Tag Archive for: Home Repairs

Selling your home can be stressful enough and it may not necessarily be anything related to listing your home nor the transactional components after it’s under contract. There can be all sorts of “to-do” lists ahead of you from moving preparations to closing another chapter of your life. Depending upon the age and condition of your property, one of these challenges might be all the pre-listing work that’s almost unavoidable. Did you know there are things you should tackle before listing your home for sale? And, if you repair those items, you could stand to make more profit from your sale? The question becomes how to discern what items must be fixed and what can wait, prior to listing your home.

 

We’ve highlighted seven things you must fix before selling your home:

Right at the top of the list appears the presence of mold, which can be hideous and occasionally unhealthy for occupants of a particular room or maybe even those residing in the house itself. Mold spores can be nasty and chances are, if they exist, they cause havoc. Furthermore, buyers are completely turned off by the presence of mold. When it affects areas, particularly the basement or can be found on drywall or in bathrooms, it signals a deeper problem. In real estate, we always say that unwanted water is the root of all evil. If mold rears its ugly head, then there’s most certainly a water/moisture issue. As a homeowner, who’s getting ready to place their home on the market, any evidence of mold or water-related damage is a must-fix prior to listing. When homebuyers come into contact with mold in a listing, they usually will assume the worst: What else has the property owner been neglecting? If there’s mold on this wall, I can only imagine what’s behind it. There’s a snowball effect with water issues, at least in the mind of potential purchasers. Water and mold can signal doubts about the overall condition of the home.

Related to water, we discover two other areas that need attention before putting your home on the market, and they are roof damage as well as plumbing concerns. Leaky roof shingles or leaking pipes won’t put prospective buyers’ minds at ease and could be allowing unwanted water into your home, creating all sorts of problems. A roof that’s missing shingles or shows the existence of disintegrating ones, could indicate that water is creeping in through the attic or worse yet, into the framework, walls and ceilings of the house. If there’s roofing material that needs replacing, we would advise calling a licensed roofer to inspect the roof and identify all areas, which need to be corrected. Broken plumbing is another area that will need addressing before buyers preview your residence. If your plumbing is impaired, it could mean that you’re paying for an excess in water each month on your invoice or you might have a big problem on your hands. This complication, if not remedied, can lead to much more significant water damage. Again, whether it’s mold, water seeping in through the foundation, spoiled shingles or busted pipes, we highly recommend the right professionals are called to address the concern as soon as possible.

What do they say about a poor foundation? We understand that even a well-built home, is no longer so, if the foundation gets weak and is in need of repair. A solid foundation is essential for a home’s architectural stability. If and when cracks begin to appear, the owner should begin to monitor them and see if they get wider or larger over time. If you’re about to list your home and you suddenly notice cracks, it’s important to enlist the service of an inspector or structural engineer. They can provide you with next steps, if they identify any issues with the structural integrity of the foundation. Of course, it goes beyond cracks in walls or the foundation. If you notice any shifting, uneven floors, leaning walls or sunken ground around the exterior of the home, you would be wise to get it inspected, before a buyer sets foot on your property. You’ll rarely ever sell buyers on foundational or structural problems, which exist in the property. They might imply that other issues are lurking on site.

Yet, sometimes it’s not what lies behind the walls that’ll turn off buyers, but the cosmetics of the walls themselves. Wallpapered and tarnished walls in a home can immediately turn off prospective buyers from pursuing a home purchase. Wallpaper dates a home. What was trendy in a wall print, whether it be a pattern or floral arrangement, can lose its luster over time. Wallpaper can be a nuisance, plain and simple, and perhaps this is why many sellers don’t want to remove it prior to their home’s market release. Yet, this could be a mistake. Taking the time to remove wallpaper will put more money into your pocket. Of course, there’s another option as well – Sometimes it’s possible to skim coat (or mud over) wallpaper. Skim coating is the process of putting a thin layer of a compound over wallpaper, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t have any loose or bubbly areas of the paper remaining as this can cause your paint to bubble after it’s been applied. Skim coating isn’t ideal, but it could be an option, especially if you have stubborn, older wallpaper that’s really clinging to the surface of the walls. Tarnished walls are another eyesore potentially stopping a home from selling. Dirty, dingy walls give the idea that a home is unkempt, even if it isn’t. The quick fix is paint. It’s straightforward, it’s cheap and there’s an extensive palette to work with in updating your home to match with furnishings that are already present or to give a room a certain appeal if you’re vacating prior to selling. While you don’t have to be a professional painter to tackle unappealing surfaces in certain rooms in your home, proper preparations, time and effort should be given to the task to ensure the job looks clean-cut and inviting.

Another concerning area we see in homes that turn buyers right off is an outdated kitchen. Sure, usually there’s not much you can do with the size of a kitchen: Maybe it’s small, maybe it’s galley in nature, maybe it lacks an island or much counter space. Still, you can dress up the countertops and cabinets and go bold or neutral and appeal to mostly anyone in the market to buy. Paint obviously plays a role here and lighting too, in some cases. There are ways to open up even a small kitchen. Smaller kitchens have their advantages at times in that they use less materials when renovating the space. Sellers would be wise to make sure their appliances work, aren’t too outdated and match the renovation taking place. Remember, the kitchen is the focal point of the home, at least in the mind of many buyers and sellers alike. Even if you’re not a cook or don’t care to do much entertaining in this space, chances are potential buyers might be and they desire a kitchen which is suitable to their needs. Having an outdated kitchen could prevent your home from selling. Don’t overlook how important the kitchen is to those who enter it, hoping to make an offer.

