30 Jun 5 Essential Things To Check Before Putting Your House Up For Sale
When you put your house on the market, it’s obviously important that buyers fall in love with its charm and character. However, here are 5 essential things that you must check before putting your house on the market – it could save you thousands in lost time and money.
Decor can be changed, but some less visible defects could show up on a survey and impact on the mortgage valuation or worse, mean your buyer pulls out altogether. You need to look out for any big problems that could be a property deal breaker.
Here are a few potential defects that we recommend you get checked before you put your house on the market and if required, have them rectified by a qualified tradesman.
Rising damp tends to be relatively rare, so the main thing you should keep an eye out for is penetrating damp or bridging of the damp proof course (DPC). A property’s external wall should have a damp proof course, and the ground levels need to be at least 15 cm below this.
If a homeowner has at any point employed an inexperienced builder to relay a patio for example, and they haven’t properly dug out the old one, the new one could get laid too high meaning standing water could potentially be sitting above the DPC.
If you have an older style house, particularly with a basement, make sure there is enough ventilation and airbricks are not blocked. Condensation in a basement (or any room for that matter) coupled with insufficient airflow can cause havoc with wooden floor joists and lead to wet rot. Put simply, wet rot is timber that is decaying naturally in the presence of high moisture levels.
Look carefully for areas of uneven, missing or cracked tiles, and have a look in the loft. You should be able to see from here what condition the underside of the roof is in and whether it’s likely to need re-doing anytime soon. Look for signs of ingress of water.
Always best to get an experienced roofer to check the state of the roof and whilst he’s up there, clear the gutters of any debris.
Stand directly in front of the chimney and see if it’s plumb – older chimneys often start to lean, meaning one side is more exposed to the elements than the other. Use those binoculars again to check the brickwork and see if the pointing is all intact. Again a reputable roofing or building company will give you a condition report and tell you whether any pointing or flashing needs to be replaced.
You cannot see electricity. Cables are usually hidden inside our walls, and consumer units are often hidden in cupboards, so it is not surprising that we forget to check the condition of our electrical installation for damage or wear and tear.
Faulty and old wiring is one of the main causes or electrical fires in the home so we always recommend an Electrical Installation Condition Report. It’s not a legal requirement, however, it does confirm the electrics are safe and demonstrates a degree of responsibility from you, the owner.
It will also highlight any problems which you can then rectify. Try and find out how old the electrics are by looking at the consumer unit – if it is made of metal and has ceramic wired fuses, then it is likely to be at least 25 years old. This won’t mean that it is dangerous, just that it may not be sufficient for modern living and may need upgrading.
It’s always a good idea to have your boiler serviced irrespective of whether it’s on the market or not. If you have a gas central heating system, the boiler will either be a combination (combi) or system boiler. Combination boilers tend to last around ten years and system boilers about twenty. Many buyers will want a new style combi boiler and will try and negotiate this into the offer.
However, if you can show that the boiler is regularly serviced and maintained, it might be the difference between a higher and lower offer.
It’s important to get a sale agreed for your home, however, if the sale will run into trouble once the property is surveyed. The mortgage company for your buyer may insist on extensive works being carried out or simply refuse to lend altogether. Additionally, the buyer may use the defects as leverage to submit a much lower offer. In any event, we always recommend that these issues are checked first to ensure a smooth sale and one that completes in full and in the timescales you want.
If you’d like to talk to us about how to ensure a stress-free sale, please feel free to call on 01325-776424