Attic Anxiety? Crawlspace Creeps?

This month I originally intended to discuss the pros and cons of pre-listing inspections, whether you as a seller should hire an inspector to identify any repair issues before your house goes on the market. But this led to my thinking about the broader subject of home maintenance which is really more important in my opinion.


So for pre-listing inspections, I’ll cut to the chase now and say that, in general, the answer is no, I don’t ask my client sellers to get their own inspection (unless they want one, of course) because 1. the buyer will likely hire their own inspector who will present a list of other concerns and 2. any major issues that are discovered have to be disclosed, potentially narrowing the pool of interested buyers.


(and this is a big “however!”)

This recommendation only applies to properties that are well maintained by homeowners who have regularly crawled in the attic, probed the basement, looked in the utility closet and poked behind the landscaping with a critical eye. Basically, if a home has been looked after, a pre-listing inspection probably won’t reveal any major surprises that would justify the expense and anxiety for the owner.

Over the years I have met a few sellers who were rather in the dark about the happenings in their home, owners who hadn’t noticed water spots on the ceiling or observed rotting trim work on the exterior or recognized rodent activity in the storage area. When I walk through a home for the first time with a seller, I’ll look for some of these obvious signs and make my inspection recommendation accordingly.


My opinion on this subject is that if you are not an intrepid home maintainer who can face the scary stuff, I recommend an inspection every 3 to 5 years whether you plan to sell your home or not. Houses need constant attention, especially in Atlanta where water is one of our worst enemies! It’s a good idea to have someone who has the knowledge and trained eye to scrutinize your property and help you maintain its value and beauty.

If you live in Atlanta and are interested in getting your home inspected, I can refer you to a few companies I use on a regular basis. Please call me and I will be happy to share that information with you.