Title /blog/posts/2017/03/?format=rss A blog feed. en-US Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:03:40 -0400 Selling? Be Ready for a Home Inspection https://www.wandamooney.com/blog/posts/2017/03/24/selling-be-ready-for-a-home-inspection/ <p><img alt="" class="featured featured featured" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.usmre.com/5577/blog/home-inspector-under-house-628x354.jpg" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: left; width: 250px; height: 141px;"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>You now have a buyer for your home and they have scheduled a home inspection. &nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em>This article provides insight as to what you can expect and how to prepare your home for a thorough inspection.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><u><strong>Selling Your House - Better Be Prepared for a Home Inspection</strong></u></h3> <p>You&rsquo;ve got a contract on your home for sale&mdash;congratulations! But before you pop the cork on the champagne, you&rsquo;ve got to go through an ordeal that could make or break that sweet deal: a home inspection.</p> <p>The home inspection is a contingency written into most offers, meaning that if the buyers aren&rsquo;t happy with the result, they can cancel the sale without losing their earnest money deposit, or reopen negotiations and ask for a price reduction.</p> <p>So it&rsquo;s important to prepare yourself and your home for this important step of the process. How? Hey, we&rsquo;re glad you asked! Let&rsquo;s start at the beginning.</p> <h3><strong>Will there always be a home inspection?</strong></h3> <p>If your buyers are planning to tear down your home and build their own dream house, you might feel a pang of regret, but at least you won&rsquo;t need to worry about the quality and condition of your property. These buyers are trying to get the lowest price possible and, if they think a clean contract without an inspection contingency will make them an attractive buyer in a competitive market, they&rsquo;ll often forgo an inspection contingency. &nbsp;</p> <p>But most buyers who are planning to live in your home want to know what they&rsquo;re getting into. They want to know which systems work, and which don&rsquo;t. They want to know how much money they&rsquo;ll need to plow into the purchase, and which items you, dear seller, are willing to fix or replace to seal the deal.</p> <p>The results of home inspections can give buyers peace of mind, or a tool they can use to bargain down the price. In the worst case, people with buyer&rsquo;s remorse will use results of a home inspection to back out of the deal without penalty.</p> <p>Sound scary? Don&rsquo;t fret just yet. That first home inspection will let you know everything that&rsquo;s wrong with your home. Armed with that information, you can fix problems before the next buyer shows up, adjust the price to reflect necessary repairs, or simply have a ready response when the issue comes up again.</p> <h3><strong>Inspectors will look at&nbsp;<em>everything</em></strong></h3> <p>A home inspection is no quick once-over. Inspectors have a 1,600-item checklist, according to&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a data-omtag="web:article:content:link" href="http://www.nahi.org/" target="_blank">National Association of Home Inspectors</a>. Yep, you read that right&mdash;<em>1,600.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&ldquo;If we can get to it, we&rsquo;ll inspect it,&rdquo; says&nbsp;<strong>Frank Lesh</strong>, executive director of the&nbsp;<a data-omtag="web:article:content:link" href="https://www.homeinspector.org/" target="_blank">American Society of Home Inspectors.</a></p> <p>Here are just some of the areas of the home your inspector is checking, and&nbsp;<a data-omtag="web:article:content:link" href="http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/what-does-a-home-inspector-look-for/" target="_blank">what a home inspector is looking for</a>:</p> <ul><li><strong>Grounds:</strong>&nbsp;Standing water, faulty grading, sick or dying trees and shrubs, crumbling paths and walls</li> <li><strong>Structure:&nbsp;</strong>Foundation integrity, rotting or out-of-plumb window and door frames</li> <li><strong>Roof:</strong>&nbsp;Defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia; loose and hanging gutters; defects in chimneys and skylights</li> <li><strong>Exterior:</strong>&nbsp;Cracks or rot; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; adequate clearing between siding and earth</li> <li><strong>Window, doors, trim:</strong>&nbsp;Rotting frames, peeling caulk, damaged glass</li> <li><strong>Interior rooms:</strong>&nbsp;Water-stained ceilings, adequate insulation, and sufficient heating vents</li> <li><strong>Kitchen:&nbsp;</strong>Proper venting, no leaks under the sink, and cabinet doors and drawers operate properly</li> <li><strong>Bathrooms:</strong>&nbsp;Toilets flush properly, showers spray, and tubs are securely fastened</li> <li><strong>Plumbing:</strong>&nbsp;Drains flow properly; water has proper temperature and pressure</li> <li><strong>Electrical:</strong>&nbsp;Proper electrical panels and working light switches and outlets</li> </ul><h3><strong>How can you prepare?</strong></h3> <p>The home inspection isn&rsquo;t a test that you need to study for. But there are some things you can do before a home inspection to make the process go more smoothly.