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’t 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 as 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 if not caught now – a long time to wait for a buyer that needs to get in by, say, the end of January 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, of course, strip your wallpaper (as no one likes other people’s wallpaper). However, inside we step over things every day and don’t realize they could be dangerous to strangers and a turnoff 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.
Depending on price range, if the buyer is seeking FHA financing many of the above items would need to be done anyway for the buyer to qualify for that type of financing so better to take care of them sooner rather than later.
And don’t forget that even hardwired smoke detectors need replacement every so often. If you have hardwired ones with battery back-up, the inspection will include having working batteries. The alarm code was updated again in December of 2016 for type and placement. And in the past few years, we also are now required to have carbon monoxide detectors. Again, requirements for placement are through the fire department and part of the inspection prior to sale. These might not be the first thing a buyer sees but it will be talked about in the home inspection. And you won’t be able to close until you pass the fire department’s inspection.
For these and other tips to market your home safely and effectively this fall, just give me a call. I’ll be happy to help you out!
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