It was evident that the house had very recently been re-carpeted—this is common with houses that have been “cleaned-up” a bit before putting them on the market. The carpet, along with re-painting the entire interior and appropriate staging, did improve the appearance. It most likely did assist in making the home more salable.
The re-carpeting though did bring up an interesting issue.
I am sure most of you that have gas fireplaces, or that know people that have gas fireplaces, have sometimes seen the keyed gas shut-off located near the fireplace in the wall or in the floor. Not all gas fireplaces have this type of keyed shut-off, but this one did.
There are a couple of things I like to determine about these shut-offs. One thing is, “where is the key?” It is kind of nice to be able to tell the buyer that it was seen in such and such a place and to make sure it is still around when they take possession. If I can’t find it, they might want to ask the seller if it is around somewhere—-or figure on having to buy a new one.
If I find it installed in the shut-off that is good information to provide the buyer because, not only do I know where it is, but I can also remind my buyer that the key should never be left in the shut-off valve because little children might find it interesting. It is just some good safety information to provide the buyer.
At this house, I noticed that the shut-off location was indeed on the floor next to the fireplace and—yup—the key was still in it. As I reached down and fiddled with the key, I noticed that the whole device was loose and the key was not making contact with anything inside the hole.
From inside the crawl space it became evident why this was the case.
The carpet guys had simply removed the decorative, supporting top piece and then rolled out the carpet. Then they could not re-attach the device to the component in the crawl space because the pipe in the crawl space had dropped down too much.
Guess who is NOT about to send someone into the crawl space and push the pipe up enough so that someone above could get the top piece to thread on to it? You probably guessed it…….
The carpet baggers—-as they grab the money and run!
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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