Tips for selling your home:

Is Your Home Physically Fit?

To give your home a competitive edge when it's time to sell, make sure it is in good physical condition. This not only makes your home more attractive and desirable, it also simplifies the negotiation process when the time comes for the buyer's pre-purchase inspection. According to home inspection experts, approximately half the resale homes in the market today have at least one significant defect. Routine maintenance is the best way to prevent major, costly problems from developing in the first place. If you have been putting off those repairs, now is the time to make them.

- A Home Seller's Check List
Over the years, professional home Inspectors have identified a list of common problems that typically appear on buyer's home inspection reports. Early correction of these problems can increase a home's appeal and its selling price. It also sets the stage for a favorable home inspection report for the buyer, and thereby helps to expedite the sale. The following 6-point checklist can help you achieve these marketing goals. *(Also see Home Buyer Checklist).


After size, style, and location, a home buyer's primary concern is the condition of the home's basic structure and major mechanical systems. Most buyers do not want to invest a great deal of money correcting problems in such critical areas.
A pre-listing home inspection of the visible and accessible home components can reveal most of these problems, and include recommended repairs, if needed, on the following major items:

* Roof structure and covering
* Foundation, basement, and/or crawl space
* Central heating and air conditioning systems
* Electrical system
* Plumbing system

A number of maintenance improvements are relatively easy and inexpensive to make, yet they can substantially improve a home's appearance, efficiency, and comfort. A professional home inspector may make helpful maintenance suggestions, such as:

* Trim trees and shrubs which touch or overhang the house
* Apply new caulking and weather stripping as needed around windows and doors
* Clean gutters of debris and leaves; repair or replace cracked or broken gutters, downspouts, and extensions to ensure proper drainage
* Replace bathroom caulk or grouting where necessary to prevent seepage and improve appearance
* Ventilate closed basements and crawl spaces, or install a dehumidifier, to prevent excessive moisture build-up
* Regrade soil around the foundation, as needed to keep water away from the house
* Replace dirty filters in the heating and air conditioning systems
* Have the heating and air conditioning systems professionally serviced
* Have chimneys professionally cleaned, and install chimney hoods or caps as needed

Fixing even minor items can go a long way toward improving that important first impression of our home. Here are some typical improvements which might be suggested by the home inspector's findings:

* Repair leaky faucets
* Tighten loose doorknobs
* Replace damaged screens
* Replace broken panes of glass
* Replace burned-out light bulbs
* Secure loose railings
* Repair and coat driveway
* Patch holes or cracks in walls and ceilings, then repaint
* Repair peeling wallpaper

Home inspectors also pay attention to items relating to protecting the home and its occupants from danger. They can alert you to important safety precautions which home buyers will appreciate, such as:

* Installing smoke detectors on each level. And in every bedroom for newer houses.
* Installing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI's) in "wet" areas, such as kitchen counters tops, bathrooms, and exterior outlets
* Keeping flammable products away from heaters, water heaters, and fireplaces

An attractive, clean, and neat home will appeal to a buyer's emotions. In addition to making repairs such as those listed above, remember to:

* Keep the lawn mowed and the house neat
* Clean the exterior walls and trim; repaint if necessary
* Open windows shades and curtains to create a bright, inviting atmosphere
* Keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, since buyers scrutinize these areas

It's a good idea to assemble in advance various house records that can be used to answer questions from buyers and home inspectors. The Home Buyer Checklist identifies some of the important factors to consider when choosing a home. In addition to an affordable sales price, they will also want to be sure that the neighborhood and house meet the needs of their family.

The New Home Checklist

Use this handy checklist when shopping for your home. It lists many important features that are easily overlooked in the excitement of shopping for a new home. Keep it with you whenever you go to visit a potential new home and mark every item for an accurate and effective measure to compare homes. If you are unsure about any of them items just ask a professional inspector. A trained eye can spot potential problems where most people never think to look.


Click here to download the New Home Checklist now.


                                                      Deadly Mistake #1: Thinking you can't afford it.

Today, buying the home of your dreams is easier than ever before. Many people who thought that buying the home they wanted was simply out of their reach are now enjoying a new lifestyle in their very own new home.

Buying a home is the smartest financial decision you will ever make. In fact, most American home owners would be financially broke at retirement if it wasn't for one saving grace - the equity in their home. Furthermore mortgage rates are more flexible today than ever and tax allowances favor home ownership.

Real estate values have always risen steadily. Of course there are peaks and valleys, but the long term the trend is a consistent increase. This means that every month when you make a mortgage payment the amount that you owe on the home goes down and the value typically increases. This owe less-worth more situation is called equity build-up and is the reason you can't afford not to buy.

Even if you have little money for a down payment or credit problems, chances are that you can still buy that new home. It just comes down to knowing the right strategies, and working with the right people. See below.


Deadly Mistake #2: Not hiring a buyer's agent to represent you.

Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it's often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated. New technology, laws, procedures and competition from other buyers require buyer agents to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism. For many homebuyers, the process turns into a terrible, stressful ordeal. In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Work with a buyer's agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business and on your side. Buyer's agents have a fiduciary duty to you. That means they are loyal to only you and are obligated to look out for your best interests. Buyer's agents can help you find the best home, the best lender, and the best inspector. Best of all, in most cases, the buyer's agent is paid out of the seller's commission, even though he/she works for you.

Trying to buy a home without an agent at all is, well... unthinkable.


Deadly Mistake #3: Getting a cheap inspection

Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the home being inspected. The additional cost of hiring a Licensed Home Inspector with years of experience is almost insignificant. As a homebuyer, you've recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages, and trying to get the best deals. Don't stop now.  Have Blue Ridge Home Inspection inspect your potential new home.



Deadly Mistake #4: Not testing for radon


  Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breath.  Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation.  All homes in our area have radon.  This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.  In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.


 Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon.                    EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing ALL HOMES below the third Floor for RADON.


              Blue Ridge Home Inspection offers CRM Radon testing to ensure error free testing with results in 48 hours.


Surgeon General of the United States Health Advisory


“Indoor Radon is a national health problem.  Radon causes thousands of deaths each year. Millions of homes have elevated levels.  Most homes should be tested for Radon. When elevated levels are confirmed, the problem should be corrected.”