Homes are moving fast. Folks are on the move, and the housing market is on fire. It’s a great time to be selling a home, but that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind or leave everything to chance. Here are two important things for sellers to consider in this fast-paced period of home sales.

Stage Your Home

Staging your home gives you the opportunity to present your home to potential buyers in the best possible light. This is especially critical today when many buyers are shopping online for a new home. Just like we all need a bit of help to look flattering in an Instagram photo, homes need a bit of extra attention to help them look good in online photos and videos. Professional staging and high-quality photos will help your home stand out from the crowd, so it will sell fast. The following are all elements of good staging:

Pre-Inspect Your Home

In this market, one of the steps that buyers seem to be skipping is the inspection. A home check inspection can slow the process down by a week or so, which is why many buyers in a rush choose to forego this safety net. While this is a poor decision for buyers to make, you might find yourself wondering why an inspection matters to a seller. The truth is simple. Chances are good that something about your house needs to be fixed. Houses are complicated, and stuff goes wrong or wears out. When the buyer moves in and finds a problem that you didn’t disclose, even if you didn’t know about it, hassles and lawsuits follow. A pre-inspection done by the best home inspectors in Philadelphia protects you from these issues and gives potential buyers an accurate, objective picture of the condition of your home. Being forthcoming about your home provides a high level of transparency in the sale and can make the negotiating process smoother, which helps you and the buyer.

Set Up for Success

Eagle Inspections provides accurate home inspections in Philadelphia, PA, to sellers wishing to prepare their homes for a quick and easy sale. Contact us today about our pre-inspection services and set your home up for success.

Buying a home is very likely the single largest investment you will ever make during your life. It’s also the purchase you’re likely to know the least about. Even if you have owned a home before or you’re savvy about construction and other related issues, it’s important to acknowledge that houses are complicated and that lots of things can go wrong. Plumbing deteriorates, foundations crack, and electrical systems become outdated and unsafe. New home building inspections in Philadelphia, PA, are your best tool for learning all you can about your new home and protecting yourself from an unsound investment. Never finalize a home purchase without a home inspection.

Professional, objective home inspectors evaluate all the major systems in the home, including the following:

All the inspector’s findings are presented in a comprehensive report that effectively becomes the owner’s manual for your home. The report will identify safety concerns, outline system shut-off locations that you can use during an emergency, and give you a clear idea of what it will cost to maintain that home over the next 5-10 years. You can also use the report to tighten up negotiations with the seller.

Finding an inspector you can trust to be thorough and provide reliable information is critical. Your realtor will often be able to recommend a good inspector for you, or you can get referrals from friends and other acquaintances. Before you settle on an inspector, it’s a good idea to consider the following:

Training

Training and licensing for home inspectors varies wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As a result, your best bet for hiring a reputable inspector is to work with a company that provides rigorous training and requires certifications for all its inspectors. Technical expertise is absolutely critical. Don’t hesitate to ask about issues related to training and licensing.

Specific Experience

Many homes include features that require specific training and experience. Examples include the following:

Older Homes

Older homes need to be inspected by inspectors who have experience inspecting older homes. Plumbing, electricity, insulation, and other systems look very different in homes that are more than 25 years old and look extremely different in homes that are more than 50 years old. Your inspector needs to be able to tell you that your old pipes are working just fine.

Roofs

If you have any concern at all about the roof of your new home, a residential roofing inspection in Philadelphia, PA, is a must. Most inspectors will give the roof a broad overview and identify areas of obvious concern. But if you already have concerns, you’ll need a roof inspection. Some home inspectors will conduct full-scale roof inspections, while others will refer you elsewhere. Ask to be sure you can get what you need.

Other Features

Many other home features require specialized expertise. Pools, spas, and wood-burning heating systems are just a few examples. Be sure to ask if your inspector is qualified to give an opinion on the special features of your home.

Professional Organizations

Beyond training and experience, another to gauge the credibility of an inspector is to look for membership in professional organizations. Many of these organizations require their members to meet set standards for qualifications and training.

The Bottom Line

Don’t skip the inspection, and don’t hire an inspector without asking these important questions. Quality home inspections will help you buy your next home with confidence.

Buying a home is a big deal. Buying a home with confidence is the goal, and most buyers need a bit of help with this confidence piece. Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover or a car by how it looks in the lot, you can’t determine the health of a home in a 30-minute superficial walk-through. You’ve got to look below the surface at the underlying structure and systems to really understand the condition of a home. An honest, realistic, comprehensive assessment gives you the confidence you need to move ahead with the deal or walk away.

