New home or not so new, it pays to know what to look for regarding
its structure, equipment and surroundings. Though a final assessment
can be made by an inspection service company, this checklist can
serve as a reminder of what you should look for - in order to make
a wise buying decision.
- Foundation. Check floors and walls for evidence of water seepage
or moisture problems. Minor settling cracks not structurally significant.
- Drainage. Sump pump for foundation draining. Crawl space dry.
- Termite and wood rot. May require inspection from qualified exterminator
for existing and potential problems.
- Floors. Condition of flooring, whether plank or plywood. Solid
construction of bridging and joists.
- Walls. Condition of walls, whether drywall or plaster. Absence
of water marks.
- Attic. Sufficiently insulated and ventilated.
- Fireplace. Damper in working order, flues to chimney clear.
- Heating. Type of plant...minor periodic maintenance required
- oil fan motor, lubricate bearings, clean humidifier, replace
- Hot water system. Type and gallon capacity. How long present
unit in service (if older home).
- Electrical. Standard house current, number of circuits, outlets
and circuit breakers sufficient for everyday needs. Condition of
- Plumbing. Good water pressure throughout house. Tie-in to local
water supply and sewage disposal system. Pipe joints clean and
- Appliances and fixtures. Range, refrigerator, dishwasher/disposal,
laundry facilities, etc. all in working order. Accommodation for
gas grill hook-up. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures in good shape.
- Lot and landscaping. Grading level or properly contoured. Trees
and shrubs sufficient for needs. Fences, walks, patio and driveway
in good condition.
- Exterior walls. Type suitable to weather conditions, need for
any periodic maintenance (painting).
- Doors and windows. Easy to open and close (or replace) for storm/screen
removal or installation.
- Roof. Gutters and downspouts in good condition. If older home,
how long have shingles been in use? (Normal 20-25 year life-span.)
Chimney flashing tightly caulked.
- Garage. Doors or opener in good working order. Sufficient electrical
and heating access.
Make sure you’ve done everything you can - inside and out - to
make your home as attractive as possible in the eyes of the buyer.
First impressions last. And homes that look their best tend to sell
faster and command every dollar they’re worth. Use this checklist
when preparing and showing your home for sale.
- A fresh coat of paint for home, garage, even fences - may be
the one improvement that creates the most positive first impression.
- Lawn trimmed, clear of debris.
- Gutters sealed and downspouts clean.
- Tidy front entrance. Door brass polished, worn trim or rusty
mail box painted.
- Storms and screens cleaned. New doormat put out. If possible,
keep front curbside free of parked cars.
- Painting inside walls can pay dividends far beyond the time,
effort and expense involved.
- Tend to "little things" - oil squeaking doors, tighten loose
cabinet knobs, take out removable stains, replace damaged floor
- All windows, doors and drawers should open and close easily.
Fasten loose tread plates, clean soiled carpeting.
- The kitchen is the one place in the home that buyers look at
closely. Tighten leaky faucets, repair faulty wall switches, outlets,
light fixtures and any appliances that will "go with the home."
- The bathroom gets close scrutiny too. Keep it spotless. Tiles
scrubbed and grouted, faucets polished, toiletries and medicines
in their chest. Laundry items in a closed hamper.
- Cleaned windows and clear, uncluttered closets and basement contribute
to a more attractive home.
- Clear out accumulated items from closets, cabinets and under
counters - also from the garage. Consider holding a garage sale
prior to showing your home.