Look for Code Violations Before You Sell

jansellingCode violations can extend the homeselling process—even halt it altogether. It’s a solid investment to hire a home inspector before placing your home on the market.

A quality home inspector knows local codes—from electrical, plumbing, building, structure and more. They can help sellers understand any code violations and the steps and costs necessary to become compliant. When the city records a violation, a fee is assigned to the property. Because violations don’t appear as a lien on a title search, it can be difficult to determine whether a sanction has been assessed that will delay closing.

Violations can include the presence of garbage in a yard, maintenance issues, overgrown lawns, non-sanctioned improvements, safety issues or other dangerous items needing repair.

Here are some of the most common inspection problems:

Bedrooms: All rooms listed as bedrooms must have an operating window with 30 square inches of clearance for fire escape. Bedrooms also must have heat. If a home is listed with three bedrooms, and one does not meet both these requirements, it cannot legally be called a bedroom.

Furnaces and compressors: Rust in the heat exchange is a common problem that shows up on inspections. So is missing insulation where required by code at the time the house was built, or, at the time improvements or replacements were installed.

Electrical: Common violations include junctions not enclosed in a junction box, a lack of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, or reverse-polarity on outlets.

Life-saving equipment: Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are required by law in most states. Not having them—or not having the proper kind—is considered a code violation.

Plumbing: Violations can include everything from dripping faucets, to loose toilets, to improper drainage.

Structural damage: Common code violations include rotting wood trim around windows and doors, rotten or delaminating siding and missing flashing on roofs or above windows and doors.

Extra rooms: Some homeowners renovate basements or add sunrooms without permits. Be sure your improvements and additions are backed by the proper permits and resulting inspections.

Don’t hurt your sale because of code violations that can easily be fixed. Get an inspector, make the changes and enjoy the comfort your efforts bring when your closing comes to fruition.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

Selling your home? Consider a professional home stager.

vase“You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”

A statement that rings true in real estate. Buyers are quick to jump to conclusions about a home after a single glance. That’s why more sellers are turning toward professional home stagers to prepare for a sale.

A lot of what staging accomplishes occurs on a subconscious level—creating a positive link between your house and the prospective buyer. It’s easy enough to repaint after moving in, but first impressions are difficult to undo.

With the vast majority of buyers searching first on the Internet for homes, photos and virtual tours are extremely important in the selection process. Staging, as a priority instead of as a last resort, will give sellers key advantages.

A professional stager will:

Help eliminate clutter: That means picking up shoes from the hallway, removing papers from tables and furniture and even taking down personal items that add to the unnecessary clutter such as diplomas, pictures and trophies.

Consider buyer demographics and buying psychology: They use design elements in planning out the rooms, space and lighting. They understand traffic patterns to highlight positive attributes of a home while downplaying its negative features. They know not to overwhelm potential buyers with wild colors and furniture, even if you think it makes your home “special.”

Remember, making your home look like a model rather than lived-in can make all the difference in selling a home.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!