Fall is settling in – the trees blare with colors of warm fires and the temperatures are exactly what we can expect of Indiana’s transition seasons – complete inconsistency. Yards accumulate with leaves and leaves, and leaves.

As an agent you are looking to make that house the most marketable piece of land you possibly can – things slowdown in the Fall, we know, and here is a few tips that can help!

We’re headed into burn season – and if that house has a fireplace – capitalize on that selling point Real Estate people!

Your potential buyers are going to notice it. The better it looks, and the more you know about the condition and functionality the more trust and marketability you will have in the sale of the home – and, if you know it needs work, you could potentially save your buyers a pretty-penny to get the necessary repairs done by move-in date.  

We know it is 2016, but in a 2007 National Association of Realtors, “Profile of Buyer’s Home Feature Preferences” report, the fireplace was “very important” in the decision making process when it came to house-hunting. While the expectation and use of the fireplace has changed drastically over the years, the older homes (Meridian-Kessler, Butler-Tarkington, Broad Ripple) generally have the remnants of a masonry fireplace and often require a bit of “TLC” to get the back to safe and functional.

The types of fireplaces in homes could differ and being proficient in the needs of each of these fireplace/chimneys is going to put you in a position of power for negotiating and educating your buyers.

A few terms related to the fireplace in general are the hearth, firebox, facing, mantle, and the chimney:

The Hearth refers to the material that lies in front of the fire-box (see below for description of fire-box) – this ought to be fireproof materials (stone, masonry, or an alike material), and have a depth of 12 – 18 inches – not meeting code could be a serious issue to inform your buyers to address prior to singing their lives away.

The Facing refers to the material on the wall around the opening of the fire-box (see below for description of the fire-box). This ought to be fabricated or designed with fireproof materials (stone, masonry, concrete, metal). There are codes on this area too, so be weary anything that looks odd, or unsafe..

The Mantle is more of an extension or accent of the facing of the fireplace. The mantle can surround the ‘facing’ or simply be an accent shelf above the opening of the fireplace. Ideally the mantle is going to reflect the design of the room or home, and can easily be changed to accomplish – do not let your buyer lose sight of a vision for the home if the mantle isn’t right – it can be a wonderful winter project (HGTV can take care of them here).

The Firebox is the “box-shaped” area in which the fire or combustion actually takes place (where you put the logs/where the gas-logs are located). This ought to be lined with fire-brick (if masonry) or refractory panels (if gas, or a factory-built unit). If there are cracks or missing mortar between the bricks in the firebox, point that out to the selling-agent, but first call us – we can give you an estimate to report back to the selling-agent.

The Chimney refers to the actual exhausting system, which is located above the firebox (generally behind a wall). The damper is the means to getting into the chimney (if the damper is at the bottom and is not a top-mount damper. Hint: this would be a good thing to know as the agent). The chimney is designed to regulate the airflow.

A great opportunity to serve those buyers would be to bring a chimney sweep in to have the chimney swept and inspected prior to even having them there so you have the scoop on the chimney and any tips they will need, in order to be ready to proceed with you through the final-sale of the home.

It would be a total flop if it came to the chimney and the sale was lost because you did not do your homework. Have the chimney cleaned and inspected and leave the buyers with a little peace of mind (whether for better or worse), right? What a smear on your name if the buyer gets a faulty chimney…do not be that agent.

Brick + Ember Outfitters is all for making you an added-value agent, and a sweep and camera inspection is an extremely practical way to serve your buyers. Grow some peace of mind, while growing your buyer-reputation – get the chimney swept and inspected.

We are on MIBOR, Talk to Tucker – check us out, and give us a call!