Whether you’re looking to buy a home or selling one, the thought of the house falling into the failed sales category is heart wrenching. Whether a rejected mortgage, a low appraisal or failed home inspection, these nightmarish reasons are more likely and frequent reasons for a stop to be issued on a house sale. Regardless of area or location, projected failed house sales have shown a statistical increase in 96 out of 100 urban American metro cities. This apparent failed sales situation is largely seen in older and less expensive homes, compared to premium homes.

Apart from reasons like a prequalified buyer being denied a mortgage, or low appraisals from potential buyers, one of the main reasons house sales are vastly failing is the need for repairs or being unable to pass home inspection. While you might not be able to control the decision of the financing institution, or likely buyers’ quotes, you can work on home improvement to get your house an A+ on the inspection test.

Here are some great tips on how to get your house in top shape and ready for inspection before you put it up for sale.

Sellers want to sell

You probably can’t wait to move out of your current house and into one that better suits your needs and the needs of your family. Before you make that transition, it would be nice to take a look at your old place and consider fixing that squeaky door frame, replacing drafty, hard to operate windows, or replace missing roof shingles.  Quite often, simple improvements made to window or door frames can help you close on the sale.

Common defects a home inspector might find

It’s surprising how commonly safety violations and construction defects are reported during home inspections. Here is a quick list of a few likely defects a home inspector might look for while chalking up their report.

  • Roofing irregularities – Due to improper installation or normal wear and tear over time, your existing roofing material is likely to have problems. This doesn’t mean the entire roof needs to be replaced, merely certain areas require repair or replacement.
  • Ceiling stains – Even though your roof leaks have been repaired, a ceiling stain can put a potential buyer off, and certainly wouldn’t sit well with a house inspector. Ceiling stains are an indication of a water leak somewhere in the home.
  • Failed window seals – Commonly found in dual pane windows, the insulated glass looks foggy and stained. This is a common occurrence in thermal pane windows manufactured in the 80’s.
  • Rotting wood – Rotted and weathered wood can be found along the structure’s exterior or primarily where wood remains wet for prolonged periods at times. Places where rotted wood can be found are house decks, roof eaves, exterior window and door trim. Interior rotted wood can be found in or around plumbing fixtures like showers and tubs, or below toilets. If leaks go undetected or unchecked, it leads to dry rot where damage caused might be quite extensive.
  • Water intrusion – Water seeping into basements or between crawlspaces due to reasons like excessive groundwater, can cause extensive damage to existing structures. The situation however is quite simply remedied with the addition of roof gutters and by re-grading and diverting water away from the foundation of the home.
  • Electric hazards – Safety always comes first especially when considering the electrical service in a house. Make sure your house is electrically up to standards with grounded outlets, shock protective devices, and complete and proper wiring in all electrical panels. Also important are outlets with ground fault interrupters (GFI).

Unsafe chimneys and fireplaces – Issues also arise from chimneys and smoke stacks that have not been maintained or cleaned. Have these checked by a professional to make sure they are safe and functioning properly.