As an Indianapolis area realtor, fairly or not clients expect you to have expertise in everything inside the home. On top of dealing with the complications of a crazy housing market and the expectation to find a good deal, clients want you to do investigative work on potential issues before they happen.
Inspectors help find major problems, but great realtors will look for obvious issues which can build better relationships with clients and help increase referrals.
Because HVAC is one of the biggest expenses inside of a home, it’s a great area to be knowledgeable to help your buyers or sellers position themselves to make good, proactive decisions.
If your client is a buyer, perhaps the biggest impact area related to HVAC is the age of the system.
Age of the HVAC System: Many heating and cooling products have a nomenclature that is similar to one another. Carrier and Bryant are two of the most widely installed systems in Indianapolis, and have a nomenclature that makes it easy to tell the age. The furnaces and A/C have four digits at the beginning of the serial number. The first two is the week it was built. The second two is the year. This is a quick way to see how old a furnace or AC is.
Trane, is another major HVAC manufacturer, who makes it even easier by providing a date of manufacture on most systems.
Regardless of the HVAC manufacturer, there is a website called Building Center which gives you any manufacturer or a reference point to know the age system.
The second area that we recommend to realtors to help clients is the service record. Usually this would be a sticker or paper next to the furnace. You can see if there has been any HVAC repairs or recommendations over the years, or you could see if the system has been serviced at all. Clearly, if it’s been serviced with a clean record that keeps you a vote of confidence, but the opposite can give you some information to discuss with the listing agent.
As you review the HVAC service record, look for any major repairs to the furnace like blower motor replacements, heat exchanger replacement, or control board failure. For the air conditioner, look for compressor failure or refrigerant leaks which might be caused by a breach in the evaporator coil.
Obvious Wear and Tear: Finally, we’d recommend looking for obvious stains are signs of wear and tear. While you can’t judge a book by its cover with mechanical parts. Signs of water stains or signs of dirt and debris accumulation are a pretty good indication of how well-serviced systems have been.
As you can see with our example system, the flue is showing visible signs that it has had moisture in it. Additionally, you can see signs of leaking below the furnace.
While these don’t necessarily require replacement, if your client is really interested in a home for the long run, this can be a predictable expense and something to proactively include in a negotiation.
At Homesense, we service all over the Indianapolis area, including popular suburbs like Carmel and Fishers.
Should you have any questions on an inspection report, or want to investigate an HVAC issue for your clients, don’t hesitate to call us at 317.670.0171.