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 about 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. 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 probably hire a licensed electrician to check things out and make sure it is up to code. Having this done now will save you a big headache later! The buyers’ inspector will find this and it could 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 look for things that are not quite right or working as they were intended. When I find deficiencies in the home, I recommend that my customer hire a professional in that specific 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, you will probably spend around $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. Fix those things you can, get the overdue touch-up stuff done, and then get a Home Check. 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. 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 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 at least you will be aware and can set your price accordingly. Your Realtor can help with setting the best price for your home. The housing market is fierce, and you have to be ready for it. If you 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.
When you’re ready to list your home, please listen to your Realtor. They will probably give you some great advice about giving your home some curb appeal. If you have already moved out, then you may want to have your home staged so that potential buyers will see the home as it is lived in. And during your Open House, please have copies of warranties and your finalized home inspection report available for Realtors to share with their potential buyers.
Ready, Set, SELL!