Selling Your Home – Prepare Your Home to Sell
If you are getting ready to sell your home there are a few things you should do prior to planting the For Sale sign in the front yard. First and foremost, get the right Real Estate Agent (see our previous blog “The Right Real Estate Agent and Why She is Worth it.”) The agent you choose will be able to help you get started in the presale process.
Declutter and Depersonalize
Now that it is time prepare your home to sell, you need to take your personality out of the home so someone else can see themselves living there. An overabundance of knickknacks and family photos can be distracting to a buyer. Your Real Estate Agent will be happy to do a walk through with you to give you suggestions as to what should be put away and where a neutralizing paint color might be needed. Keep in mind this is not a personal attack on your style but a way to get your house sold quickly so you can move on to decorating your new home.
Getting a Home Inspection
A pre-sale home inspection is a great idea. If there is something wrong with your property it is best to find out about it before the first buyer walks through the door. If anything needs to be repaired you can get it fixed, decide on an allowance to be given to the buyer at closing or decided to sell ‘as is’. In any case, you will avoid being surprised at the last minute when an offer falls through because of a repair issue.
Getting Quotes for Repairs
There are several reasons to get quotes. First, after your inspection you may have decided not to do a repair and sell ‘as is’. The quote will give your buyer an idea of what they will have to do to correct an issue. Second, providing the information to your buyer takes the fear and guess work out of the equation and allows your buyer to make an educated decision. For example, the roof on your home may be up for replacement in the next five years or so. While that wouldn’t make replacing the roof to ensure a sale necessary, it could scare away a buyer due to unknown costs.
Organize Your Guarantees and Warranties
The appliances, water heaters, heating and cooling systems, etc all come with either a guarantee or warranty. Gather them together for your potential buyer. Proof of an items potential life or replacement guarantee could make all the difference to your sale.
No one wants their house to have bugs and certainly not ones that can do the kind of damage a termite colony can do. Get an inspection to prove your property is not infested. If treatment is needed, get it done and keep the documents showing completion of the work. There are some loan programs that require a buyer to get a termite inspection. By having one done upfront you will be helping to move the whole process along towards a closing.
The Seller Disclosure Form
When you receive an offer on your home your agent is going to have to provide the buyer with a copy of your Seller Disclosure. This document should go into detail about any issues you may have had with the property no matter how insignificant they might seem or even if they have been corrected. Being upfront about these things avoids the appearance of trying to hide something and possibly leaving yourself open to liability. Taking the time to complete the Seller Disclosure early means less worry later when you may be facing a deadline and not have time to complete the form properly.
These are a few of the steps you can take to prepare your home to sell. Talk to your Real Estate Agent (Realtor©), she may have other ideas and suggestions that apply to your specific situation. The extra work you do up front when selling your home will help pave the way to a smooth closing.