 

Running a tight ship – a well-maintained home – can alleviate concerns from homebuyers as they preview your property. If you do some pre-listing homework and address major problem areas before buyers arrive, you’ll surely build buyer trust and increase your home’s appeal, in the meantime. All the best and remember, we’re here to help you on your home-selling journey.

 

There are other ways your home’s value can be affected, read about them here.

Don’t let your home sit, let it stand above the rest of the competition and be noticed. If there’s one thing we counsel our clientele on today, it’s making a distinction between their home and others “on the market, not selling.” What are the unique selling points of their home? What is the state of the market, even as granular as their neighborhood? What are comparable properties selling for now? Putting together a vivid picture of the subject property and how to elevate it above other similar homes could mean the difference between less time on the market and maybe even a multiple offer situation.

But before you get carried away, here are five ways to position your home for a quicker sale:

Pricing

This is the obvious. The elephant in the room. We’d be deceiving ourselves if we didn’t mention this one first, because it’s the most important and for good reason. Remember, the whole process for a buyer begins (or should begin) with an honest assessment of what they can afford and tailoring their search around that benchmark. The buyer consults a mortgage lender, discovers how much they’re pre-approved for, compares that to their financial situation, determines their must-haves when previewing homes and investigates the market. Homebuyers, especially if they’ve been searching for some time, have an eye for present circumstances and how compatible properties have fared.

Sellers, who better understand what buyers are witnessing in terms of pricing, will be better able to estimate and position their property for its initial release. This is why having a REALTOR® generate a competitive market analysis (CMA) specifically tailored to the seller’s home is ideal for understanding how they should be pricing it. Although we might be in a period of correction, the market still favors sellers. Because of this, real estate professionals are advising some homeowners to set their list price toward the higher end of its range of value.

Repairs

When an owner anticipates selling their home, they should review all aspects of their property to conclude what’s in need of repair and what could benefit from an upgrade. Ideally, this should be done months ahead of when they plan to sell. They should consult their REALTOR® in order to judge which repairs/updates would help sell their home and which ones should be evaded. Soon-to-be sellers want to avoid alterations that buyers, for the most part, could care less about – repairs or updates that won’t add value, and in some cases might even have a negative impact.

It’s worth mentioning, some homeowners pursue a “pre-listing” inspection, where a professional home inspector evaluates their home and pinpoint areas they might want to address, making the proper repairs, before listing their home for sale. Though this approach isn’t as common as one might think, it can be extremely beneficial to owners in certain instances.

Curb Appeal

It seems like we overemphasize this point time and time again (because we do!), but we believe it’s that important. Do you want increased engagement and more prospective buyers to see your home? Of course! One of the quickest ways to get more eyeballs on your home, both online in addition to in person showings, is to create an inviting atmosphere that draws buyers in. The exterior facade of your home will either captivate or deter onlookers. It’s that simple. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and front porch, fresh landscaping, cut grass, trimmed shrubbery, new garage door, replacing that weathered mailbox, etc. make a statement and appeal to buyers.

There’s certainly a lot to say about curb appeal as it’s a very effective tool for selling, but homeowners shouldn’t go overboard either. They should refrain from changes, which won’t appeal to a majority of buyers. Sellers might want to consider taking a more simplistic approach to the peripheral of their home in hopes that potential buyers won’t see a yard that requires too much upkeep. As with any upgrade, sellers need to be cautious not to dump money into aspects of the home that have little to no return on investment (ROI).

Buyer Incentives

One way to really make your home stand out is to offer buyers and their agents perks that will truly differentiate your home from the rest. An incentive some deploy is offering would-be buyers a home warranty. In fact, there’s relatively affordable coverage available that will protect the home for the seller while it’s listed in addition to a year from its closing date. Thus, this coverage benefits both the owner and the buyer.

Another incentive to entertain is concessions or a closing credit giving a boost to those looking to purchase the seller’s property. Seller concessions are a portion of the costs the seller has agreed to pay in order to lower the amount the buyer needs to close on the property. This assist or contribution is typically rolled into the buyer’s mortgage. A closing credit can be a great way to attract buyers as well. Usually a percentage of the purchase price or a flat credit is presented to consumers in hopes that it will attract more parties to put forth an offer.

A rare, though effective means of reducing those days on market can also be achieved by incentivizing agents to bring their clients into the seller’s abode through offering a buyer’s agent bonus. Agents make money beyond their portion of their agency’s commission, and thus will be much more eager to bring buyers into that seller’s home.

Marketing

Finally, investing in a real estate professional, who understands the current conditions and can effectively position a seller’s home for maximum exposure, will reduce market time. Experienced agents know the state of the market and know how to best approach it. How will current trends affect market time? Sellers need to rely on their agent to sift through the data to discover what’s selling, what’s not selling and why it isn’t selling.

Sellers would also be wise to team up with a REALTOR® and brand, who are well versed in exposing their home to the largest pool of buyers. Their agent should be aggressive, regardless of the conditions that exist, willing to go the extra mile for their clients. Their agent should have a drive to succeed, despite the challenges which may exist. Their agent should have a plan on how to elevate their client’s listing to get noticed and shown.

 

As a homeowner, there are things you can’t change like location or maybe even costly upgrades to a home, but the above five are within your control. Sitting down with your agent and creating a strategy corresponding to these tips, among others, may ultimately reduce the number of days your home is on the market. There’s a lot on the mind of today’s sellers, but having a meeting with your agent will help ease your mind too!

If you’re thinking about listing your home, even many months from now, it’s never too early to create a plan for when the time comes to sell. Contact one of our professionals today to get started right away.