By Vicki Aubry
To buyers, details count when evaluating your home. Remember, yours is not the only home on the market and buyers will seek out the best value for the money. If the exterior is tired, of course you would plan a fresh paint job, but also on the exterior it is very important to address items such as wobbly steps, loose deck boards, loose mortar on chimneys, wide driveway cracks and the like as these could be obstacles to a sale that will (hopefully) take place later in the year.
You may have freshly painted your wrought iron railings, but did you inspect to see they were not rotting through? Taking a plunge at your home might not put the buyers in a buying mood!
A freshly stained deck looks great, but if you stained over rotted boards this is a real safety issue with strangers visiting your home and going out on your deck. Now up to the roof…are there any cracked shingles that could create leaks later in the season when they are difficult to repair? You wouldn's want to develop a mold problem in the attic for the home inspector to find. Perhaps a pre-marketing home inspection would be a good idea.
What about loose gutters that could come down in a snowstorm? (Yes, I said it). While the weather is still good, these items need to be addressed. Colder weather just around the corner could present a problem for the late fall buyer as potentially these things may need to the wait until spring – a long time to wait for a buyer that needs to get in by say, the end of November when it will be too cold to address exterior items.
Naturally, in the interior you would take steps to freshen the paint and carpeting and strip the wallpaper; however, inside we step over things everyday and don's realize they could be dangerous to strangers and a turn off to buyers. I recently had a listing where the vinyl floor in the kitchen was installed so poorly it curled up at each edge! That was a lawsuit waiting to happen! The seller graciously realized the liability, as well as the opportunity, and we installed a new beautiful tile floor.
And, don's forget that even hardwired smoke detectors need replacement every so often. When pushing the test button for one, the rest should also go off, and if they don's you will not pass the fire inspection. If you have hardwired ones with battery back-up the inspection will include having working batteries. As part of this inspection, we are also required to have carbon monoxide detectors and, again, requirements for placement are through the fire department. These might not be the first thing a buyer notices, but it will be talked about in the home inspection.
I believe with the economy starting to recover and the mortgage rates staying low that fall will be a great time to sell and also to buy! But, make no mistake, the buyers have high standards and the homes that sell the fastest and closest to asking price will be those that are updated and have all the details in place!
For these and other tips to market your home safely and effectively this fall, just give me a call! I'sl be happy to help you out!
Vicki Aubry can be contacted by mobile at 508-868-3625, voicemail pager at 508-365-4060, e-mail at [email protected] and her web site www.VickiAubry.com.