If you are selling your home and you need to correct certain building defects, it is in your interest to take care of it before putting your house on the market. It’s important to highlight the best aspects of your house and to take care of any major problems before potential buyers see it. Be sure to follow local building codes while renovating. You might consider getting it inspected first yourself so that you are aware of what the buyers will see in an inspection report. The more serious problems there are with your house, the more leverage a buyer has for bargaining you down. A good home inspection will reveal any serious problems, as well as a list of small problems that are much easier to fix.
Potentially serious problems that could be dealbreakers include: current or recent evidence of termite infestation, mold (especially black mold) water damage, structural defects, EIFS defects, EIFS water damage, asbestos, radon exposure, or even, should a buyer choose to inspect for it, excessive lead paint (only a potential problem in pre-1980 homes). Some types of mold are toxic and can cause asthma and chronic sinus infections. The more humid the climate is, the greater the risk for mold. Water damage can start small and quickly morph into a major headache. Radon, a naturally occurring gas, can cause lung cancer, as can asbestos. Furthermore, all of these problems can be costly to fix, so many buyers will just walk away.
Please use this site as a resource for finding out more detailed information about these kinds of building defects and the effect they might have on your home’s resale value. Most of all, if you are experiencing problems with any of these issues, don’t despair. Remediation, while expensive, will save you money and trouble in the long run. Look for contractors who have experience solving your particular problem. In some areas (such as asbestos removal) certification is available for qualified contractors. Furthermore, even if you are a competent do-it-yourselfer, these are issues best left for professionals to handle, as they have experience with all aspects of remediation, including cleanup of hazardous materials. A contractor will be able to make sure that all work is done in line with your state’s building codes as well.
Your first step, whether you are buying or selling, is to have a home inspection done by a qualified building inspector as soon as possible so that you can correct any problems that may arise.