RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JAN 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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{Ask the Experts} Buddy Stark Director of Operations HomeTeam Inspection Service www.hometeam.com Q: What can sellers do to prepare for a home inspection? A: Completing these quick and easy tasks before beginning the selling process will help reduce stress and save your clients valuable time during the home-selling process. Clean the House An important part of selling a home is keeping it clean in an- ticipation of a showing. Cleaning the home will convey that it's been well cared for and that the house is less sus- ceptible to any issues caused by neglect. Check All Windows Have your client take a quick inventory of the windows to make sure they're in good work- ing order. Replace windows that are cracked or broken before the inspection to save time during the selling process. Finish the Honey-Do List Some areas of the home, al- though not typically thought of as areas that would affect a home's appeal, may be displayed as safe- ty concerns on a home inspec- tion report. Your client can help themselves by replacing burnt-out lightbulbs, testing smoke detec- tors, replacing air filters and unclogging drains. These little things are easy to forget in day-to- day life, but taking care of them is a relatively easy task that will help potential buyers focus on the important systems of the home. Check All Outlets A sampling of electrical outlets will be tested as part of the home inspection to make sure they're in good working order. Encour- age your clients to take note of which outlets are not functioning in the home and replace them. Or, they may want to consider hiring an electrician to make sure both outlets and the electrical box are updated and in proper working condition. Clear Areas for Easy Access Home inspectors will be looking at the major parts of the home, including the founda- tion, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing and even the water heater. Making sure home inspec- tors can easily access these areas, including the basement and attic, will save time during the inspection process. Consider a Pre-listing Inspection Hiring experienced and profes- sional home inspectors can save a lot of headaches during the sell- ing process. They will thoroughly go through the home and notify clients of any potential issues ahead of listing the property. RE Q A & surprises—buyers know what they're purchasing and can pre- dict future utility and energy ex- penses. The score also takes the guesswork out of future repairs by recommending cost-effective ways to improve home performance for homes scoring five or less. 8 Straightforward for sellers: Transparency not only gives sell- ers credit for their investments in home energy improvements; it also boosts sales for homes with higher energy costs. In fact, a study by Earth Advantage found that when sellers listed their home energy costs—even if costs were high— their homes sold for 3 - 5 percent more and spent 18 fewer days on the market than homes that did not disclose this information. 8 Room for improvement: Even if a home scores below average, it doesn't mean the home is poorly built. In fact, many beautiful, well- constructed homes receive a 4 or less. Remember, the Home Ener- gy Score is simply an indicator of opportunities for future owners to make improvements to reduce en- ergy use. The home energy report includes a prioritized list of en- ergy upgrade recommendations that offer the quickest return on investment. When your clients complete their home energy assessment, encour- age them to work with an autho- rized, licensed home energy asses- sor to ensure the assessment is completed according to today's top standards and that the score is cal- culated accurately. RE Peter Kernan is a home energy score advisor, leading a team of authorized assessors at Enhabit, a Pacific Northwest non-profit creating social impact through better living spaces. This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall, blog.rismedia.com. RISMedia's REAL ESTATE January 2018 89

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