Pre-purchase home inspections provide that confidence, which is why they are a standard part of most home sales. Work with your agent to find an inspector and schedule a residential home inspection in Philadelphia, PA, prior to closing. The inspector will spend around two hours reviewing all the major components of the home, including the foundation, roof, electrical system, plumbing, and more. When finished, they will provide you with an inspection report detailing their findings that provides the following benefits:

Uncovers Unseen Issues

You might love the design feature of the home, the floor plan, or the location, but how about the plumbing? Do you know how to recognize the signs of a slow leak or whether the electrical system meets current safety codes? The following are common issues discovered by home inspectors:

These and other problems are subtle, but home inspectors will find them and let you know so you can make informed decisions.

Gives You Negotiating Power

The home inspector’s report gives you critical negotiating power. This report outlines the condition of the home, including any potential safety issues, structural concerns, and other defects. With this information in hand, you have what you need to make good decisions. If there are issues with the house that are significant and need to be addressed, you can consider the following actions:

The home inspection report is a valuable bargaining chip, but stay focused on the big stuff. You shouldn’t expect the seller to make every single minor correction listed prior to closing.

Helps You Plan for the Future

Many of the items listed in the home inspection represent normal wear and tear on the home and do not require immediate attention or remediation. They do, however, give you a road map of the maintenance the home will require over the next few years. Your inspection will give you a reasonable idea of the life expectancy of major appliances, the roof, the HVAC system, and other features. With this info, you can plan and budget for future repairs.

Call Eagle Inspections today for full residential inspections in Philadelphia, PA. Our home experts will help you purchase your next home with confidence.

Selling a home is a big project. It means lots of decisions to make, the hassles of listing and showing your home, plus a move to plan. In the middle of all this, your home is going to be inspected. Buyers depend on home inspections in Philadelphia, PA, to give them objective insight into the condition of the home they are buying. This extra insight allows them to buy with confidence, but it’s also an invaluable tool in planning for their future in their new home.

A lot is riding on this inspection, and the last thing you want as a seller is for the deal to unravel because of the home inspection. If you aren’t prepared, a botched home inspection can delay closing, weaken your negotiating power, or even cost you the sale and force you to start the process all over again. The following tips will help you avoid the worst outcomes and present your home in the best possible light.

Plan to Be Away

The urge to stick around for the inspection is understandable. After all, it’s still your home. But you need to leave and take your kids and pets with you. Inspectors and prospective buyers need the freedom and space to do what they need to do without interference. Home inspections typically take 2 hours, so plan accordingly.

Make it Easy

The inspector is going to examine every inch of your home. They also want to collect as much information as possible to help the potential owner understand the home. Making this easy leaves a good impression. The following are examples of ways you can assist the inspector (without being present):

Spend Some Time on the Roof and Gutters

Almost nothing will derail the sale of a home faster than problems with the roof. If your roof is due for a replacement or is in bad shape, get out in front of that and be prepared to offer price concessions for the work that will need to be done. If that’s not the case, there are still some things you should do.

Tidy Up

Home inspectors in Philadelphia know that a messy house isn’t equivalent to a damaged house, but there’s honestly something to be said for the good impression a tidy house makes. It’s not worth the risk; clean up and put your best foot forward. And don’t just clear the clutter and vacuum. Replace burnt-out light bulbs, install fresh batteries in some detectors, and put in a clean HVAC filter. Paying attention to these small details communicates to the inspector that you’ve taken careful care of your home.

Be Prepared

If you have any questions about home inspections, call Eagle Inspections. We’re here to help home buyers and sellers navigate the inspection process smoothly. We offer a full range of inspection services, including electrical inspections, plumbing inspections, radon inspections, roofing inspections, and more. Call today.

Sometimes real estate transactions need to move quickly. Buyers and sellers often find themselves wanting to move things along at a rapid pace, and, in these situations, it can be tempting to skip the home inspection. Before you consider bypassing a home inspection, let’s take a closer look at how long a home check inspection in Philadelphia, PA, really takes.

Factors that Affect Home Inspection Time

There are two things to consider when it comes to time and inspections: the time to complete the inspection and the time to get the final report.

Actual Inspection Time

Most home inspections take between an hour and half to 2 hours to complete. Several factors influence the duration of a home inspection, including the following:

Size of the Home and Property

All other variables being equal, smaller houses take less time to inspect than larger houses. Large attics and basements can also affect inspection times.

Location

The location of the home impacts the inspection. Homes located in dry, temperate climates often take less time on average to inspect than similar homes in wetter, more extreme conditions because drier climates are easier on homes than more challenging climates. Homes that are located in areas that experience major natural events also require closer inspection. Safety protocols require more intense scrutiny of homes that may be subjected to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, or other similar disasters.

Age

Older homes often take longer to inspect than newer homes because code violations and safety are bigger concerns. Inspectors will closely examine the foundation of an older home to ensure it is sound. They will also take a very close look at other potential safety issues, such as the electrical system and the presence of lead paint. There are often more items to look at in older homes, so the inspection typically takes longer.

