Home Seller - Make Needed Repairs
Before a buyer considers your home seriously, it must meet his needs in many ways. It must be a suitable neighborhood, commuting distance, size, layout, etc. If most of these needs are met, the buyer will move toward making an offer for your home. The purchase decision is an emotional and intellectual response, based on a level of trust in your home. So, it is logical that in preparing your home for sale your goal should be to enable the buyer to build trust in your home as quickly as possible. Your first step should be to address apparent and hidden repair issues.
Make a Complete List Keep in mind that potential buyers and their real estate agents do not have the fond personal memories and familiarity that you have with your home. They will view it with a critical and discerning eye. Anticipate their concerns before they ever see your home. You may look at the leaky faucet and think of a $10 part at Home Depot. To a buyer this is a $100 plumbing bill.
Walk through each room and consider how buyers are going to react to what they see. Make a complete list of all needed repairs. It will be more efficient to have them all done at once. Use a handyman to fix the items quickly. If your house is a fixer-upper, keep in mind that most buyers will expect to make a profit that is substantially above the cost of labor and materials. When a house needs obvious repairs, buyers will assume that there are more problems than meet the eye. Take care of repairs before marketing your home. Your home will sell faster and for a higher price. Get an Inspection It is a good idea to have your home inspected by a professional before putting it on the market. Your may discover some issues that will come up later on the buyer's inspection report.
You will be able to address the items on your own time, without the involvement of a prospective buyer. You do not have to repair every item that is written up. For example, due to building code changes, you may not meet code for handrail height, spacing between balusters, stair dimensions, single glazed windows, and other items. You may choose to leave items such as these as they are. Just note on the inspection report which items you have repaired, and which are left as is. Attach the report to your Seller's Disclosure, along with any repair receipts that you have. A professional inspection answers buyers questions early, reduces re-negotiations after contract, and creates a higher level of trust in your home. Offer a Service Contract A home service contract may be offered to the buyer for their first year of ownership. For a fee of about $350 a third party warranty company will provide repair services for certain systems or components in the house for one year after the sale. These policies help to reduce the number of disputes about the condition of the property after the sale.
They protect the interests of both buyer and seller. Should You Remodel? Our clients often ask if they should remodel their house before marketing. I believe the answer to this is no - major improvements do not make sense just before selling a home. Studies show that remodeling projects do not return 100% of their cost in the sales price. Normally, it does not pay to replace cabinets, re-do kitchens, upgrade bathrooms, or add space prior to selling. There is a fine line between remodeling and making repairs. You will need to draw this line as you review your home. Repair Decisions Countertops are outdated: If other components of the house are up to date, the kitchen may be greatly improved by new, modern countertops. Although this is an upgrade, not a repair, it may be worth doing because the kitchen has a significant impact on the value of your home. Carpet is worn or outdated: Carpet replacement almost always worth doing.
Sellers often ask if they should offer an allowance for carpet, and let the buyer choose. Do not take this approach. Choose a neutral shade, and make the change yourself. New carpet makes everything in the house look better. Wall texture is poor: You may have an outdated texture style or acoustic ceiling. In most cases, it does not make sense to strip and re-texture the walls. Just repair any wall damage or minor texture problems. Walls need paint: This is a must do! Freshly painted walls greatly improve the perception of your home. Don’t forget the baseboards and trim.
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