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RISMEDIA, Nov. 10, 2007-Many homeowners and buyers have their eyes peeled on the housing market. While groups like the National Association of Realtors continue to manage consumer expectations and provide reassurance that the housing market will steadily improve by 2008, hopes can fall hard for homeowners who are preparing their home for yet another month on the market. In this buyer’s market, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) reminds homeowners that a pre-listing inspection or a general maintenance inspection can be a great tool for selling and maintaining your home.

“Pre-listing inspections (conducted on behalf of the seller) and general maintenance inspections are valuable investments for homeowners eager to sell their home,” said Frank Lesh, 2007 ASHI president. “Buyers today have the option to be choosy. A pre-listing or general maintenance inspection will help homeowners catch repairs before they become bargaining chips.”

In addition to the transaction going more smoothly, ASHI says that a pre-listing inspection ensures that sellers can enter negotiations with confidence regarding the quality of their home. That confidence often equates to more dollars in the sellers’ pocket.

Maintenance Checklist

According to the National Association of Realtors, one of 16 American households will buy a home this year. To make sure your home stands out from the crowd, consider using ASHI’s maintenance checklist, a helpful list of items around the house that should be evaluated and repaired year-round.

“People need to think of their home as a machine,” added Lesh. “If one thing is off balance, everything else is compromised. Our goal is to keep our customer’s homes working like well-oiled machines.”

Below are the top ten items to check-off your maintenance list this fall:

1. Check the chimney for deteriorated chimney caps or loose and missing mortar.
2. Check vents, louvers (a frame with horizontal and vertical slats on a building that is angled to admit light and air, but keep out rain and sunshine) and chimneys for birds’ nests, squirrels and insects
3. Check flashing around roof stacks, vents, skylights and chimneys which can be sources of leakage
4. Check the roof for damaged, loose or missing shingles
5. Check for leaking, misaligned or damaged gutters, downspouts, gutter guards and strainers
6. Evaluate your landscape and cut back tree limbs that may be growing too close to the roof. Also consider cutting back and trimming shrubs away from exterior walls
7. Check caulking for decay around doors, windows, corner boards, and joints. Recaulk as needed
8. Check glazing putty around windows as well as weather stripping
9. Check your faucets, hose bibs and valves for leakage
10. Keep your garage doors closed to conserve energy and insulate exposed water lines in cold climates

While some of the items on the list can be easily inspected by a homeowner, ASHI encourages homeowners to considering hiring an ASHI Certified Inspector to conduct a thorough pre-listing or general maintenance home inspection on their behalf, particularly on areas of the home that homeowners may not be familiar with or feel safe inspecting themselves.

For more information, visit