Condition

Houses that are rundown and in bad shape require more extensive testing and will take longer to inspect than their well-kept counterparts.

Access

Attics, basements, and crawl spaces need to be accessed in order to be inspected. The foundation around the outside of the home needs to be visible and clear of landscaping or debris. The HVAC and the water heater need to be reachable by the inspector, as do water meters and other components. If access is significantly inhibited, the inspector typically will stop the inspection, request the changes be made, and reschedule for another day. This can delay the process quite a bit.

Systems

Some homes are more complicated than others. Additional items such as swimming pools, spas, water softeners, saunas, and other improvements will add time to the inspection.

Time to Get the Report

Once the inspection is complete, you need to have the report in hand before sealing the deal. Some inspectors have the ability to complete the report and have it approved digitally within hours of completing the work. In contrast, others can take a day or two to put everything together. Talk to your inspector ahead of time to learn their process so you can make your plans.

Is It Worth the Time?

Absolutely. Taking the time to complete a home inspection helps you negotiate a fair deal, avoid unexpected problems down the road, and sleep peacefully knowing you’ve made a smart home purchase. Eagle Inspections performs all kinds of home inspections, including residential roofing inspections, in Philadelphia, PA. Call us to schedule your home inspection today, and check out our blog for tips on how to make any home inspection go more smoothly.

Congratulations on your new home! Whether it’s the first home you’ve owned or one of a series of homes, a new home is always exciting. Now is the perfect time to make a maintenance plan. Your first step: accept that nothing in your home was made to last forever. Every single component has a useful life. As the coming months and years go by, your home will experience wear and deterioration, and some things may even stop working. It’s all part of homeownership. Following these seasonal tips will help you stay on top of home maintenance and hopefully avoid unexpected, expensive surprises.

Prologue: The Home Inspection

Before jumping to the tips, it’s worth taking a moment to consider your home inspection. Hopefully you included a whole house inspection as part of the closing process. The inspector reviewed all the major systems in your home and provided you with a report on their condition. Their report is your map. As you consider your plan for ongoing home maintenance, start with the inspection report. You’ll find issues listed there that require immediate attention, as well as others that require attention in the years to come. For example, the inspection report may state that the water heater has an expected remaining life of approximately two years; start saving now to replace that water heater and plan to be proactive to avoid flooding or other emergencies.

With the initial inspection report as your guide, it’s now time to incorporate the following seasonal tips into your home maintenance plan.

Spring

Your house takes a beating during the winter. Cold temperatures, winter storms, ice, and snow all take a heavy toll on your home. Now’s a good time to do the following:

Summer

Warm, dry weather is an ideal time to take care of these essential tasks:

Fall

It’s time to prepare for winter.

Winter

Cold weather brings your attention indoors.

Ongoing Inspections

Don’t forget your most important home maintenance tool: the home inspection. Accurate home inspections in Philadelphia, PA, done regularly, will help you stay on top of everything your home needs. Contact Eagle Inspections to schedule a whole home inspection today.

Buying a home is exciting! If you’ve found the right home at the right price, that’s a big deal, and it’s worth celebrating. It’s also worth taking some time to prepare before sitting down at the negotiating table. Houses are complicated; there’s a lot of important stuff going on beneath the surface. One 30-minute walk-through with your realtor is not sufficient to educate you on the home’s actual condition. That’s where the best home inspectors in Philadelphia come in.

Let’s take a brief look at the key areas inspectors focus on and how you can use what you learn when finalizing the sale.

Focus Areas

Home inspectors are focused on the big stuff, issues that affect the home’s safety and integrity. Key areas of attention include the following:

The Structure

Your inspector will examine the foundation’s fundamental components and look for any signs of decay or damage. They use visual inspection and several other tools to determine if the structure is sound.

The Roof

The home’s roof carries the lion’s share of the burden of protecting the home from rain, snow, wind, and heat. Your home inspector will take a careful look to see any evidence of stress or impairment. They look at gutters to make sure they are working properly to direct water away from your home and check flashings, eaves, and other related elements.

Electrical System

Electrical fires remain the number one cause of house fires in the United States, so inspectors look carefully at all system components. Circuit breakers, grounding, GFCIs, wiring, outlets, and fixtures are all subjected to the scrutiny of an inspector.

Water and Plumbing

Water can come from a variety of sources and cause expensive injury to homes. Inspectors will look for obvious signs of plumbing problems such as leaking pipes, slow drains, malfunctioning water heaters, or running toilets. But they will also look for less obvious indications of water issues, including the following:

What Can You Do?

