6 Things You Shouldn't Overlook Before Listing Your Home
Your home is beautifully staged, and you believe you're just about ready to sell. What else could you be missing? There are many aspects of a home that sellers might overlook, but potential buyers won't.
From the windows to the woodwork, make sure these six parts of your home are top-notch, to get the buyers beating a path to your door.
You might not have thought about the condition of your windows as you prepared to sell. After all, if the windows are clean and in good repair, you might not see any reason to replace them. However, bad windows are easy to spot, and many home buyers know that cheap or inefficient windows will cost them more in heating and cooling over time.
Have your windows cleaned at least weekly while you are trying to sell. If you have old windows, single-pane windows or inefficient double-pane windows, you may have little to lose by replacing them with windows that have double glazing or special coating that helps to decrease heat transfer.
Having an effective heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system does not generally make buyers excited about buying your home. However, owning a bad one, or even a good one that does not look well-maintained, could stop the offers before they start. Fortunately, most of the equipment and appliances in modern HVAC systems are designed to function well for years with minimal upkeep.
You may want to schedule a check-up and make sure that all visible components of the system are squeaky clean, without signs of damage. If you want to impress home buyers and your home’s electrical system can support it, buy a smart thermostat to add a layer of efficiency to the existing system.
Selling a home calls for a very thorough inspection of every part of your home. If you or a professional have not been up to your roof in a long time, you may regret it once you list the home. Buyers typically expect the roof to be in good condition, particularly if you live in an area with harsh winters.
It may be a good idea to invest in having broken tiles or shingles repaired, and asking a professional to inspect and possibly replace broken flashings (a common source of roof leaks). Keep the gutters clear of debris, especially during the fall and winter.
If you want to have your home look its best, you probably know how important it is to make sure the walls have a fresh coat of paint (and no cobwebs anywhere). Grant the molding in each room the same degree of attention. You do not have to install crown molding in every room, and fixing up the existing molding is not particularly expensive or time-consuming. Do not assume that buyers will ignore your baseboards, because they are likely to be looking there carefully to check the condition of your flooring (and for signs of mold, mildew or rodent infestation). Replace pieces that are cracked, and put on a layer of paint in an appropriate color.
5. Exterior Façade
From a distance, buyers want to see a home exterior that looks well cared-for, in a color that is not so garish they need to repaint it before they move in. Once they get close to the structure, however, they can easily see problems that range from unsightly to risky. Most types of siding are designed to withstand weather for several years.
Over time, however, the façade sustains damage that can make the home look older than it is or open the home’s interior to leaks, mold or infestation. Carefully examine your siding for chipped paint, cracked siding or rotting components. Replace damaged pieces and touch up the paint, to give the whole home a quick makeover.
Sometimes, sellers make the mistake of putting 100 percent of their landscaping effort into the front yard. As a result, buyers see a front yard and driveway that look as though they might appear in a magazine, while the backyard has sloping problems, dead plants and all the clutter that was removed from other areas of the property. It is best to assume that no visible part of your home is likely to be overlooked by buyers. Spend some time and effort on staging your backyard enough to look as though it belongs with the front, and make sure to keep it show-ready until you sell.
Selling a home requires constant vigilance to ensure that every part looks its best - staging the inside of your home can only go so far. Sort out these common structural problems before you put your home on the market, and you will show buyers you care about the details. Before making any big changes, however, ask your real estate agent what they believe will help sell your home; they will have the experience to know what your time will be best spent on!