</p> <ul><li><strong>Clean and de-clutter your home:</strong>&nbsp;Yes, inspectors will look way&nbsp;<a data-omtag="web:article:content:link" href="http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/dazzle-home-appraiser-cleaning/" target="_blank">beyond the superficial sparkle of a clean home</a>. But you want to make sure they have&nbsp;easy access to attics, basements, and electrical panels&mdash;and aren&rsquo;t tripping over your kids&rsquo; toys while trying to do their job. Think of it as an early start to your&nbsp;<a data-omtag="web:article:content:link" href="http://www.realtor.com/advice/move/weird-packing-tricks-that-actually-work/" target="_blank">packing</a>.</li> <li><b>Get your paperwork together:&nbsp;</b>You should create a file with documentation of all maintenance and repairs you&rsquo;ve done on your home. If you&rsquo;ve had an insurance claim on your house, keep those papers together, too, so you can prove that you took care of the problem.</li> <li><b>Provide complete access to your home:</b>&nbsp;Make sure you unlock gates and doors to a shed or garage that doesn&rsquo;t have lockbox access.</li> </ul><p>You could consider getting&nbsp;<a data-omtag="web:article:content:link" href="http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/should-home-sellers-get-a-pre-inspection/" target="_blank">a pre-inspection to eliminate any surprises</a>; some sellers choose to&nbsp;hire their own inspector to give the house a once-over and point out any problems, so they can fix them before the buyer&rsquo;s home inspector arrives on the scene.</p> <p>But be careful with this tactic.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not a good idea,&rdquo; says<strong>&nbsp;Bill Golden</strong>, an&nbsp;<a data-omtag="web:article:content:link" href="http://www.billgoldenhomes.com/" target="_blank">Atlanta-area real estate agent</a>. &ldquo;If you have five different inspectors inspect the home, you&rsquo;ll get five different lists of items they&rsquo;re concerned about. Just because your inspector didn&rsquo;t have a problem with something doesn&rsquo;t mean the buyer&rsquo;s inspector won&rsquo;t.&rdquo;</p> <p>More important, if your inspector points out a problem, you&rsquo;re obligated to disclose it to buyers.</p> <p>&ldquo;This could be a potential turn-off to buyers,&rdquo; Golden says.</p> <h3><strong>Do yourself a favor, and leave</strong></h3> <p>Unless you&rsquo;re a glutton for punishment, give the inspector your cellphone number, grab your car keys, and go to a movie or out to lunch when the home inspector shows up. Your anxiety will only make everyone uncomfortable, which isn&rsquo;t a productive atmosphere during an inspection.</p> <p>&ldquo;Inspectors and buyers are not at all comfortable with the seller being present during an inspection,&rdquo; Golden says. &ldquo;They need to be able to freely inspect and discuss any and everything they come across. You may think you are being helpful by being present, but you are not; you are impeding the process.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;A home inspector&rsquo;s job is to point out each and every deficiency and safety violation they see,&rdquo; Golden says. &ldquo;Arguing with the buyers about an inspector&rsquo;s findings is not helpful.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;It may be agreeing to fix an item, it may mean giving them some money toward a repair, or it may simply be providing documentation,&rdquo; Golden says.</p> <p>An experienced real estate agent knows&nbsp;how to interpret inspection reports, which issues are vital to address, and which are red herrings designed to reopen price negotiations.</p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><em>Lisa Kaplan Gordon is an award-winning freelancer who&#39;s written about real estate and home improvement for realtor.com, Yahoo, AOL, and many others.</em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Selling Tips sellers Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:03:40 -0400 Maple Sugar Season in Western Mass! https://www.wandamooney.com/blog/posts/2017/03/24/maple-sugar-season-in-western-mass/ <p>The spring thaw is upon us and the sap is running! &nbsp; It is the ideal time to visit the local maple sugarhouses and enjoy some freshly made maple syrup on pancakes, waffles and french toast.&nbsp; YUM!! Treat yourself to my personal favorite, "maple cream" and have it on&nbsp;home&nbsp;made bread. &nbsp;When you visit the restaurants be prepared to wait in line but don&rsquo;t worry it will be worth it.&nbsp; You can watch the demonstrations on how they turn sap into syrup. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Below is the list of my favorite places! &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" class="featured featured featured" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.usmre.com/5577/blog/020.JPG" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; float: left; width: 250px; height: 188px;"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://davenportmaple.org/index.php/blog">Davenport Maple Farm, Shelburne, Ma</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.usmre.com/5577/blog/images.jpeg" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; float: left; width: 250px; height: 179px;"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/GouldsSugarHouse/">Gould&rsquo;s Sugar House,&nbsp; Shelburne, Ma</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.usmre.com/5577/blog/logo.png" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; float: left; width: 250px; height: 249px;"></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://williamsfarmsugarhouse.com/restaurant.cfm">Williams Farm Sugarhouse in Deerfield, Ma</a></p> Community Pioneer Valley Area Updates Franklin County Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:03:23 -0400