Prepare Your House for Sale 

Structured much like a real estate inspector's checklist, this book takes readers step-by-step through the process of inspecting a home to determine its value, assets and problems.

"If used properly, this book will greatly improve your chances of getting the optimal price for your home without delays and additional costs due to a negative inspection report," promises author Bob Reemsnyder, a Connecticut-based home builder and inspector.

Reemsnyder explains how to inspect your home as if you were a prospective buyer, or the buyer's inspector. A checklist in the back of the book details what to look for, from loose or damaged siding on the exterior to corrosion on pipes and faucets beneath the bathroom vanity. He includes a guide to approximate repair or improvement costs for dozens of items that can affect the value of a home.

The process of looking for and identifying problems can be time-consuming, but it can help avoid surprises when the buyer's inspector shows up and it gives you the opportunity to make repairs in advance, or to anticipate the buyer's price adjustments.

"It is better to have major problems resolved prior to the home inspection, or at the very least, have readily available solutions at hand, than to have the home inspector be the first to identify potential problems," Reemsnyder suggests.

Although written for home sellers, Reemsnyder's text can also be useful to home buyers, helping them identify potential dry rot, squirrel damage, roof problems, stairway dangers, improperly installed insulation and other problems before hiring an inspector.

The Inspector's Guide 
Prepare Your House for Sale
by Bob Reemsnyder 
Lyons Press, 2005.

Approximate Repair/Improvement Costs

Carpenter Ant Treatment       $200 to 400
Lot Drainage Improvements   $500 and up
Porch Roofing Improvement  $1,000 to 1,500
Siding Replacement             $3,500 to 7,500
Tree Removal (per tree)         $300 to 1,000
Chimney Liner Insulation       $500 to 1,500
Heat Pump Installation          $3,000 to 4,000
Ductwork Cleaning                $150 to 400

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