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Buying or Selling, What You Need to Know

Buyer or selling a home

Buying or selling, what you need to know. If you are going to be dealing with an FHA, VA or USDA loan below are a few tips. The loan process is not any harder, but may be a little longer than a cash or conventional loan. This article is to provide you with information to help you understand the most common issues that an appraiser looks for when he or she comes out to appraise your property. These are issues that will be required to be repaired before a home is approved for FHA, VA or USDA financing. If you are selling your home to a cash or conventional buyer, these issues are not as critical for the home to meet approval.


As you are preparing to sell your home, walk through and look for chipping or peeling paint, inside and outside. If you find any, you will need to scrape and paint these areas. If you find any unpainted wood, paint these areas as well.

Rotted Wood

While you are looking for areas that may need to be painted, have you found rotted wood? If so, repair or replace these sections. Paint all of these areas.


Roofs should have at least 2 or 3 years left of useful life and no more than 2 layers. If your roof has damage, you may wish to have a roofer give you an estimate of what it will cost to replace or repair the damage. There may be times when an insurance claim can help with this cost. You will need to speak with your insurance agent to see if your policy will cover the repair.


Repair or replace any broken or cracked windows.


Repair and holes or major cracks that you find in your ceilings, walls or floors.


Install handrails for any stairwells that have more that 3 steps, inside and out.


Remedy any infestations that you find, or any kind.


If you have any damaged or inoperable systems, please have these repaired.

Structural and Foundation

Do you know of any structural or foundation issues in your home? Call your foundation repair company and have someone come out to give you an estimate of what it will cost to have the issues repaired.

Crawlspace and Attic Areas

Make sure your crawlspace, if you have one, and your attic areas are accessible. The appraiser will need to look in these areas.

Smoke Detectors

Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order. If they aren’t, replace your batteries and/or replace your detectors. If you don’t have any, now is the time to get and install them.


Check and make sure appliances that are staying with the home (dishwasher, oven, garbage disposal) are in working order. The appraiser may test them.


While you are walking around outside, take a look at the tree branches and bushes/plants that are near your home. If tree branches are touching your roof, it will be ideal to have the branches cut away at least six inches. If you see bushes/plants touching the side of your home, trim them away at least six inches.

Drainage is important. If you have any standing or pooling water, you will want to correct the issue. Grading around a home is addressed by the appraiser.

The Appraisal

If the person purchasing your home is paying cash, you will more than likely not have to deal with an appraisal. Most cash deals don’t have one. But, a cash buyer may hire an appraiser so that he or she has an idea of what the market value of the home will be. In this instance, the appraisal is for the buyer’s knowledge and not a condition of buying the home unless it has been addressed in the contract.

With an FHA, VA or USDA loan, the appraiser will be coming out to look over the home. Whether buying or selling, what you need to know is important to help with a smooth sale. If the appraiser finds things that will need to be repaired, he or she will comment on these items and will make the appraisal subject to repairs. Once these repairs are made, the appraiser will come back out to the house to verify the repairs and then clear the appraisal.

Although this is a simplified list, these are the most common items that home sellers and home buyers deal with. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


Picture of Carolyn Shipp

Carolyn Shipp

Real estate has been my passion since I was in my 20's. I hold licenses in two states; Florida and Texas. I love helping people buy and sell their properties and I'm excited to help you find your dream property too. When you are ready, give me a call or send me a message! I look forward to hearing from you soon.


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