Before selling, it’s a very good idea to have your home inspected. You might consider this to be more beneficial to the buyer than to you, but truthfully you want to know everything about the place you’re trying to sell. Buyers can back out of a deal if the home inspection goes poorly. It often changes the terms of the agreement as well. If something needs to be repaired, the buyer may request for it to be deducted from the purchase price or fixed before they are willing to close.
Have your inspection done early in the selling process. You may even want to do it before putting your home on the market. Getting all the details can help you set an accurate asking price. Keep in mind that a home inspector is not an appraiser. They will not tell you what they think the home is worth, but they will enlighten you to any damage that could affect the valuation. Your real estate agent can help you to factor the results into your asking price.
These inspections are not common in Manhattan because you usually don’t own the entire structure like you do with a house you may own in one of the boroughs. Inspecting an apartment is an entirely different story because things like the roof, basement and hot water heater aren’t a part of your home. They are not owned by you. However, do not let this discourage you from having a home inspection of your apartment. There are still many things to find out.
Home inspectors will look for certain aspects of the major systems of the building that are within your apartment. For example they usually won’t have access to the building’s hot water heater but they can test your plumbing and your radiator. They will be able to tell by the state of things in your unit if the system is running properly.
Second on the list is electric. An inspector will check all of the outlets as well as the fuse box, if you have one. They will check for proper power output as well as any sparking or frayed wiring. This can be a major concern because poor wiring can lead to outages or, worse, electrical fires. A good inspector will remove the plate covers for a more thorough examination. An outlet can appear fine from the outside but be falling apart beyond the wall opening.
Any major appliances that are stationary or built in will also be looked over. Ovens, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers will all be included in this assessment. The oven is especially important if it is gas powered. The inspector will test that the gas line is both safe and efficient. Unless otherwise stated you will most likely be leaving these appliances in the apartment and the buyer will expect them to be functional.
Structure is an important aspect of the inspection despite not being able to access the foundation or the roof. Your inspector will assess your walls, ceilings, floors, and doors to ensure that there are not problems hidden beneath the surface. They will look for water damage in sheet rock walls, warped or swollen doors that may not lock properly and uneven flooring (especially in wooden floors that may rot or splinter). They will also check for proper insulation in ceilings and walls and around windows. This will be important to potential buyers for both temperature and audio reasons. Paper-thin walls will lead to drafty conditions and seemly very loud neighbors.
Once your inspection has been completed you can rest assured that you won’t run into any major snags in selling your home. It will give you time to fix any inadequacies and also allow you to price your home at the top of the range. Any buyer would be happy to pay more for a home that they can be confident is well maintained.