Even though 2021 is starting off as a seller’s market, everyone involved in the sale of a home wishes for a smooth transaction. So what can you as the homeowner and seller do to make the process easier?
Have a Realistic View of Your Home’s Condition
When you’ve lived in your home for an extended period of time, you get accustomed to the home and property and tend to overlook certain issues. But a potential buyer who is seeing the house for the first time won’t. These oversights can be seen as shortfalls to a buyer – and some could be costly fixes for them. Furnace still working like a champ even though it’s 25 years old. While this might not be an issue for you because it’s working as intended and you know its maintenance history, but realistically, a buyer is going to look at the age and figure they will need to replace it within 5 years.
Take a walk through your house as if you are seeing as if seeing for the first time. Bring a notepad and go through each room slowly and carefully. Check for leaking faucets, running or loose toilets, broken cabinets, or hardware. Check for broken or not working lights and switches, broken or missing doorknobs, broken or missing outlets. Check for signs of pests, mold, mildew, and water leaks. Don’t forget to do the outside too. How’s your deck, patio, walkways, roof, siding, and gutters?
Consider a Pre-Sale Inspection
It can be hard to know everything that’s wrong with your home if you aren’t a home inspector, so you may want to consider a pre-sale inspection. Doing your own inspection before listing can help you avoid any surprises during the sales transaction. Regardless of how knowledgeable you are or how long you’ve lived in your home, there could be unknown issues lurking under the surface that could derail a sale.
A pre-sale inspection also allows you more time to research any issues or find a cost-effective repairman. During the sales process you will have limited time to get items fixed and you risk the sale falling through.
What is Usually Included in a Pre-Sale Inspection?
It’s just like a buyer’s home inspection. The inspector will check major systems, mechanicals, windows, and doors and look for signs of water damage, mold, and cracks. There are typically more detailed inspections you can add on for an additional cost: radon testing, well-water testing, internal mold testing, or lead-paint testing.
Many realtors will tell you that if you don’t price your home right from the start, you will have a harder time selling your home, even with price reductions. The price of the home should properly reflect its condition. If you list your home at a higher price which doesn’t reflect any known issues, you run the risk of accepting an offer only to have the buyer’s inspector find hidden problems that lead them to cancel the contract completely. Not only does it waste everyone’s time, but it could make other buyer’s wary on why your property is no longer under contract.
Do You Have to Disclose a Pre-Sale Home Inspection?
Each state can vary on what a seller is required to disclose, but in the State of Connecticut you are required to disclose any knowledge you have of existing conditions. You should ask your realtor for a list of the required disclosures. Usual questions include:
Are you aware of any lead-based paint in your home?
Are you aware of any past flooding?
Are you aware of foundation issues with the home?
This isn’t just for the realtors to view either. Disclosures are usually shared upon receipt of an offer but can also be made available to interested buyers before they make an offer. They can also ask for past energy bills – like heat, water, and electricity.
Find the Right Inspector
When choosing a home inspector, it’s important to find one who is thorough and reputable. Your Realtor will most likely have a list of ones they recommend. Always look at their credentials, background, and capability to provide you everything you need to make an informed decision.
Looking for other tips on what to tackle before putting your home on the market, read more on our blog – CLICK HERE.
Vice President, Senior Mortgage Lender
NMLS MLO ID: 532621