HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO GET YOU POINTED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
LET'S BEGIN WITH YOUR WHY
If you’re considering selling your home you are most likely weighing the pro’s and con’s. As home advisors we like to begin with knowing your motivation to sell.
Are you downsizing?
Have you run out of room and need something bigger?
Do you have to re-locate for business or other reasons?
Are you selling at the right time and getting the most out of your investment?
Once you sell your home will you be purchasing again, renting or relocating to a different state?
Having clarity regarding your "why" will make it easier for us to help you achieve your goals.
In today's world as a Realtor® it is crucial to have a plan and timeline in place in order to execute a strategy to find a buyer who is qualified financially to purchase your home. Our job is not just to put a sign in your yard, post the listing on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and then sit back and wait to see what happens.
We need to drive buyers to your home in order to get the highest and best offer. This requires targeted-online, social media marketing, and networking with other real estate agents. An Open House within the first week of your home being on the market is vital. Your home needs exposure to the community.
HOW MUCH IS MY HOME WORTH?
This is every homeowners number one question! There is so much information available to consumers today regarding the value of your home. Let’s simply things for you.
There are “Zestimates” and automated home value generators on websites. These are estimates only and if notice carefully they give you a range of value. Most we have seen give over-inflated numbers to get you to call and speak to someone. This gives false hope and disappointment when the true value is determined.
Next is the price you have in your head and the value you have given to your investment. Most times this becomes an emotional battle and prices again are overinflated and expectations are not level-set to the reality of what the market is doing in your area.
As your Realtor®, I will provide you with real-time comparables to your property and we will review each of these properties against yours. We need to understand what the competition is doing in your neighborhood (that’s other homes currently “active” and "for sale"). Once again we'll use our resources and technology to give you 3 recommended sales price points, low, medium, and high. The amount we settle on is based on the current condition of your home.
At the end of the day, the most important person who makes the deciding opinion of the value of your property is the appraiser. That’s right, the appraiser! Most loans today are contingent upon the appraised value of the property. We invest all of this time and energy surrounding the price to list the home at! Obviously, we don't want to under list the home (this could create an opportunity for more buyers to look at the property and bid the price upwards) and we don't want to price it too high from the actually market values (this could result in fewer, if any interested buyers).
Get Your No-Cost, Personalized Home Valuation Report
SETTING THE SCENE
We strive to create an “ah-ha” moment for the buyer the moment they step foot onto your property. Remember, that if you want the highest and best offer for your home you will need to put in a little “sweat-equity” to reap the rewards!
Imagine for a moment that you were walking up to your home for the first time (remember the day you did?). How did it look? What made you want to put an offer in and purchase? We need to be more "buyer centric" – meaning we need to focus on the buyer's experience. It’s all about them. They are the one's who will putting money back in your pocket!
GETTING PREPARED FOR THE HOME INSPECTION
Nearly all buyers will hire a professional home inspector to take a closer look at their new home before closing. In most cases home inspections are completed during the intitial 17 day inspection contingency period.
A home inspection is similiar to getting a healthy checkup! Buyers want to know more about them home and avoid any potential safety hazzards or expesnses early on due to mechanical failures or issues with the home. Some questions buyers typically have are What is the age of the roof and are there any leaks? Is the wiring safe? How about the plumbing? Does the home have termites? What about the wood rot? Do the appliances work? How old is the water heater tank? These, and others, are the questions that the buyers looking at your home will seek professional help to answer.
It is important to not wait until inspection day to assess the condition of your home and make necessary home repairs before you sell. Smaller problems can turn into major one's which could end up costing you more in the end and even lower your homes value during the appraisal.
In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself and make the necessay repairs.
Here are common things to consider
Mold and Mildew
Mildew stains and odors scare buyers, especially now that toxic black mold is such a hot topic. Chances are you won't even get an acceptable offer if mold and mildew are present. Even if the mold in your house is the normal variety and not stachybotrys chartarum, it is important that you take care of it immediately. Kill the mold and mildew and fix the source of the problem.
Defective plumbing can manifest itself in two different ways: leaking, and clogging. A visual inspection can detect leaking, and the inspector will check water pressure by turning on multiple faucets and flushing toilets at the same time. Appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers may be tested, too. Leaks and clogs will be apparent during these checks. When checking the faucets if the water appears dirty when first turned on, this is a good indication that the pipes are rusting, which can result in severe water quality problems.
