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The Home Seller's Electrical Checklist


Are you thinking of selling your home? Markets across the country are blistering hot right now, and many people are choosing to sell their homes to take advantage of it. Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery, to cash out on your investment, or you need to move for one reason or another, selling your home is an important process you need to be prepared for. That includes preparing your electrical system.

Here is a ten-step checklist you can follow to check and prepare your electrical system for listing your home so your home will show well, sell high, and give you the best experience possible.

Replace All Burned-Out Lightbulbs

Chances are there is at least one lightbulb somewhere in your home that has burned out. It’s not uncommon for one bulb of a ceiling light fixture to be out, or a single lamp on a bathroom vanity. Take stock of all burned-out bulbs on your property, both inside and out, and replace all of them before welcoming in potential buyers.

Update Old, Dim Light Fixtures

Old, dim fixtures can be an eyesore in many ways. Not only can they make your home look outdated and old, but dim lighting can also make your home feel cramped and uninviting. Spending the money to update a light fixture can actually help your home sell faster and sell for more.

Test All GFCI Outlets

Every outlet where you can reasonably expect there to be water or moisture must be a GFCI outlet. Press the “test” button on every one of these outlets and make sure the “reset” button pops out. If it doesn’t, replace the outlet. Also, install these outlets in any locations that may need one.

Test Circuit Breakers

Test the circuit breakers in your home to make sure they are all working properly. One by one, flip each breaker off and make sure everything on that particular circuit shuts off when you do. Replace any breakers that do not shut down this way, as this is a serious safety hazard.

Clear Away Space Around Your Meter

If your electrical meter can is installed outside, take some time to clear away space around it, including any potentially overgrown shrubs or bushes that may be intruding close to it. We recommend keeping a five-foot radius around your panel completely clear of any plant life.

Collect Important Information

Have you had major rewiring work done to your home? Have you had your panel replaced? Is your panel manufactured by Zinsco or Federal Pacific? These are all important things that a buyer will want to know. Having that information and supporting documentation handy will help the sale process.

Fix Any Broken Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are popular additions to any home, but they can experience a number of different issues. Turn each fan on and let it run for approximately an hour. If the fan makes any strange noises (clicking, squeaking, creaking, and the like), carefully check your fasteners and oil the motor to make it as quiet as possible. Nobody likes an obnoxious, creaking ceiling fan.

Calculate a Typical Electric Bill

Seller’s disclosures sometimes ask what you would typically pay per month for an electric bill. Take a look through your last six months’ worth of bills and come up with an average figure you can report. This allows your buyers to make an educated decision based on your home’s electrical consumption.

Replace Damaged Outlets & Switches

Damaged outlets, light switches, and faceplates that cover them are an eyesore that can make your home look run down and unappealing. Likewise, aged faceplates and outlets are often slightly greyish-yellow in color, and are generally unappealing. Replacing old or damaged outlets will give your home a facelift and improve electrical safety too!

Ensure Outdoor Outlets Are Properly Covered

Outdoor outlets need to be properly covered in order for them to be safe to use. A plastic bubble cover is ideal, as they allow you to safely plug something in and use it while still protecting the outlet from moisture intrusion. However, all outlets at least need a self-closing, sealing cover that can help keep out rain, sprinklers, or heavy moisture. Not only is this advised for safety purposes, but it is against electrical code. If you have any outdoor outlets that are not covered, install a cover on them before listing.

Looking for a high-quality electrical safety inspection service? Buying a new home and want to find any problems before committing? Call Mel Carr Electric at (518) 500-3042 today!
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