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"Taking the Mystery . . .  Out of the Home You Buy!"

Why have a Pre-Listing Inspection?


   When you list your home for sale, I’m sure you think it’s in pretty good condition. Are you really sure? Are you up for surprises when the “Buyer’s” Inspection Report is completed? Do you have the necessary information available to intelligently negotiate potential repairs?

  If the buyer's inspector finds a problem, itcan cause the buyer to get cold feet and the deal often falls through. At  best uncovered problems will cause delays in closing, and usually the seller pays more in repairs at the last minute, or has to lower the price of the home.

   Find out about hidden problems. Get them corrected in advance, on your terms. Or disclose the repairs, and reflect them in the purchase price. Otherwise, you can count on the buyers inspector finding them at the worst possible time, causing delays, grief and costing you more money.

   Here are a few problem areas that some sellers may be surprised with:



·          Does your home still have a Federal Pacific Electric Panel? These were installed in the 1950’s through the 1980’s. They are no longer made, but many safety hazards still persist with them. The only recommended repair with the FPE Stab-Lok Panel is to replace it. Many of the homes in and around Houston still have FPE Panels installed. Additional information about FPE Panels and breakers can be found here (http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm). The price to install a new electric panel can range from $1,000.00 to $2,800.00 depending on the Contractor and the extent of the work involved.

·           Another is the Zinsco Panel made by Sylvania. This is an older electric panel I stil ocasionally see during a home inspection. The breakers do not provide the level of over current and fire protection provided by most other electric panels and circuit breakers. This means homes with Zinsco and Sylvania Panels and breakers are at a greater risk of electrical and/or fire hazards. Additional information can be obtained from the following web site (http://www.inspect-ny.com/electric/Zinsco.htm). The replacement/repair to these types of panels may be less expensive. I recommend consulting a licensed electrician to evaluate and price out repairs. 

·          Do you have aluminum wiring in your home? Some homes were wired with aluminum wire between the mid 1960’s and early 1970’s. There is a potential fire hazard at the connections. It has been found that arcing at device (plugs, switches and splices) can become hot enough to start a fire without even tripping a breaker! The cost of rewiring a house can be expensive, however there are some alternatives available.  Proper devices can be installed. These are labeled CO/LAR. This means that the device is designed to be compatible with either aluminum or copper wire. Another alternative is called “pig tailing” with copper wire. This alternative is allowed by the National Electric Code, but not by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Additional information on aluminum wiring can be found at this web site (http://www.inspectny.com/aluminum/aluminum.htm). As a Home Inspector, I have seen many scorched breakers and connections due to aluminum wiring.

·          Does your home have Masonite siding? This is another product that is no longer on the market. The material, when introduced to the market, in my opinion was questionable then. The product was basically sawdust and glue pressed into several various styles of siding.  Once the factory surface was compromised, moisture entered the product began to swell and take in more moisture until it desinagrated and allowed moisture to get behind, into the structure. The rest is history. Unfortunately, not all homeowners can identify the type of siding on their home. If you do, this could be another surprise. There are still class action lawsuits in progress and some that have settled. The attached web site has additional information on Masonite and the status of the class action cases (http://www.inspectny.com/exterior/exteriors.htm#hardboard). A Quality Home Inspector will identify masonite siding if present. 



         THE BOTTOM LINE - Your listing agent will probally advise aginst a Pre-Listing Inspection, because he / she doesn't want to disclose any more than necessary.

        The Truth IS -  Disclosure creates a higher level of trust!  A good inspector will find the existing problems and you'll pay then. And probably more. 


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          JJH Home Inspections.com
           Joe Hruza
         TREC # 7520