The home inspector may also check the septic system. During one method dyes are flushed and the inspector waits to see if the dye surfaces on the drainfield, indicating a drainage problem.
Damp or Wet Basement or Crawlspaces
An inspector will check your walls for a powdery white mineral deposit a few inches off the floor, and will look to see if you feel secure enough to store things right on your basement floor. A mildew odor is almost impossible to eliminate, and an inspector will certainly be conscious of it. The inspector might use a meter to determine how much moisture is present in these spaces, because moisture deteriorates building materials and attracts insects.
It could cost you a few hundred dollars or several thousand, depending on the problem. You will have to weigh these figures into the calculation of what price you want to net on your home.
Inadequate Wiring & Electrical
The electrical panel and circuit breaker configuration should be adequate for the needs of the house. A 125 amp electrical panel works for most homes. Individual circuits should not be overloaded. Wire should be copper or aluminum.
The inspector will look for receptacles with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFI) in bathrooms and kitchens. These receptacles have little test-reset buttons on them. The home inspector will likely make sure the receptacles are what they appear to be, and not "dummies" that aren't wired to work. Some of the grounded receptacles (with 3-pronged plugs) will be checked too.
Poor Heating & Cooling Systems
Insufficient insulation, and an inadequate or a poorly functioning heating system, are the most common causes of poor heating. While an adequately clean furnace, without rust on the heat exchanger, usually has life left in it, an inspector will be asking and checking to see if your furnace is over its typical life span of 15-25 yrs. For a forced air gas system, a heat exchanger will come under particular scrutiny since one that is cracked can emit deadly carbon monoxide into the home. These heat exchangers must be replaced if damaged - they cannot be repaired.
Water leakage through the roof can occur for a variety of reasons such as physical deterioration of the asphalt shingles (e.g. curling or splitting), or mechanical damage from a wind storm. When gutters leak and downspouts allow water to run down and through the exterior walls, this external problem becomes a major internal one.
Damp Attic Spaces
Aside from basement dampness, problems with ventilation, insulation and vapor barriers can cause water, moisture, mold and mildew to form in the attic. This can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials. The cost to fix this damage could easily run over $2,500.
This can occur in many places (door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences). The building inspector will sometimes probe the wood to see if this is present - especially when wood has been freshly painted.
Re-bricking can be costly, but, left unattended, these repairs can cause problems with water and moisture penetration into the home which in turn could lead to a chimney being clogged by fallen bricks or even a chimney which falls onto the roof. It can be costly to rebuild a chimney or to have it repainted.
Unsafe or Over-fused Electrical Circuit
A fire hazard is created when more amperage is drawn on the circuit than was intended. 15 amp circuits are the most common in a typical home, with larger service for large appliances such as stoves and dryers. It can cost several hundred dollars to replace your fuse panel with a circuit panel.
Adequate Security Features
More than a purchased security system, an inspector will look for the basic safety features that will protect your home such as proper locks on windows and patio doors, dead bolts on the doors, smoke and even carbon monoxide detectors in every bedroom and on every level.
Even though pricing will vary, these components will add to your costs. Before purchasing or installing, you should check with your local experts.
An inspector will certainly investigate the underlying footing and foundation of your home as structural integrity is fundamental to your home.
When you put your home on the market, you don't want any unpleasant surprises that could cost you the sale of your home. By having an understanding of these problem areas as you walk through your home, you'll be preparing yourself against potential problems in the selling process.
Before the Inspection
Do everything you can to get the house in good condition before you attempt to sell it, but don't be discouraged if the inspection report contains negative statements. Home inspectors make note of everything they see. No home is perfect.
Remember that the home inspection report is not a wish-list for buyers. Read your contract carefully--it probably states which systems should be in good working order at closing. For instance, if the roof is older, but doesn't leak, it is in good working order. If there's a leak, and fixing just the leak is possible, the roof will be in good working order.
Your contract may also state that you are under no obligation to make any repairs at all--although the buyers can then likely withdraw from the contract. Don't feel you must comply with unreasonable demands for repairs.