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Seller’s nightmare: How to avoid a home inspection that kills the deal

Seller’s nightmare: How to avoid a home inspection that kills the deal

Despite many disruptions caused by COVID-19, recent reports are showing the real estate market hasn’t been significantly affected. And according to a May 2020 Crain’s Chicago report, in the Chicagoland area home prices have stayed steady. Low-interest rates, and possibly cabin fever, are motivating buyers and sellers alike. And many of them are looking to move fast, especially those who are now realizing their homes are failing the stay-at-home test.

There’s a whole laundry list that goes into prepping a house for sale and we know you want to get top dollar. In most cases, a real estate agent will provide guidance on some little things to fix so you can get the most bang for your buck.

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Even so, repairing before you sell can feel like a game of whack-a-mole. What’s most important to fix? Will this project really help me get a higher listing price? Will the buyers care about this or that? 

Agents often caution against spending too much on repairs before listing. There’s no need to go overboard but doing a handful of strategic repairs can actually save you money down the line.

What’s a seller’s nightmare? The home inspection that kills the deal.

After you accept an offer from a buyer, a home inspection will take place. Inspections are standard practice but if you skipped out on some key repairs, you could be in for a costly surprise. A buyer might try to use the inspection report as leverage to knock $1,000 or more off the home price.


Inspection reports can be long and daunting. If you’re unprepared, you might give in and lower the sale price or scramble to get all the repairs done before closing. Either way, you’ll end up paying far more than if you completed some common repairs upfront.

Fixer is here to help you fix an inspection report punch list!

Our home repair experts are your secret weapon this home-selling season. We can tackle your entire pre-sale repair list in a single visit so you can wow buyers.

Just bought a house and don’t know where to start with your inspection report? We can also take a look at the report and take care of many small repairs in a single visit. We can even help you prioritize which things should be fixed immediately.

Here are some of the most common repairs listed on inspection reports that we can fix fast:

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  • Tighten stair railings. Inspectors look for safety concerns like this.

  • Fix deadbolts.

  • Adjust door frames and jambs so they open and close freely.

  • Patch drywall.

  • Add GFCI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms. A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) monitors the amount of power going to a device plugged into an outlet to protect us from electric shock. Code now requires that GFCI outlets be put in any location that is close to plumbing (water).

  • Fix broken light switches.

  • Fix any leaky plumbing.

  • Replace window screens that are in bad condition.

  • Add caulking around exterior windows and doors. Inspectors are looking to see if a home is properly protected from outside weather and moisture.

  • Install working smoke detectors in required locations. This is a must to be up to code!

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Fixer is a trusted partner for real estate professionals including realtors, landlords, property managers, and homebuyers. We’re not licensed home inspectors, but we can do a walk-through of your property — in-person or by video. Our experts will spot things that might cause angst or worse down the line.

Also, check out our checklist of small home updates that can mean big cash.


Do you have gaps under the kitchen sink where mice can come in? Mismatched breakers in the service panel? Obvious haunting by the boy whose heart you broke in 7th grade? Fix it now, not later! We can manage your entire punch list so there’s no need to call multiple contractors.


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