When buying a home, we research house information online to find homes that match what we want. As you prepare to sell your home, your real estate home professionals will ask you for all sorts of information and now that I'm starting to prepare my sister's condo for sale, I'm gaining a whole new perspective on why it's important to maintain your home and make upgrades every few years … and even I'm surprised and a bit nervous.
This is the second article in a series about Selling a House. As the trustee for my sister and legal owner of her condo, this transaction is less emotional for me. I'm able to look at the process and learn still more after buying 13 houses and selling 12. You can join our journey starting with Selling a House: A Plan and Team to Sell My Sister's Condo.
The House Information Your Home Inspector Needs
I often say we take our homes for granted. We expect clean fresh water when we turn on the faucet, the vegetables to be fresh when we take them out of the refrigerator and a quick cup of coffee when we're on the run in the morning. We rarely think about the magic that delivers all these things to our house, until something doesn't work. Then it's time to sell your house and guess what, your home inspector needs a lot of this forgotten house information.
Today's houses are magical!
Do you know where your water, heat & electricity come from?
Wondering what I'm babbling about? Sitting here looking at the “contact us” page that the home inspector asked me to fill out before we meet at my sister's condo later this week. You might fill the form out without giving it a second thought. I have to work a bit harder because I don't live there, so I'm having to guess at many of the answers.
Address of the inspection – that's easy but realtors will ask about schools and I have no idea.
Type of home – single family, multi-family, condo or townhouse (not sure why this matters).
# stories – 1, 2, 3 or more.
Year built – no idea so I went to Zillow and they show 1986.
Square footage – again no idea, so Zillow gave me 1,460 square feet (on Trulia, I calculated estimated price / cost per sq ft).
Number of bedrooms – 2.
Number of bathrooms – 1, and often a bathroom that only has a shower is a 3/4 bath … so what do they call a bathroom with separate shower and bathtub?
Number of half baths – 1.
Under the house – basement, crawlspace or slab (my sister's condo has a finished basement).
House Information – Where Water & Heat Comes From
Type of heating – oil baseboard, oil hot air (never heard of this before), gas baseboard (really?), gas hot air, electric, steam or don't know. I was thankful to check of “don't know” or I would have guessed gas hot air because there's central air conditioning.
Water supply – city, well or don't know and again because it is a condo, I said I don't know.
Waste – septic, city or don't know … and you know what I picked.
Electricity – wasn't one of the questions and I'm guessing that's because there's only one supplier.
Your Home Inspector Share Your House Information
Remember this is a seller “pre-listing” home inspection and we haven't picked our realtor yet. That's one of my goals for this visit (Selling a House: A Plan and Team to Sell My Sister's Condo), as we're doing a home inspection and getting punch list recommendations from three realtors.
Here's the real estate information requested by the home inspector, to be completed at a later date. Notice the other types of testing many buyers will request but we're not doing any of these.
Watch for our next article on realtor requests for information.