I recommend all my buyers obtain a home inspection during their due diligence period. In my experience of selling hundreds of Park City homes, there are certain issues that seem to crop up over and over again. These issues can sometimes threaten a successful transaction because neither party wants to pay to resolve them.
Although the Utah Real Estate Purchase Contract says that all properties are
purchased in “as is” condition, the reality is that if there is anything broken or wrong with a home, the buyer will expect it to be repaired.
As a seller, if you are aware of any issues with these items up front, I recommend you either repair them or obtain estimates for repairs. A pre-inspection prior to listing is also a good idea. It’s much easier to obtain bids when time is on your side versus in the heat of a negotiation.
- Roof Issues. Most of the homes I am selling in Park City were built 15-25 years ago. That means the roof is generally original and at the end of its life. In addition, our harsh winters with snow load, ice dams and our warm summers can also create issues even with newer roofs. Understand the status of your roof before you list your home.
- Stucco Issues. Stucco on Park City homes cracks. There are also some
buyers who are freaked out about stucco due to some moisture issues
that occurred in the humid southern part of the US. If you have cracked stucco on your home, get it repaired before you list and be sure to disclose those repairs.
- Radon. Radon is a natural gas in the earth that can concentrate in basements and has been associated with lung cancer. In today’s real
estate environment, every buyer tests for radon in homes that are
susceptible to build up. The good news about radon is that it is easy to
remediate if levels are found above the “acceptable” range. Remediation usually runs in the $2,000-$3,500 range and is guaranteed by the remediation professional. Once a seller knows there are elevated radon levels in the home, they must disclose this to potential buyers. Elevated radon should always be remediated.
- Plumbing. Before listing your home, take a walk to your mechanical room and look at your water heater and pipes. Are they corroded? Are there signs of previous leaks? It is advisable to repair corrosion considered more than just minor. For example, I recently sold a home and the main water shutoff was so corroded it didn’t work. That is something that should be repaired. Take a look below sinks. Are there any active leaks? Those are easy and inexpensive to fix.
- Electrical. Double tapped breakers is a favorite for inspectors to point out. Hire electricians who know what they are doing when adding to your electrical panel. If it’s too late for that, make sure your electrical panel is up to code and your outlets are GFCI. These are safety issues that buyers will want addressed.
- Heating. Similar to roofs, many boilers and furnaces are at the end of
their life, which the inspector will be all too happy to point out. As long as these items are in good working order, buyers should not expect them to be replaced. They are also generally covered by home warranties. I do recommend, however, that you have your furnace and/or boiler serviced prior to listing.
- Windows. Many double paned windows in Park City lose their seal over time. The entire window does not need to be replaced, just the glass. If you have fogged windows, get an estimate on replacing them. Even better, if you have the time, go ahead and replace them.
While buyers should not expect a seller to restore a 15-25 year old home to
brand new, it’s reasonable to expect the house will be in working order and reasonably maintained. Should the house present itself as full of defects, the seller will not get top dollar. In fact, the more defects, the more the home will be considered a “fixer upper”. Such homes always sell for less compared to others and will take more time to sell. If you are considering listing your home for sale, take the time to look at it through a buyers eyes.