Home inspectors sometimes get a bad rap, and it’s not usually fair. It’s not your fault if the wiring is outdated, the floor is soft, and the window and doors don’t align. You didn’t install the attic insulation upside-down and cause decades worth of condensation and mold.
But sometimes, bad news has a happy ending for the seller. Defects might kill one sale, and nobody is happy about that. But awareness of defects opens up opportunities to evaluate the home, make repairs, or upgrades and sell it later for a better asking price.
Here are the top 4 repairs and improvements a seller can make that bring the best return on investment at sale.
#1: Attic Insulation Upgrade or Replacement
Insulation can turn a chilly house into a comfortable home. If it’s inadequate, insulation has the opposite effect. Poor insulation can even cause new problems, such as attic condensation which leads to mildew, mold and wood rot.
Insulation is one of the least expensive home repairs with the higher return on investment. Here’s what the 2017 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report has to say about this project.
- National average job cost: $1,343
- Return on investment: 107.7 percent
- Value at resale: $1,446
#2: Entryway Door Replacement
The front door keeps the home and homeowners safe, plus it can add a lot to the home’s curb appeal. If the door is warped, dented or the jamb is askew from ordinary house settling, the home’s security and its visual appeal takes a hit.
An entry door isn’t expensive but brings a healthy return on the investment. Here’s what the report had to say:
- National average job cost: $1,413
- Return on investment: 90.7 percent
- Value at resale: $1,282
#3: Manufactured Stone Veneer
Let’s say the siding has seen better days. Maybe the vinyl is cracked or the aluminum has taken more than one hit from an errant baseball. Or maybe the old Masonite is beginning to rot along the sill plate. Unattractive or defective siding is an aesthetic nightmare and it doesn’t protect the house as well as it could. Manufactured stone veneer can completely change the look of the house, turning it from a sad and tired dwelling into a showplace.
Here’s what a seller could expect from a manufactured stone veneer upgrade:
- National average job cost: $7,851
- Return on investment: 89.4 percent
- Value at resale: $7,019
#4: Minor Kitchen Remodel
Home buyers love kitchens and baths, that is unless those rooms are outdated and inefficient. If the home inspection notes old appliances past their prime, loose wall tiles or bad flooring, a sale might stop in its tracks.
A minor kitchen remodel is expensive and the seller won’t recoup all of the costs at resale. However, this job could be the difference between a house that’s marketable and competitive and one that languishes on the market for months or even years.
Here’s what homeowners can expect:
- National average job cost: $20,830
- Return on investment: 80.2 percent
- Value at resale: $16,699
Home defects that lead to a canceled sale don’t make anyone happy. They’re disappointing for your customer, the prospective buyer. They have to start the home search from scratch again or hope that the seller will repair or lower the asking price. And they’re disappointing to the seller, as well, for the same reasons.
A home inspection that reveals major defects is often pivotal in the buyer’s decision-making process. But it can empower the seller with knowledge, too. Maybe they didn’t realize how important a new entry door really was. Or maybe they hadn’t been to the attic in years and didn’t know the insulation was toast.
As a certified home inspector, you’ll be the bearer of bad news on more than a few occasions. Just remember that for every unhappy revelation you find, there’s an opportunity for the seller to regroup, make a few changes and relist for more money than they ever thought they’d get.
If you’re ready to step into a new career as a certified home inspector, we’re ready to help. ICA School’s online education program is affordable, convenient and you’ll be certified once you’re finished. You’ll also be ready for the national exam or state equivalent. Enroll now and you could start your own business in a matter of weeks.