Preparing a Home “For Sale” – A Home Inspector’s Perspective
We recognize there is no shortage of Sellers Preparation Ideas available to Realtors or the general public. In fact, while researching this piece, one web search resulted in 1,760,000+ entries. Now we could have spent a few weeks researching those entries, but frankly, it’s easier to go with what you know from our day to day home inspections.
Over the past 22 years we’ve learned a thing or two and here’s what we’ve found:
- There aren’t a Top 5, 10, or 13 things you need to do to sell a house.
- Virtually everyone agrees Curb Appeal is important.
- All houses require regular maintenance.
While important, none of those things will necessarily matter once you have a signed sales contract. But here’s what will matter:
- Statistically, there is a 90% chance the buyer will have a Home Inspection.
- A prospective home buyer will be influenced by factors (and people) outside of the normal sales activities.
While we can’t help with the latter, as Home Inspectors we can weigh in on the former. So, here’s our:
Top 4 List
“To Keep the Transaction Going after the Home Inspection”
1. Have a Pre-Sale Home Inspection including a Wood Boring Insect Inspection. Home Inspectors find defects; it comes with the territory. A small number of these deficiencies are expected based upon the age and general condition of the home, whereas an inordinate amount of deficiencies will make a home buyer “feel” differently about the home – overwhelmed and disenchanted. Having Home Inspection information available prior to listing your home “For Sale” provides valuable information you can use to:
- Decide what you want to fix or disclose based upon inspection findings.
- Supplement the Marketing Strategy for selling the house.
- Avoid surprises that can ultimately marginalize the sale of your home.
2. Think about the house you would like to purchase… wouldn’t you feel better knowing the major systems have received professional review prior to your purchase? So, have all serviceable equipment examined and tuned by an appropriately licensed technician. Annual maintenance for heating, cooling, irrigation, gas and solid fuel burning devices like fireplaces and wood stoves is anticipated by most Prospective Homebuyers.
3. Provide the Prospective Home Buyer with full access for the day of the Home Inspection so they feel like they are “at home”. Think about access needed for the Home Inspection including:
- Providing access to attic, crawl, storage areas, and all electrical, water and HVAC systems.
- Take any pets from the home for their safety and your peace of mind.
- Leave keys and/or directions to garage or outbuilding access.
- Find out how long the Inspection will take: leave a 1Ž2 hour early and expect a 1Ž2 hour longer than anticipated. (Trust us, having the homeowner endlessly driving around the block during the Home Inspection doesn’t make it “go faster” or make a buyer feel comfortable).
4. Show the Prospective Purchaser you truly have been a responsible caretaker for their new home by putting together a list of Service Providers including any history of service and contact information. This might include Appliance Repair, Alarm Monitoring, Handyperson, or Yard Maintenance Companies. (Homebuyers appreciate having this information as, often times, there is no record of these companies having been involved in the maintenance of the home). This information provides extra confidence they are purchasing a well-maintained home.
If you have additional questions regarding Preparing A Home For Sale, we have resources to help you achieve your goals. Please call us anytime.