September 2003

Marketing Tips For Sellers

Getting Help

To identify the home components that are most in need of repair, many sellers now obtain pre-listing inspections before putting up the "For Sale" sign. The person best qualified to do this is an experienced professional home inspector.

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the leading international professional organization of independent home inspectors, is the recognized authority in this field.


ASHI sets the highest standard of professional performance and qualifies its members through examination of their technical knowledge and home inspection experience.

In addition, home inspectors who have been admitted to ASHI® agree to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics that prohibits them from engaging in any conflict of interest activities which might compromise their objectivity. This is your assurance that the inspector will not, for example, use the inspection to solicit repair work for himself or any particular contractor.


Over the years, ASHI has identified a list of common problems that typically appear on buyers’ home inspection reports. Early correction of these problems can increase a home’s appeal and its selling price. It also sets the stage for a favorable home inspection report for the buyer and thereby helps to expedite the sale.

The following 6-point checklist can help you achieve these marketing goals.


After size, style, and location, a home buyer’s primary concern is the condition of the home’s basic structure and major mechanical systems. Most buyers do not want to invest a great deal of money correcting problems in such critical areas.

A pre-listing home inspection of the visible and accessible home components can reveal most of these problems and include recommended repairs, if needed, on the following major items:

— roof structure and covering

— foundation, basement, and/or crawl space

— central heating and air conditioning systems

— electrical system

— plumbing system


A number of maintenance improvements are relatively easy and inexpensive to make, yet they can substantially improve a home’s appearance, efficiency, and comfort. A professional home inspector may make helpful maintenance suggestions, such as:

—trim trees and shrubs which touch or overhang the house;

—apply new caulking and weatherstripping as needed around windows and doors;

—clean gutters of debris and leaves; repair or replace cracked or broken gutters, downspouts, and extensions to ensure proper drainage;

—replace bathroom caulk or grouting where necessary to prevent seepage and improve appearance;

—ventilate closed basements and crawl spaces or install a dehumidifier to prevent excessive moisture build-up;

—regrade soil around the foundation as needed to keep water away from the house;

—replace dirty filters in the heating and air conditioning systems;

—have the heating and air conditioning systems professionally serviced;

—have chimneys professionally cleaned and install chimney hoods or caps as needed.


Fixing even minor items can go a long way toward improving that important first impression of your home. Here are some typical improvements which might be suggested by the home inspector’s findings:

—repair leaky faucets;

—tighten loose doorknobs;

—replace damaged screens;

—replace broken panes of glass;

—replace burned-out light bulbs;

—secure loose railings;

—repair and coat driveway;

—patch holes or cracks in walls and ceilings, then repaint;

—repair peeling wallpaper.


Home inspectors also pay attention to items relating to protecting the home and its occupants from danger. They can alert you to important safety precautions which home buyers will appreciate, such as:

— installing smoke detectors on each level;

— installing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) in "wet" areas, such as kitchen counter tops, bathrooms, and exterior outlets;

— keeping flammable products away from heaters, water heaters, and fireplaces.


An attractive, clean, and neat home will appeal to a buyer’s emotions. In addition to making repairs such as those listed above, remember to

— keep the lawn mowed and the house neat;

— clean the exterior walls and trim; repaint if necessary;

— open window shades and curtains to create a bright, inviting atmosphere;

— keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean since buyers scrutinize these areas.


It’s a good idea to assemble in advance various house records that can be used to answer questions from buyers and home inspectors. Specifically, you should have on hand:

— appliance receipts, service records, and warranties;

— information on the age of major components, such as the heater, air conditioner and roof;

— major component warranties (e.g. carpeting, siding, roof shingles);

— heating, water, and electric bills from the previous year.

In addition, keep areas clear to give buyers and home inspectors access to the garage, healing system, and electrical equipment.

Source: American Society of Home Inspectors

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

"We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.."

Franklin D. Roosevelt


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Ken Pharr

Re/Max Northeast

651 Exchange Place

Lilburn, Georgia 30047

**** Thank You****