Deciding to sell your home is not a decision you've made lightly. You've looked at your personal situation which could be anything from a growing family (need more room) to a new job (relocation) or even that last kid off to college (downsizing). Whatever your reason may be, you've got some work ahead of you!
Find Your Real Estate Agent
While it may take you weeks, or even months to get your home ready For Sale, having your real estate agent selected can be a key part of your process. Your agent is a professional at selling homes, and can offer you many suggestions and guideance on steps to take and changes to make to prepare your home.
Why, look, here you are reading this VERY article, written by a real estate agent namely Thomas Abbott
So let's talk about challenges and improvements you can make. Afterall, you've lived in your home for sometime, and it's bound to be showing some wear here and there.
How Old Is It?
What upgrades have you done to your home over time? You might think you just installed that new HVAC, but it really is already 10 years old. If you purchased your home in the last few years, pull out your closing documents (or call me, I'll have a copy of everthing if I helped you buy the home!) and see what the age was of items when YOU bought. Now add on a few more years and....
The lifetime of any given item can really depend on how well it has been maintained. A great resource is from the National Association of Home Builders. Some examples are:
- Gutters - 30 years
- HVAC - 15 years
- Appliances - 10-20 years depending on the item
- Asphalt shingles - 15-30 years
Do Your Own Inspection
You can complete your own visual inspection of your home and look for things like wood rot around door frames (the base of patio or deck sliding doors are prime for this!) Water stains anywhere are an indication of a leak from somewhere.
Look for the little things. Loose door knobs. A kitchen cabinet handle. A wall socket.
But another excellent way to do this is have your home pre-inspected. WHAT you say? That's right. Just like that Buyer is going hire a home inspection company once they have your home Under Contract, why not beat them to the punch! By having your home pre-inspected, you can identify, and correct, the items on the inspection report, so they don't come up again. (Based on your state laws, you may need to disclose you've had this inspection done and disclose what it found.)
Now we can market your home as a "pre-owned," much like you see a pre-owned automobile that has had a 150-point inspection.
Book an inspection now!
To Renovate or Not
While that inspection report above will cover items you can repair/ replace, you may want to take it a step further. An old water heater is just asking for a concession, or a Seller-paid home warranty. (While paying for that warranty may be less expensive, it may just make your home look better when the disclosure statement lists a date of the hot water heater as 2017!
But, do you renovate and make changes? Geez, I'm SELLING and now I'm going to make changes? Well, certain fixes will push your home up the list of competition, and might just mean a better offer, or multiple offers!
I'm not suggesting you gut your kitchen (but, maybe....) things like replacing old carpet with hardwood flooring (REAL hardwoods...not that laminate stuff) or a new roof could yield you a 100% return on that investment. Spend $15,000 on a new roof, and you can add $15,000 onto the price of the house!