Home Inspections News – Issue 2

Selling a Property?

It is rare now for a buyer of a home not to have a home inspection as a condition of purchase.

How does that effect the home selling?

Basically it means that the home will be put under the “microscope”. A home inspector will go through the property, itemizing any and all of the minor and major defects. They will then report those findings to the purchaser. The inspectors job is to carefully check the homes structural and mechanical systems for problems that can lead to large repair bills later. The home inspection is a critical part of the sale process.

Nobody wants to buy a “bad” house. However, some buyers use the results of a home inspection as an opportunity for re-negotiation, often requesting the homeowner to reduce the sale price by thousands of dollars. This process can turn into a nightmare for an unprepared seller. Home inspections can cost home sellers thousands of dollars and in some cases, a failed transaction.

No home is perfect. Many homes may not have major problems but even a number of minor defects can give rise to a buyer’s request for abatement (a reduction in the sale price) or a complete release from the agreement. Sometimes it’s just that the home inspector scared the purchaser by not explaining that the minor and typical problems are just that – minor and typical. The last thing any homeowner wants in the “eleventh hour” of the sale is a purchaser who wants to re-negotiate the sale.


A Buyers Choice House Inspections is somewhat unique in that the report you as a seller obtains is transferrable to the successful purchaser who is then covered by our insurance. 


Smoke Alarms
Each year, the New Zealand Fire Service attends over 3,500 house fires. In over 80% of those fires, smoke alarms were either not installed or not working. Most fire fatalities occur in homes, mainly while people are sleeping when they can’t smell smoke. Smoke alarms are the best possible defence you and your family can have from dying in a fire.

Where should I put smoke alarms?

Smoke rises and moves along the ceiling. It will move up stairwells and vertical openings. When it can’t rise anymore it will build up, working its way down again. It’s because of this that it’s important to place smoke alarms on the ceiling to get the earliest warning. If you must position it on the wall put it 100mm away from the ceiling to avoid dead air pockets.

For optimum smoke detection, long life photoelectric smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, living area and hallway in the house – on every level. However, this is not always practical. That’s why we suggest, at an absolute minimum, that a long life photoelectric smoke alarm should be installed in the hallway closet to the bedrooms. This should be supplemented with other alarms as soon as circumstances permit.

Where not to put them.

Don’t install smoke alarms in the kitchen, garage or bathrooms unless they are specially designed smoke alarms for those areas. Heat detectors are available for the kitchen.

What sort of smoke alarms should I install?

The New Zealand Fire Service recommends you install long-life photoelectric type smoke alarms in your home. They may be a bit more expensive but the benefits are significant:

  • They provide a minimum of 10 years smoke detection
  • They remove the frustration of fixing the ‘flat battery beep’ at inconvenient times.
  • The cost of replacement batteries for standard alarms means the long-life one effectively pays for itself over its lifetime
  • Elderly don’t have to scale ladders to replace batteries annually.

But, at a minimum, you should install one standard photoelectric alarm in the hallway closest to the bedrooms. 

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