Washington State has a couple of regulations that require certain safety features are installed in a home before a buyer can purchase it. When these items are not installed in the home at the time of the appraisal, or if the appraiser cannot easily find them, then the appraiser or underwriter will require that these items be installed prior to closing. This can potentially delay the closing and/or increase cost if the appraiser has to go back to the property to re-inspect for the missing items.
Please make sure your home has the following BEFORE the appraisal:
Carbon Monoxide Detectors. This regulation was updated in 2013 and requires that all residential properties that are sold have carbon monoxide detectors installed. This applies to refinances if the home owner owned the property prior to July 26, 2009 and still occupies the home (ie it’s not a rental). Here is more info on the state code.
Earthquake Straps on Water Heaters. Please make sure that your water heater is secured with earthquake straps. More info here on how to install straps.
Smoke Detectors. This one doesn’t come up as often as missing CO detectors or earthquake straps… however, the smoke detector needs to be functioning – make sure it has fresh batteries.
I am reminded of this as I head out to Bellevue to take photos of CO detectors and recently installed earthquake straps on a water heater on a purchase. 🙂
If you are planning on selling your home, please make sure you have the above items installed in your home.
Real Estate Brokers: please consider attending the appraisal inspection so that you can point out where the C02 detectors are to the appraiser…even if you’re just there a couple minutes to show the appraiser where they have been installed.
If you’re considering refinancing, these items may apply to you too depending on when you purchased your home and the current occupancy. It’s probably better to be safe than sorry and make sure you have these items installed.
Nobody likes paying for an appraisers re-inspection fee that could have been avoided or potentially delay a real estate transaction when it could have been easily avoided.