Why You Need to Fix A House’s Electrical System Before Selling It

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Are you planning on selling your house? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you.

You may have been able to live with some quirks in your home for years – electrical outlets not working for some time now, a mild electrical buzz in your basement’s switch, an outdated living area that belongs to the 70s, a slow draining pipe in the kitchen and more. Most likely, you have found a way of living around them, but if you’re selling your home, those imperfections won’t escape the eyes of your potential buyers.

Repairs and some necessary improvements before selling is something that you cannot do without unless you are willing to accept a much lower market value.

Buyers will of course not expect a home to be 100% perfect but we assure you that they will thoroughly inspect your home, and not just at face value. So yes, it’s not only about a fresh coat of paint or fixing those damaged flooring for more visual appeal, questions on plumbing, electrical issues and more will most likely come up. Today’s buyers are much picky and would most likely be attracted to a house that doesn’t need any major overhaul.

Home Inspection

In addition, before the final sales, a home inspection is most likely in order. A professional home inspector will look at the interior and exterior parts of your home, foundation, plumbing, roofing, electrical system, HVAC, and more. The result of the home inspection can make or break your sale. Usually, there is a home inspection contingency plan, wherein a potential buyer could walk away from the purchase without any penalty within a specified timeframe especially if they find life-threatening problems, like faulty wiring, molds, water damage, and more. Or they could also renegotiate the property value based on the result of the inspection or ask for a cash credit and fix the problem themselves.

Electrical Issues to Pay Attention

We will be focusing on the electrical issues in your home that should be addressed to avoid potential issues with a home inspection. An electrical improvement done by a licensed electrician will also be an added value proposition to your home. Here are some things to watch out for in terms of electricity:

Need a licensed electrician? Click here.

Selling a house


Old electrical wiring

Old wiring is one of the main causes of electrical fires and is surely a red flag for potential buyers.

If your house was built more than 30 years ago, most likely your wiring system is not compliant with the current regulations and is a safety hazard.

Aside from the age of your house, some signs that you need to rewire are:

– Your house still has the old fuse box

– Your house still has the knob and tube and aluminum wiring

– Frequently tripping breakers

– Exposed wiring, obvious wear, and tear

– Electric shocks on outlets

– Flickering/dimming lights or frequent burning out of light bulbs

– Warm outlets or even dead outlets

In addition, with the new technology, an upgraded electrical system is a must for homeowners to be able to use their appliances and gadgets with no worries.

Did you also know that if your house’s electrical wiring is not up-to-date, then it may not be covered by home insurance policies? This is a sound investment for you as a seller because it guarantees the safety of possible new homeowners and the livability of the property.

Missing Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

If your house doesn’t have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI, then you are not compliant with the National Electrical Code.

Following the National Electrical Code, your bathroom, garage, basement, kitchen, outdoor receptacles, or any areas near water should have GFCIs. This is for safety, as it prevents electrical shock with GFCI being able to detect imbalances in your electrical current.

Not sure if your house is equipped with GFCI? Have an electrical inspection with a licensed electrician. 

Not Having Adequate Amps

If you live in an old house and haven’t had an electrical upgrade, your house most likely does not have enough amp (at least a 120 amp is recommended, which is double the usual amps of older houses). If your potential homeowner is aware of this, s/he knows that this is a problematic area to address to support the usual appliances, fixtures, and outlets that they require.

Two-Prong Outlets and Not Having Enough Outlets

In a 2020 survey, it was found out that the average American has more than 10 connected devices at the same time, so it follows that these devices need an outlet. Modern buyers will surely be attracted with multiple outlets in a good location.

In addition, these outlets should also be suitable for 3-prong plugs, which are grounded for safety and suitable for potential buyers’ sensitive gadgets.

Some electrical issues could be quick fixes but some could be more complicated and yes, expensive. But note that expensive repairs, especially for safety reasons, could also prohibit you from selling your property or significantly reduce your house’s selling power.

There is also a possibility that you may not be aware of your house’s true electrical status. With this, it is really best that you contact a licensed electrician to conduct an electrical inspection in your home before putting it out in the market, as this can help you circumnavigate potential issues.

Also note that during a professional home inspection, home inspectors may also recommend a licensed electrician if there are red flags in your house for a more specific and thorough report. Electrical issues will definitely give potential buyers more negotiating leverage on the price or they could entirely walk away from the sale.

To also help you with decision-making, especially with the potential cost involved in repairs and improvement, you should also talk to your agent about your next move. With the industry knowledge, they of course generally have an idea of how the minds of buyers work and could give helpful insights on what to fix or leave to the judgment of buyers, and weigh on the return of investment.

Need a licensed electrician near you? Click here and let Same Day Pros help you.

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