Buying or selling a home is stressful. Make buying or selling go more smoothly by asking essential questions about the electrical system. A few key questions ensure everyone’s long-term satisfaction.
Some Questions Everyone Needs to Ask
Whether you are the buyer or the seller, specific questions about a home should be asked whenever a sale is on the horizon. Time to prepare your electrical safety checklist and some of the most significant things to know regarding an electrical system in advance.
Electrical Panel Information
The electrical panel is the point where electricity enters the home and the place that distributes it through the different circuit breakers and subsequently through the house. Be sure to ask about its location, the condition, and if any electrical repairs have been done.
The panel should have clear labels that tell the load of the circuits and what they control within the home. Ask if the manufacturer’s original label is intact, as this label is needed to know the maximum amperage of the panel, the total number of breakers, and how many total circuits. This information is pertinent, especially when planning home electrical upgrades.
Be sure to ask to see the electrical panel. You shouldn’t be able to see damage to the panel cover, rust, weather, or water damage when you look at the panel. These indicate the panel is not up to code and should be addressed immediately.
GFCI and AFCI Outlets
Are all outlets near water sources or outdoor GFCI outlets?
This requirement is needed to protect anyone in the home from electrocution by stopping the flow of current when a ground fault is detected, with no exceptions.
Be sure to ask what the code requirements for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) are. ACFI outlets are more regularly required to make homes safe by preventing fires from electrical currents jumping or arcing between wires. These are a known cause of fire hazards.
Electrical Code Compliance
Is the home up to code?
Whether you are the buyer or the seller, this is an important question. Ensuring the house is up to code maintains its potential value, makes it safer for the occupants, and prevents dangerous fires and other safety hazards.
What Are Known Electrical Issues?
Being up to date or asking about known potential electrical issues is a fundamental question and should be asked before buying or selling a home.
Both parties need to know if something needs an electrical repair. You also want to hire an electrical inspector to check on this. That way, an expert can inspect the home and objectively give an electrical home inspection report.
Home Buyers Should Ask These Questions
There are also some questions potential home buyers need to ask the seller before they commit to the purchase.
Knowing all the information about renovations made on a home for sale is essential. You don’t want to buy a home you aren’t willing to take care of!
Several questions need to be asked, including:
- Any renovations?
- When were they?
- What was done?
- Did they get all the permits? Are they filed?
- What is the age of the electrical panel?
- What electrical upgrades were done?
- Are they up to electrical code?
These questions help you avoid costly surprises and allow you to understand if you can get the energy-efficient lighting or another upgrade you want done. It helps to know the amount you are willing to fix in case the home you love is older or a “fixer-upper.”
Do you need an electrical inspector to check the wiring?
Yes, one hundred percent. The home’s wiring is vital if you have an electrical safety checklist.
An electrical inspector can tell you if the wire is appropriately gauged to handle the current being drawn through it, if it is correctly connected, if there is any damage or fray, and if an upgrade is necessary. Again, an electrical system evaluation should be done by an expert and is essential, so you don’t want to skip it.
Home Seller Electrical Checks
As a seller, some concerns need to be addressed for your home to retain overall value.
Cleanliness and Organization
Electrical systems should be neat and organized. The new owner needs to see exactly what state the wires or electrical panel are in.
Any wiring confusion can lead to injury or fire. Additionally, making sure the electrical is presentable is a helpful selling point. A wiring assessment can guarantee all outlets and switches have covers and that the area around the electrical meter is clear for easy access.
Don’t Lose Value Because of These Simple Fixes
When you sell your home, you want the most from it. Helpful questions to ask about your home include:
- Have I performed maintenance in high-traffic areas?
- Are the outlets all grounded?
- Is any wiring exposed?
- Do I need to replace any painted outlets?
- Has there been any DIY electrical work?
- Is there a proper outlet and switch functionality
Buying or selling a home is a huge undertaking. Ensuring that you ask the right questions is a must for either side. Asking the right electrical questions keeps you out of the dark and provides shockingly good home value.