The Importance of the Basement in the Home Sale
Monday, February 13, 2012 • 12:07pm
When a house is under contract for sale, the buyer will usually retain the services of a home inspection company to report on the overall condition of the house. The home inspection is a comprehensive exam of the building from roof to basement and everything in between. This usually includes all the systems such as HVAC or heating, plumbing, electrical, alarms and sprinklers.
The home inspection service usually ranges from about $500 to $800 depending on the company. The home inspector gives value for his service by finding things wrong in the house which the buyer can then use in price negotiations with the seller.
Because many of the “big ticket” items are in the basement, most home inspections begin there.
Here are some things the home inspector will look for when examining the basement.
- Evidence of Water Intrusion
- Vertical Settlement Cracks in Walls
- Horizontal Structural Cracks in Block walls
- Floor Cracks
- Bad smells
If these conditions exist, the home inspector will find them. They will have to be corrected before the closing can take place. How many lost opportunities will pass by because people don’t want to inherit the problems associated with the basement? How many offers won’t be made?
When buying a home, the condition of the basement is one of the most important factors that a young family will consider. This is where some expansion of living space can occur without a costly addition. The buyers want to look at the basement like a clean, blank canvas and envision where the playroom or home gym will go. The buyers want everything in the basement like clrack repairs, waterproofing and painting already done for them. They don't want a house with basement issues.
Most basements can be made to look great in a short time for a relatively small amount of money. Think of it as staging the basement. The prettiest girl at the dance get her dance card filled up first and the houses with great basements sell faster.
Which basement helps to sell the home, the ugly one or the painted one? Which basement deters from the sale of the home, the wet looking one or the healthy looking one?
If you want the house to be easier to show and thus easier to sell, the homeowner should have the basement made healthy and clean before the house is shown to prospective buyers. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
Many times homeowners will clean up the basement before offering the home for sale because they already know the importance of the basement in the sale of their home. When you make suggestions about the basement it won’t be shocking to them.
We give free estimates for sellers looking to make their basements ready for showing.
For buyers we check basements for evidence of water intrusion, vertical settlement cracks in walls, horizontal structural cracks in block walls, floor cracks, mold and bad smells. We then prepare a written report stating our findings and proposing work to be done with an itemized estimate to help in the negotiations. The $350 cost for this inspection would be deducted from any future work ordered by the buyer.
Doug Lynch is owner of A1 Basements in Scotch Plains, http://www.a-1basements.com/
Doug Lynch is a basement expert from Westfield, NJ where he lives with his wife Kelli and their dogs Sammy and Angie. Doug teaches a class at Westfield Adult School “Keeping Your Basement Dry” and is the Author of Basements 101 Everything You Need to Know About Your Basement. Doug has testified in NJ Superior Court as an Expert Witness in Basement Waterproofing and does seminars for local Real Estate Agents to educate them about basements. Doug is the owner of A-1 Basement Solutions in Scotch Plains and authors the popular BASEMENT SCHOOL Blog.
The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.