Tag Archive for: Listing Your Home For Sale

Seven Things to Fix Before You Sell

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.

Mind of Today’s Seller

Considering selling? What can today’s homeowner be thinking? There are a mix of variables in today’s market, which add an element of mystery to forecasting, similar to a meteorologist’s predictions you might say. But the storm of buyers, at least in our region, remains. They cover the area, a dense fog destined to stick around until there’s a sudden boost in inventory and/or perhaps a series of half-percentage-point rate increases from the Fed. The concerns are real. On the other hand, the hope for a surge in listings to our market might be in the cards, but those are based upon a survey’s findings, they’re only another tool for speculation. Nonetheless, it’s a valid approach to entering the minds of home sellers.

Nowadays, the mind of a seller is certainly a mess, one could argue so too a buyer’s. It’s a seller’s market though, no? While that’s true, there’s an anxiety for many prospective sellers in prepping or listing their home for sale. Some also need to buy after they sell, a cause for hesitation and some Pepcid AC. “Sellers in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, believe it or not, are still a little apprehensive about our market,” underscores Christina M. Keller, REALTOR® with Realty Network Group. “While inventory is low, very low in fact, making life much easier for my clients, who are thinking of putting their home on the market; some feel rushed attempting to get all their ducks in a row.”

Despite the jitters for some sellers, most are in a great position to move forward and with frugality. “Sellers are opting to save their money by not doing some of the basic upgrades we normally would see them do only a couple years ago,” indicates Mrs. Keller. “They don’t sense the need to replace worn flooring, repaint interior rooms or update their kitchens and baths. My sellers are smart and they understand this is the furthest thing we’ve had to a buyer’s market in quite some time. Armed with the knowledge there are fewer homes for buyers to choose from, they’re counting their savings and are letting the new owners do the work themselves post settlement. It’s been my experience that many home shoppers in the Greater Scranton area have come to expect this and are willing to take on the challenge to make their own updates. Unless of course, there are structural defects in the home, then they need to address and resolve said issues before getting to the closing table.”

“I don’t see buyers asking for the simple repairs to be done nearly as much as I experienced in the past. Buyers are simply happy to be chosen as so often there are multiple offers on the table for a single listing. Buyers who are willing to accept the property ‘as is’ are often the deciding factor and make the difference between the sellers accepting their offer or moving on to another. This can happen even when another offer comes in higher than the winning bid. Good news for sellers, not so much for buyers. The end result of this is we simply can’t negotiate a price reduction as easily as we did in the past.”

If you’re a seller who’s looking for a slight edge, listing your home mid or during the latter part of April might be the ticket.  According to realtor.com, April 10-16th is the best time to list.  “Sellers…can expect to find relatively high buyer interest, coupled with limited competition from other sellers, that equates to fast-selling homes at top dollar,” says Danielle Hale, the chief economist for realtor.com. Likewise, in looking back at 2021 home sales, Zillow has determined the end of April (21st through 28th) is “the most opportune time” to list.

It appears the next few weeks could be the sweet spot for sellers in 2022!