Let’s Go On A Spring To-Do List “House Hunt”

Last time we talked about sprucing up your home for sale (or your own enjoyment) by staging. In this issue, let’s discuss the more “structural” aspects of your home. As you’re probably aware, your home will require an inspection as part of a sale transaction. Even if you plan to rent or even stay in your home, these same elements are important maintenance items.

Typically when we are going through our home, we don’t notice obvious problems because we’re around them every day. Then when we go to sell or rent, suddenly there’s a huge overwhelming laundry list of problems to deal with. Or, if you plan to stay in your home, you don’t notice a problem until something breaks and there’s a crisis.

What if instead, this spring we found the “hidden” issues before they became problems… kind of like an egg hunt! Let’s play “house hunt” by taking a pen and paper and inspect your home for the following issues (feel free to print out this article as a guide):

1. Structural – Check the following areas for cracks and irregularities:






2. Mechanical – Check to see if the following are in safe working condition:

Heating and air conditioning



Sprinkler systems

3. Electrical – Do all of these elements work properly? Do they all seem safe?

Fuse panel / Circuit Breakers




Exhaust fans

4. Plumbing – Check for leaks and clogs.


Vent Pipes




5. General – How does your home rate on the attractiveness of these:


Natural light

Paint condition Appliances

Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors

Garage and entryways


Condition of driveway/sidewalk

Condition of window frames, trim, shutters

Now that you’re done inspecting your home, what did you find?

If you’re like most of our clients, this list gave you several “aha” moments! Your inspection might also have turned up an overwhelming number of things to fix.

All of the areas you inspected will affect the selling price of your home. Some are perceived value (like landscaping) and some are important safety issues (like electrical or plumbing).

To avoid overwhelm, here is a way to sort out the new “problems” you’ve discovered: Think safety first. Anything having to do with electrical or mechanical should be done first. Also any tripping hazards or structural integrity issues should be near the top of your “to do” list. After you’ve determined the urgent, then list what would be “nice.

Develop a reasonable time frame to get all of your repairs done. For example if you want to rent or sell this summer, how much time do you need to get the work done? Finally, put time on your calendar to work on repairs. Remember even if you are not personally going to do the work, you need to allow time for the person you hire to get the work done.

Donna J. Seymour