Fixing many of the minor electrical issues before you list your home can reduce some big headaches later. Most home inspectors are not electricians and they have a limited knowledge of the local electrical codes. They write up an electrical inspection report with several "electrical problems". Then, the buyer wants all the electrical hazards fixed or a large cash allowance (lower purchase price) to have them repaired later.
Common Items on the "Buyer's Request to Remedy" Include:
- Installing GFI outlets in your bathrooms, within 6 feet of your kitchen sink.
- Installing GFI outlets in your garage, unfinished basements, and out doors are sometimes included.
Check with your local building department or electrical contractor to see if the above items are really required. They might have a "grandfathered" exception clause (please install GFCI outlets near any sink or other wet location).
Test for properly installed 3- prong receptacles. Many homes built before 1965 only have two wires going to the outlets. Many times over the years, people replaced the old 2-prong outlets with newer 3-prong outlets. They test as an open ground or non-grounded outlet. This can result in the buyer wanting the entire house rewired. Have the electrician fix this item before it's a deal killer.
The main electrical panel problems include:
- Double tapped wires on breakers.
- GFI outlets not installed by the bathroom and kitchen sinks.
- Open grounds or non grounded electrical receptacles.
- Reversed polarity outlets.
- Missing wire connectors.
- Open junction boxes & missing electrical covers.
- Oversized breakers or wrong sized wires.
- Frayed service entrance cables or wires.
- Electrical panel has water damage or rust inside it.
- FPE electrical panel.
Finding solutions to these problems will speed up the sale of your home. You can ask your realtor which local electrician they work with if you are having trouble finding a qualified licensed electrician.