If you’re trying to sell your home, you’re probably getting used to greeting strange faces and showing off the finest points of your property. You’re likely to be pretty familiar with the drill by now. They check out the size of the rooms, ask questions about the neighbourhood, and inspect walls and carpets up close.
You shouldn’t forget that prospective buyers will also be taking an intense interest in the structural condition of the house, even if they do not ask questions about it directly. This means that they’ll be on the lookout for cracks in the plaster, broken tiles on the roof, and patches of mould or damp on ceilings.
To make sure that the structural aspects of your home pass the test, read this guide to spotting signs of trouble before buyers do.
Broken Roof Tiles or Gutters
One of the first things that prospective buyers check out when they arrive at a new property is the state of the roof. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, it’s easy to scrutinise on the approach to the property, so it makes a good place to start the inspection. And second, the condition of the roof actually says a lot about the structural health of the home; not to mention the degree of care and attention provided by its current owners.
Broken or cracked roof tiles are an opportunity for moisture to get into the roof and cause water damage. Broken gutters present much of the same problem; cracked gutters cannot channel rainwater away from the foundations, so it pools around them and increases the risk of flooding. Therefore, a new owner would need to invest in professional roof restoration which can serve as a major deterrent.
Cracks in the Interior Walls
This next issue can be a tricky one, because it doesn’t always represent a structural problem. Nevertheless, a prospective buyer may not realise this and allow this factor to influence their purchase decision. This is why all cracks in interior walls, even small ones, should be repaired and restored before property viewings start.
If prospective buyers do spot cracks in the plaster, be prepared to answer questions about why they might have appeared. Visitors may wish to check the outside of the building as well, to make sure that the breaks aren’t a structural hazard. You should, of course, have already checked this yourself. If the cracks do show on both sides of the wall, you are looking at a major structural problem – get it repaired right away.
Damp or Mould in the Rooms
It is not uncommon for unscrupulous sellers to try and disguise signs of damp and mould, so that they do not have to repair them before they hand over liability. Fortunately, buyers have gotten very savvy about this in recent years and have made it a habit to check for indications of mould and water damage. They keep an eye out for discoloured patches of wallpaper and stains on the roof, as well as nosing around for that distinctive smell.
What this means is that you should never try to paper over or conceal mould damage. While it can be costly to fix, particularly if the damage is extensive, it is always better to deal with the problem head on. Get a mould damage specialist to come out to your house and remove the affected part of the wall. They will also completely dry out the area, using special equipment. Once this is done and the mould spores are eliminated, you can fill in and repair the wall.