What to do When Your Home Won’t Sell
Is Now The Time To Sell?
10 Tips To Help Sell Your Home That Won’t Break The Bank
How To Determine Price
Preparing Your Home For Sale
For Sale By Owner Or With Agent?
Must Do Repairs Prior To Sale
Finding Hidden Buyers
Staging Your Home
Making Your Home Irresistible
Negotiating Tips For Sellers
10 Don'ts In Selling Your Home
What is a Short Sale?
Unable To Move Up? Raise The Roof

SELLERS' CORNER

Must Do Repairs Prior To Sale

There are a few repairs or improvements that should almost always be made prior to putting a home on the market. Some of the most important are on the outside. If potential buyers are turned off as soon as they turn in, you've probably already lost them. The house must invite prospects to come inside. If you want to make your home inviting you must give particular attention to the following:

  1. The lawn must be immaculate. While you don't have to have the best lawn in the neighborhood, it sure won't hurt if you do. Get rid of weeds, fertilize, freshen mulch, plant annuals if the season allows, prune shrubs, and clean the porch, walks, and drive.
  2. Does the exterior sparkle? Clean windows can make a dramatic improvement. Remove window screens, on the front, at least. How is the paint? Does it need touch-up? If so, do it; or repaint if necessary. Sometimes just painting the trim makes a house look new. Old, stained, or flaking paint can be a huge turn-off. Unless it's immaculate, repaint the front door and surrounding trim.
  3. Clean the gutters and roof. Does the roof look old and does it leak? Is it stained and the shingles curled or cracked? If so, a new roof may be required. It's better to have a new roof you can market to prospective buyers than to have them question whether or not it needs replacing. Roof replacement is less expensive than most think. If you are in doubt, ask the experts, and get several opinions. Prices vary widely.
  4. Is the drive severely cracked-minor cracks are normal-and is the surface rough, flaking, and uneven? If it looks bad, get an estimate on repairs. Sometimes it's possible to restore a concrete drive without replacing it. Check with several contractors.
  5. Once inside, the kitchen and baths are the first places most buyers want to see. If cabinets , appliances, and fixtures are old, outdated, or in need of replacement, you may want to consider upgrading prior to sale. There is no hard and fast rule, but you should do everything possible to eliminate a buyer's questions. Most buyers have little ability to envision a new kitchen or bath, and they have no idea what such changes would cost. Many will walk away without considering making the upgrades themselves. It's better to have a home that a prospect can visualize living in tomorrow than to lose a sale because you failed to make it appealing. Sure it's no fun spending all that money and effort on a home you plan to leave, but it is much worse being trapped there for additional months, spending thousands on extra payments because it wouldn't sell.
  6. Some interior painting is almost always necessary. Use neutral colors that are light and fresh. Unusual colors may appeal to a few, but the majority will be turned off. Remember purchasing a home is an emotional process. Many buyers may not be able to verbalize why they don't like a particular home, but if they don't feel good about yours, you've lost them.
  7. Carpet is the same as paint. If it doesn't look immaculate, clean or replace it.
  8. Do any of the doors, including cabinets, stick or not operate properly? If so, fix them. Are there missing or burned out bulbs? Do extension or telephone cords, cable or computer wires clutter outlets and look hazardous? Buyers may question whether or not there is sufficient electrical capacity. Try to eliminate as much electrical clutter as possible.
  9. Clean out garages, basements, and closets. Have a yard sale or donate unused items. Buyers want to see where they can store their stuff. Neatness is king.

It's a good idea to get a third party opinion on much of the above. Making major repairs sometimes doesn't pay, but each situation is different. If you plan to use an agent, ask them about your colors, exterior, repairs, etc. They know the condition of the competition in your area, and they're aware of what buyers are expecting. Weigh their opinion against the costs of repairs versus lowering your price and perhaps having your home unsold for a longer period. Then, make an informed decision.

 

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