Your house probably won’t score 100% on the inspection, but that’s okay. Read the inspector’s report carefully, ask many questions, and then take the big stuff to the negotiating table. You can ask the seller to make costly repairs, but keep in mind that they are not obligated to make them to your standards.

Sometimes a better solution is to ask for a price concession so you can make the repairs yourself. And, in extreme cases, it might be necessary to walk away and keep searching. Whatever you choose, a home inspection makes it possible to make that choice with confidence.

Call Eagle Inspections today! With the help of the best home inspectors in Philadelphia, you can make a safe and smart home purchase.

Ok. First of all, before we get too far, it’s essential to know that top quality home inspections in Philadelphia aren’t pass or fail. If you’re selling your home, your house probably isn’t at risk for “failing” a potential buyer’s inspection. The inspector’s job isn’t to give your home a grade; it provides the buyer with a comprehensive report detailing the house’s condition and alerting them to any potential red flags. The truth is, if you’ve lived in your home for a while, there’s going to be some stuff that needs attention. Homes are complicated and require a lot of maintenance. Your goal when going into a home inspection is not to present the inspector and the buyer with a perfect home, it’s to present a home that, even though it has some flaws, will not cause the deal to unravel.

Since it’s the big stuff that might pose a safety problem or that costs big money to repair that can cause a hiccup in the transaction, let’s look at 5 of the most common issues found during quality residential inspections and what you can do about them. Paying attention to these areas will go a long way to keeping negotiations in your favor:

The Roof

Roof repairs are expensive, and they can’t really be put off. No buyer wants to deal with the financial burden of a roof repair or replacement soon after buying a home, so if your roof shows wear, many buyers will walk away. Before the inspection, replace broken shingles, recaulk where needed, and repair worn flashing. Also, clean your gutters and make sure they are working to direct water away from your home.

Drainage

Inspectors look closely for any signs that water might be draining towards the foundation of your home. The landscaping around the home needs to slope away from the house, and gutters and downspouts need to direct water away as well.

Foundation

If your home has significant foundation issues, selling is going to be a challenge. You’re going to need to make the repairs yourself; even price concessions won’t help as new homebuyers don’t want the hassle of foundation repairs. Filling cracks and repairing sticky doors will help with any minor foundation problems.

Plumbing

If you have old polybutylene pipes, the inspector will note this on the report and recommend replacements. Making this upgrade ahead of time is a good idea. Beyond this, take the time to make sure your drains move smoothly, that your fixtures are free from drips, and your toilets don’t run. If you have an old water heater, be prepared to offer a concession.

Pests

Homebuyers run from pests. Have your home treated by a professional pest control company before the sale.

The Bottom Line

Whole-home inspections in Philadelphia are stressful for sellers, but with a bit of preparation, you really can’t fail. Help your home put its best foot forward with fresh caulk, thorough pressure washing, and excellent cleaning. Tackle the cosmetic issues and anticipate the concerns buyers might have about significant systems in the home. Disclose freely and be prepared to negotiate. Then trust the process. Everything will work out fine.

Selling your home is a big project. Discerning home buyers look at everything closely and make notes of any and all repairs and accurate home inspections in Philadelphia, PA, can uncover issues with your home that can put a wrench in the deal. Home inspectors see all kinds of houses in pretty much every condition imaginable. Follow these top resale tips from home inspectors to make your selling experience smooth and hiccup-free:

Watch for Water

Water causes innumerable problems for homes and any sign of water damage is enough to completely derail a sale. Prior to listing your home, do the following:

None of these issues are particularly difficult to tackle in terms of time or money, but they’ll make all the difference when selling.

Keep Good Records

Keep receipts and service records for all major appliances and systems. Providing inspectors and potential buyers with careful records communicates that you’ve taken care of your home. Boilers, septic systems, HVAC systems, and cesspools are particularly important to service regularly.

Do Some Cleaning

While clean and tidy homes show well, there are a handful of especially important details.

Paying attention to these small details makes a solid impression.

Have a Pre-Inspection

The best way to avoid surprises down the road is to have your home inspected before listing. Big-ticket items like roofs, plumbing systems, and HVAC systems are the most likely to cause a deal to fall through. Finding and resolving these issues ahead of time gives you the chance to decide how you want to handle them. You can choose to make the repairs yourself or disclose the issues and adjust the sales price. Either way, you get the opportunity to call the shots.

Prepare to Succeed

Following these tips will prepare you to succeed in selling your home. Anything you can do to help potential buyers feel confident contributes to a smooth and successful sale. Eagle Inspections provides quality home inspections in Philadelphia, PA. Our home experts will conduct a thorough pre-sale inspection to help you identify potential issues and help you prepare to sell your home.

Home inspections are a good idea anytime. Your home is your biggest investment; take care of that investment with regular system inspections from Eagle Inspections.