Nervous about home inspection, Parents reluctant to move


Dear David,

We are getting ready to sell our home and expect that the buyers might want a home inspection. What will they be looking for? – NERVOUS

DEAR NERVOUS: To ease your mind, I would suggest you hire a home inspector to do a pre-sale inspection of your home. By identifying possible concerns right off the bat, you can take pre-emptive steps to help the sale progress as smoothly as possible. Virtually every home inspection will uncover a “to do” list of things around the home. Here are some that we commonly see:

  • Eavestroughs: ensure they are free of debris and that the downspouts are pointing away from the house
  • Grading: the dirt around a house will inevitably settle over time, and sinking can cause water to run towards the foundation instead of away from it. Because houses are not waterproof, hairline cracks that would otherwise be benign can become an issue if water is not being dispersed away from the house
  • Furnace and A/C: have these units serviced and install clean filters
  • Attic: take a quick peek inside to make sure there is no “suspicious microbial growth” or any sign of a roof leak

While these particular issues are pretty common, a pre-sale inspection can uncover property-specific concerns that a buyer might have with your home. Even if there is nothing major, a lot of small things can add up in a buyer’s mind. If you’re concerned, it’s always a good idea to get ahead of a problem.


Dear David,

It’s time for my mom and dad to move, but they keep putting it off. What can I do? – CONCERNED

DEAR CONCERNED: The Greatest Generation often has concerns similar to those of other age groups, with one caveat. At this stage, I find that people feel more at ease once they know where they are going.

In my experience, I commonly see young buyers who are more willing to take chances; often, they have nothing to sell. Move-up buyers have likely dabbled in the market recently and may be more comfortable with buying and selling in parallel. Seniors on the other hand, are often more comfortable when their next steps are clear.

Taking stock of the available options (senior’s communities, retirement living, nursing care, etc.) can help clients to plan their next steps with confidence. Access to amenities, engaging activities, and the company of like-minded people can go a long way in helping all of us to feel happy and comfortable in our communities. Change is unnerving no matter what our age or stage, and having an idea of what to expect can help everyone to feel more comfortable.

Having overcome their uncertainty about what’s next, many seniors find they are able to move forward feeling much more relaxed and comfortable with the process.