The Importance of a Pre-Listing Inspection

I asked Aaron Cunningham, Owner & Certified Home Inspector at Pillar To Post Home Inspectors to share his wisdom on the importance of a pre-listing inspection…enjoy!:

You invest a great deal of time, money, and energy to market your listings, and you need to get a good return on that investment. Don’t be caught unaware of problems that could seriously undermine your dedicated efforts to sell a home, or that could keep a property from selling at its highest potential price. One of the best steps you can take to avoid this is to recommend a professional home inspection prior to listing.

A pre-listing inspection can uncover previously unknown problems – major and minor – allowing sellers the opportunity to make repairs, updates, or replacements as needed or as they wish. By addressing these issues before the home goes on the market, you can list a home with greater knowledge of its condition. This can result in cleaner offers and a smoother transaction for both parties. Having well-informed sellers and buyers will work to everyone’s advantage, including yours.

Be sure that the home inspection is comprehensive and that you will get the report immediately upon completion of the inspection. This will allow your sellers to get the information they need right away, so they can decide on their next steps prior to listing. Photographs should also always be part of a professional report so that full documentation of conditions is available to both the sellers and potential buyers. This is especially important when it comes to issues that might not be addressed or repaired prior to sale.

With a pre-listing inspection in hand, you can market your home with greater confidence.

Aaron Cunningham

Owner/Certified Home Inspector

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Tel 610-322-6130

Cel 610-322-6105




What Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs To Know


Being a first time home buyer is exciting, scary and overwhelming all at the same time. It’s like driving in a wooded area with no GPS trying to make it to the other side alive. Make sure you find an experienced REALTOR that can guide you & prepare you to the upcoming obstacles.

Here are a couple of things I think you should know as you start your journey to find a home:

  1. Choose a REALTOR that you are comfortable reaching out to & asking ANY question. One that is available to you and can work with your schedule. Also, if you choose one that is a member of a team – find out how does that really work; will you see your REALTOR while showing homes and then work with someone else once under contract? – how do you feel about that? Be honest with yourself on how much you need hand holding and understand that it is PERFECTLY normal to NEED help 🙂
  2. Get PRE-APPROVED! Reach out to at least one mortgage loan officer and find out what your buying power is. This will allow you to stay within your budget and when need be, you are prepared to put an offer.
  3. You started looking at properties online and the first thing you go by are PICTURES. Well, I am here to tell you that PICTURES LIE!!!. What do I mean? If you see pictures and the house looks gorgeous – Ask your REALTOR to schedule a showing for you. If you see a house with horrible pictures (or none at all) but the details make sense (location, size, number of rooms, etc) – Ask your REALTOR to schedule a showing for you. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t avoid seeing home just because the pictures are bad…which leads me to the next point.
  4. Choose GOOD BONES…You can always add granite counters in the kitchen and hardwood floors but if the structure of the home & size don’t fit you – move on. Don’t fall for a home that is ‘pretty’.
  5. LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! – You cannot move a house no matter how hard you try. If you don’t like the location – keep looking.
  6. Do your homework – Don’t just rely on online school ratings ( Schedule time to visit the school and meet the staff. Establish YOUR OWN opinion.
  7. Remember that there is NO perfect home…but there is one that is perfect for you and what you need or at least very close to that.

Have fun!!! I am here to help if you have questions.

Happy house hunting ~ Sigal

Real Estate Advisor: January

Real Estate Advisor: January 2015
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New Year To Dos for Your Home

With the start of a new year, it’s always a good idea to assess your home and its needs. Taking stock of appliances, home systems, and other items that make a house a home will help guide you to home improvements needed, appliances that may be near the end of their lives, and any other updates that can help to boost your home’s worth. Listed below are major home systems to evaluate in the new year to help give you peace of mind.


In the winter and summer months a home’s HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems are put to good use. January is the perfect month to replace disposable filters or wash permanent ones in your home’s HVAC or humidifier systems. Filters should be regularly replaced or washed when use is high or during peak seasons.

