By now, you’ve read/seen/heard lots of people, including me via this blog, tell you all about de-cluttering, cleaning, staging, etc. in preparation for putting your home on the market. But what about repairs and other things that might give a potential buyer second thoughts? Here are a few items you can and should look at prior to listing your home for sale and before a buyer’s inspector comes through–a few interior “hot spots” that can be easily fixed and give a buyer peace of mind.
1. Leaks–Check every faucet and hose bib, inside and outside, for leaks and fix them. It’s usually an easy and inexpensive thing to do and will pay off by not alerting a buyer to potential problems. And remember to check inside cabinets also to be sure everything’s tight and drip-free.
2. Sinks and Drains–Be sure every sink and tub is draining properly and and that lines are clear. To make sure, run water in several sinks and flush several toilets at the same time. If things aren’t running smoothly and well, call the plumber! Get those lines cleared.
3. Water pressure–While the plumber’s there, have him or her check your water pressure. Or try running the dishwasher, washing machine, a sink, and the shower all at once. If the water pressure is too low, you may need a bigger hot water heater. Get one now, before you put your home up for sale.
4. Water heater–Speaking of the water heater, take a good look at yours and look under it. If you see rust or leaks, replace the hot water heater now, because you can be sure a buyer will want that done as soon as his inspector reports that it’s leaking and/or rusty!
5. Septic tank–If you’re on a septic system, have the tank emptied and serviced at least 2 weeks before you put your house on the market. In Texas, you’ll have to report on the last time the tank was emptied, and you certainly don’t want to have to have it done while your house is being shown!
You’re probably not going to be doing a lot of electrical work, but take a few minutes to locate your main electrical panel and just brush out the cobwebs and dead bugs, and wipe off rust and/or mildew.
Heating and Air Conditioning Systems:
Have your heating and air conditioning units serviced before you list your home. Check for any problems that may be there or even potential problems and take care of them before a buyer’s inspector comes in. Replace your filters, clean ducts, and make sure everything is clean and running smoothly.
Test thermostats and if they need to be replaced, do it now!
If you really want to check for problems, have your home pre-inspected. Hire your own inspector (your REALTOR® can give you a list of names) and have your home inspected before you list it. Then, you can take care of small things first and get estimates for any major repairs. You will have to disclose the inspection report, but by doing so, you can point out the items that have been repaired and have an idea what a buyer’s inspector may be reporting. Some buyers may even choose to accept your report and not hire their own inspector to save some extra money.
Being proactive in this area could strengthen your negotiating position and/or save you from the stress of unexpected problems. Potential buyers will be confident that your home has been well-maintained. Reducing everyone’s stress level leads to a smoother transaction and less hassle for everyone! Everyone comes out happy!!