Time to take care of your shortcuts!
The home you are trying to sell now is most likely the first one you bought. I know that once everything was finally signed, you were probably scared out of your mind. Now, you know how a young family will feel when they purchase your home. Are you going to leave them the same problems you may have had? Just remember, KARMA is a bitch! This is the time to be completely honest with the way you have taken care of your home. Is it in better shape than when you bought it? Maybe not, but it should be in good condition for the next homeowner. When I inspect a home that should probably be torn down instead of being for sale; it really saddens my heart. In the long scheme of things, I actually work for the house itself. Because once I put my findings on paper, those things that have been neglected for years will finally come to light and have to be fixed. I receive tremendous satisfaction when I am able to help young families make sound decisions. And of course, you know that buying a house can be a horrific decision to make.
If you have cut some corners over the years taking care of your home, now is the time to have them done properly. If your buddy down the street put in a bigger electrical service, you should hire a licensed electrician to do it the right way. Having this done now will save you a big headache. The buyers’ inspector will find this and it will cost you the sale of your home until it is corrected. Then you may be forced to shell out a nice hefty fine payable to your local building department and believe me, this is time and money you don’t want to spend.
Now let me say this as a home inspector; I am not an electrician, plumber or HVAC technician. I have the training to spot things that are not right or working as they were intended. When I find things that are not right, I recommend my customer hire a professional in that field to further inspect those areas, figure out what the problem is and how much it will cost to fix. In many cases, the prices they receive will be overinflated due to the short period of time involved. And guess who might be on the line for those costs? So as I said before, if you have taken shortcuts, take care of them now! Don’t be a cheapskate when it comes time to sell your home. As I said last week, you will probably spend about $1500 getting everything checked out. That money will be well spent because now you will be in a better position to get your asking price. When that buyer comes knocking, don’t turn them away by not being prepared.
Now let’s discuss some of the final things you can do to ensure your home sells fast. In week one, I asked you to take some pictures of your home. Now is the time to start looking at them. First, fix those things you can, and catch up on that long overdue touch-up stuff. Then get a home check! And yes, I am talking about a Complete Home Inspection. This inspection will cover all areas of your home that are accessible. From the roof to the foundation, everything in between will be inspected. You should be concerned about the operation of all major systems and components of the home. Getting your home inspected early in the game gives you time to get most of the deficiencies corrected at the best prices and conditions you can find and negotiate. If you’re under the gun trying to get things fixed after the buyers’ home inspection, then you will be paying more than you need too. You might not be able to get everything fixed, but if have taken the time to show the buyer your home is ready, and that any potential problems are disclosed, your time and efforts will be rewarded. Your Realtor can help with the final touches you may need to take, such as giving your home some curb appeal or staging your home if have already moved out. You will also have a copy of your professionally printed inspection report that you may use during an open house. This will give the buyer some confidence that you’re ready to sell.
The housing market is fierce, and you have to be ready for it. In this case, the buyer is always right and they have the right to back out of a deal at any time. Don’t give them any reasons to walk away without buying your home. In most cases, if everything is properly disclosed and documented, they will appreciate your honesty.