Staging our Home Step 2 :: The Pre-Listing Inspection

Mac, from The BrickKicker came by this weekend.

Before he started his inspection, I asked him if I could follow him around, 
take pictures, and blog about it.
(Everything that happens around here is subject to be blogged about.)
He was accommodating and didn't act annoyed at all
by the chick with the Canon stalking him.

We plan on listing our home early summer 2013.
To read more about our 2011 goals for staging and selling our house, click here.

Our first step to staging was to re-finance our home.
Which we did.
This inspection was our second step.

What are the benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection?

  • It minimizes the time a house spends on the market by providing proof of the home’s condition.
  • Gives prospective buyers assurance that their future home has been inspected by a professional.
  • Allows you time to correct problems at your own budget and time table. 
  • It promotes a sense of trust with your buyers.
  • Real estate professionals can better determine the fair listing price based on the true physical condition of the home.
  • It follows the principle: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Wouldn't you want a home you're considering buying to be in excellent condition, instead of finding "surprises" later?

So, BrickKicker Mac not only kicked the bricks,
he climbed on the roof using his neato adjustable ladder.

While on our roof, he discovered that our metal chimney crown 
doesn't slope away from the center, which will cause rust and leakage.

While outside, he checked out our HVAC units which we were sure 
would need to be replaced because they are 10 years old.

However, Mac told us that the typical life expectancy for HVACs is 15-20 years, 
and to replace them simply because they "look" 10 years old isn't necessary, 
at the time of selling, they just need to be in proper working order.

He poked around in the attic, where he observed something distressing.

The water heater "flue pipe" 
(which carries the EXTREMELY HOT natural gases that heat our water
and goes up through the house and out the roof)
came detached and the pipe had fallen back inside our attic!
The end of the pipe was aimed toward our inner roof.

The wood is charred and black where the end of the pipe had been.

Mac said that if it were any closer to the wood roof, 
it would have caught fire!


(Mac put the pipe back in its proper location, while he was inspecting it! 
How nice of him!)

(We store all our empty boxes for gadgets and gizmos up here a.k.a. kindling.)

Out in the garage, he fired up the water heater.

Mac checked out the house's wiring in the fuse box which he said,
"was done by a lazy electrician."
There are multiple "neutral wires" per screw, 
and there should only be one wire per screw.

While in the basement, Mac and my hubby, Mark, have a serous talk 
about Radon (hence Mark's wide-eyed glare).

46% of all basements test high for Radon.

What is Radon and why should we care?

Radon is a radioactive gas that is found in homes all over the United States.
It comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground,  into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Your home can trap radon inside.
Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It's important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.

Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. 

 More info on Radon in a home:

Mac observed minor rot in a few areas (1"). Not bad for a 10-year old deck.
We use Cabot Stain, in the color Red Oak. Cabot is rated the best by Consumer Reports.

While Mac searched for my secret chocolate stash to no avail 
made sure all the hinges worked, he gave us some advice about our appliances 
and the keeping or replacing of them when we sell.
While I had originally though we ought to change all the appliances to stainless steel,
he told us that our appliances are well-kept and don't need to be changed.
In fact, it would be a waste of money to replace them, 
and our kitchen fit the look of the rest of the house and our neighborhood.

So, while I thought we should change out all the appliances to stainless steel,
we don't think we will now.
We will get a new dishwasher, but that's all.

Our report from Mac (which we got back the very next day!) 
didn't contain any major issues,
and now we have a list to work from.
He gave us peace of mind to know what does and doesn't need to be done.
We are relieved because, a few things that we thought were major issues really weren't.
We will be saving some money NOT buying some high ticket appliances.
It was a good day.

Mac was in our home for 4 hours answering questions and sharing his knowledge with us.

Thank you, Mac.

(Love a man that takes his shoes off before traipsing through your house!)

My hubby, Mark, gets the repair list and I get the decor list...
Off we go...

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  1. I used to manage a Real Estate office, and the Broker had one particular home inspector she used. He also inspected our home before we bought it, and boy do those guys know their stuff. Home Inspections are a must, whether the buyer or the seller orders it! SO glad Mac found the problem in the attic...scary!!

  2. As a Broker Owner of a real estate company, I suggest pre-listing inspections. I am so proud of you for hiring an inspector. Smart thinking! Pre-listings inspections are worth every penny! I look forward as you share each step toward your home selling goal! Best Wishes! Wanda

  3. Good luck, Leslie. You have a beautiful home so I would think it will not be hard to sell it. I love the white cabinets in the kitchen. Take care. Susan

  4. Leslie, you crack me up...That was cool he let you follow him around, and he even smiled for us. Hey this is great information to put out there...I never knew to do something like this first. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I am just sitting here so impressed that you are so on the ball all these months ahead of time. Thinking about selling, planning on selling and preparing for selling are entirely different and I hate to admit but I don't think I'd be this prepared a year ahead. This was really very interesting. So glad he found your attic problem! I know (like I'm sure you do too) that was no coincidence! God is SO good!

  6. I just love this reading, I am sure you will do it in a best way, best of luck. :D

  7. Very useful. We don't have those kinda guys over here. You have to get a home report - done once and then that is used to give to prospective buyers, so you have to have figured out and fixed up these kind of things yourself first!

  8. Very good information, Leslie! I'm glad he found that pipe that was out of position! We are meeting with a realtor tonight {and will probably sign with her and her partner}, so I'll be on the market as of tomorrow!

  9. Good thing he found that pipe in the attic! SCARY! Glad he didn't find anything major or costly! Blessings <3 Paula

  10. Oh my gosh! I'm freaking about that pipe in the attic! YIKES! Glad he found it before it caught on fire!!! Thanks for all the info!

  11. great post! helpful stuff :)

  12. Sounds like you are one step ahead now. I love watching that show on HGTV with Holmes Inspections. I love that guy and wish he'd come find all our problems in this house.

  13. you all are all over it! I can see you methodically going through a checklist! :)

  14. I just found your blog and became your newest follower! :) Great blog! :)

  15. Aren't you so glad to know you won't have to spend the extra $$$ on new appliances? Money well spent, having Mac come by.

  16. Before retirement and antique malls, I managed 3 real estate offices. Our headaches and the seller's would have been cut in half had they agreed to inspections before listing. Way to go.

  17. How great to get this expert advice. Will remember this when fixin' to move.

  18. Did that BrickKicker actually let you take a picture of his chest? I'll bet he doesn't get that request very often.

    Unbelievable about the pipe in the attic. Whew!

    The house looks great to me, but what do I know? Lisa~

  19. WAIT! So, do you - or do you not - have high levels of radon??

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