When we bought our first house we discovered during the buying process that it had a horrible termite problem. We quickly brought in a treatment company to treat it for damage.
However, then we had to get repairs done.
Thankfully, the buyers were able to move quickly and get sufficient repairs done so that we could move in.
However, as the years went by, we discovered that this house was not in as good of a condition as we had been led to believe. By the time I went to sell the house, it needed thousands of dollars of repairs, thanks to the continued deterioration of the old termite damage.
I’ve often said that instead of having a home inspection, I should hire a handyman to come in and look for work to be done. They seem to be much more motivated to get work done since they know they are going to be paid for it.
The challenge with hiring anyone is knowing whether or not you can trust them to do a good job. Sure, online reviews can help, but most smart business owners know to have their favorite customers and friends and family “pad” their profile with positive reviews.
So online reviews are not always the most trustworthy source to go by.
If you have the time, one of my favorite tactics is to give the handyman a progression of jobs. One day they can replace a small bit of siding. A couple days (or weeks!) later they can do some tuck pointing work.
And then maybe I trust them with that floor damage I had.
This lets me evaluate their work habits. Are they taking frequent work breaks? Are they doing a good job? By watching them on the small jobs I can sometimes get a better idea of how well they will work on the big jobs.
Realtors are another excellent source for finding repair companies. Realtors are used to putting deals together while under strict deadlines. Their rolodex are normally full of handymen who are experts at getting jobs done in rapid time and for bottom dollar. Of course, you also have the downside that these repairs folks sometimes try to cut corners.
What I did learn is that continued maintenance is much less expensive than trying to get everything done at once before you sell the house. As soon as you see something that needs to be repaired, you should reach out to a handyman and get it fixed. This prevents the damage from spreading and ensures that you won’t have a large “laundry list” of repairs to work through when you are ready to sell your place.