The start of a new year is an excellent time to vacuum all heat vents, especially those that are located on the floor. The vents are overly susceptible to dust, dirt, pet hairs, and other particles that float through the air. Vacuuming heat ducts helps clean your home’s HVAC system and can help with any problems brought on by indoor pollutants, mold, pollen or anything else that finds its way into an air duct. Vacuuming has also been known to help with any heating or cooling issues related to clogged air ducts. January is also a good time to check for any leaks in your home’s forced air heat ducts. If any are found, seal the leaks with duct tape.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Checking alarms and detectors is especially important when cold temperatures in the winter leave homes closed up. This month inspect, clean and test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and be sure to replace any that are faulty, no longer working or old.

Fire Extinguishers

Very few homeowners actually have to use a fire extinguisher; many times these important tools get overlooked for maintenance. January is a great time to inspect and charge any working fire extinguishers you may have in your home. Fire extinguishers should also be placed in all accessible areas of the home where fires are more likely to occur: kitchens, garages or areas that house furnaces, boilers, fireplaces and stoves.

Fire Evacuation Plan

Do you have a plan in place in case of a fire in your home? January is the perfect time to form a fire evacuation plan. Go over the plan with anyone who might live with you, and if you have kids dedicate a time to have a practice fire drill. Should your home’s bedrooms be on a second or third floor, invest in a fire escape ladder, many of which can be found at your local hardware store.

Leaking Windows and Electrical Outlets

With winter setting in, finding the weak points in your home will not only help keep your home warm, but it will also help cut down on heating bills. Identify any windows that may have broken seals by looking for condensation on the inside of the window. Examine electrical outlets throughout your home for any drafts, and insulate those that may be letting in cold air.

Check and Test GFCI Outlets

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are a must have in your home. These special outlets protect people from electric shock by monitoring the amount of current flowing through the outlet. If there is an imbalance of current, the outlet trips the circuit of the appliance, cutting off the electricity. You can test GFCI outlets with a circuit tester that has its own GFCI test button. GFCIs do wear out, and their lifespan is about 10 years. Replace GFCIs that no longer function properly — these outlets save thousands of lives each year.

Many homeowners have home safety and preparedness at the top of their priority list, and the New Year stands as the perfect time to discover what improvements and fixes your home will need in the coming months. Other items to look at in a new year:

  • If you’re in an area that is known to have inclement weather, make sure you have proper snow removal equipment and have alternative energy options in case of power outages
  • January is also a great month for reviewing warranties and product information on a furnace, large appliances, and any other big ticket items in the home

Preventative maintenance will not only save you money and keep your home safe, but houses that do not keep up with maintenance have been known to lose up to 10% to 12% off their appraised value. The US Census has estimated that annual maintenance can cost between 1% and 3% of a home’s initial costs dependent upon the geographic location of the home. With the New Year, getting a head start on yearly to dos, and anticipating yearly maintenance, will put you ahead of the issues and have you prepared for any upcoming and unforeseen fixes.

Are they Wacky? Are the Wonderful? One thing for sure they are WOW!

Forbes came up with a list of 12 Strange & Unusual Homes for Sale. It’s great to see that houses go beyond the ranch, bi-level & colonial.

This is the Mushroom House, NY – as unique on the inside as it is on the outside.mushroom From the Mushroom House to the Stone Castle to the Floating Home, which is your favorite? Do you have a local house in Chester County that stands out? castle To see the outside & inside of these 12 homes click HERE.

Pictures & links are courtesy of

Find the right house for you.

Happy New Year!

My first news for 2015 is that I am now an independent real estate agent with RE/MAX Professional Realty. I had an extraordinary year being part of a great team and a lot of it is thanks to Christine Cosimano for her guidance, support & love. It is time for me to spread my wings and fly; time to take all my past experiences and knowledge and meet new buyers & sellers.
I set up a new Facebook page Sigal Waters Realtor and I would like to thank you ALL in advance for ‘liking’ my page & sharing it on your wall.
If you know anyone who is interested in buying or selling in Chester County, I’d be thankful for the referral.
Happy New Year, friends