Monday, 23 June 2014

Pre-inspection can make a home more attractive to buyers

Pre-inspection can make a home more attractive to buyers


·         Jeanine Matlow

Whether you plan to buy, sell or stay put for now, a home inspection can be a valuable tool in different situations.

Though the housing inventory in Metro Detroit remains low, Jim Dietrich, certified home inspector and owner of AAA Home Inspections in Flushing, is still in the midst of his busy season.

As he explains, “The purpose of a home inspection is to identify the condition of the home, especially defects or safety issues that would affect the buyer’s decision.”

While Dietrich recommends a full home inspection for potential buyers, he also suggests considering a radon inspection, which is separate.

“Your neighbor’s could be high and yours could be low,” he says.

His most prevalent find during inspections is a lack of ventilation in the attic. Water issues are common, as well. Sometimes a situation in the basement can be resolved by extending the downspouts or increasing the grade around your house to drain water away from the foundation.

Whenever selling, it’s smart to stay ahead of the game.

“It’s very important for the seller to do a pre-listing inspection to identify items that they can easily fix,” says Dietrich. “It might not be anything major, but first-time buyers can get overwhelmed by too many issues.”

“It is the inspector’s job to describe and identify those problems,” says Dietrich, who spent 30 years as a licensed builder before transitioning 10 years ago.

He recommends finding someone with a track record and experience.

A maintenance inspection is an option for anyone not planning a move that has lived in the same house for years without a thorough check of its overall condition.

“A lot of issues might relate to the exterior that people don’t see every day,” says Dietrich. “Over time, they can really create a problem.”

Though some homeowners have components like their furnace checked regularly, Dietrich says it’s not a bad idea to have an HVAC professional, a plumber and an electrician look for major problems once a year. He has discovered everything from extremely high levels of carbon monoxide during a visit to a friend’s house to faulty wires while working.

When he first started doing inspections a decade ago, the process took many hours to complete and record. Today’s technology makes it easier on everyone, says Dietrich, who has progressed from a three-ring binder and a notepad to a camera and a clipboard to an app.

The state of homes has also improved since many sellers prep their properties before putting them on the market.

“Staging homes and making major repairs in advance helps them sell,” says Dietrich. “Everybody is more aware of big issues like roofing.”

Because move-in-ready homes are more common, Dietrich doesn’t always find major issues.

Still, he says, “On average, there are lots of minor problems that can become major.”

For information, contact Jim Dietrich at (810) 241-3651 or go to

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at

From The Detroit News:

Sarah Turner
New Zealand Operations Manager

Ph: 09 834 7936
Mob: 022 043 1226
Toll free: 0800 86 36 36

Client referrals are our greatest reward. If you know of anyone who can benefit from our building inspection services, please do not hesitate to let me or them know. I would appreciate the opportunity to assist.


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