Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Home Selling Tip

You've put your home on the market, spruced it up a bit, and dutifully prepared it for the open house as per your real estate agent's advice, but what about the inevitable home inspection? Is your home ready?

We know from experience there are many items often overlooked when it comes to home sale preparation; and although most are easily corrected, many are passed over. So, each month here on our blog, we talk about one and tell you how you can address it. Take it one step further and read our bonus tip to discover how you can be a Stellar Seller, and go above and beyond to put your home's best foot forward!

Home Preparation Tip of the Month

The Problem Area
You have light switches/fixtures that don't work or have mystery functions. If there's a switch, it should do something. There should be a working light bulb so that people can see it in action, and the switch should not come with any warning labels! (We've seen our fair share of homeowner notes and signs attached to funky (and dangerous) fixtures). Don't leave any questions about the integrity of your electrical system and make sure all fixtures work properly and safely.

The Fix
Test each of the fixtures in your home prior to the inspection. Be armed with fresh light bulbs and make sure each fixture has a working bulb. If a fixture still doesn't work, it's time to troubleshoot.

If the good bulb does not work, there could be an issue with the fixture itself or the circuit breaker. Check to see if the breaker has been tripped. If the breaker is set to "off," simply reset the breaker by sliding it to the right. Note: Only reset the breaker ONCE. If it trips again, call an electrician right away. After resetting the breaker, the light should turn on.

If the light does not illuminate after trying the above fixes, there could be an issue with the wiring. STOP. Looks like you may need an electrician for further evaluation. At this point, finish checking all the other fixtures in the house and replace any bulbs that are not functioning. If you have fixtures/mystery switches that still don't work and you're not sure why, then it's time to contact an electrician for some help. This may seem drastic for a few light fixtures, but it's better to address it now, and have all your fixtures working properly for inspection, rather than leaving questions in the inspector's (and the buyer's) mind on inspection day.

Be a Steller Seller
Why stop at replacing bulbs, when you can upgrade too? Consider upgrading a high-use fixture with a compact flourescent bulb. (CFLs) use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer!

Stay tuned for the next tip!

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