurry.

By all means acquire the skills of the best Home Stager you can find. They know how to put the right colours and items together to present your home at its best. None the less, a bit of work on your part might cut down the number of defects by as much as a third. Remember, a thinner inspection report is always better report. So if you want to do everything you can to sell your home, take a step beyond staging.

Author: Rob Cornish is a Home Inspector in Ottawa, Canada. © 2013 HomeXam Inc.
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