The real estate market is hot. Many people who have been on the fence about selling their home are hopping on the bandwagon, getting ready put their house on the market. However, to ensure you get top dollar with minimal hassle, there are a few key things you can do before you list.
Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Service, has seen thousands of homes as a Lewis County home inspector. He sees the same issues come up time and again for home owners trying to close a deal. And, after the inspection is completed and details many of these issues for the buyer and seller, there is only a short 10-day period to address them all. Save yourself time, effort and money by preparing your home in advance of listing.
Here are Dwayne’s top six tips to get your home ready before you list with your realtor.
1 – Check your Roof
One of the top issues found during home inspections are at the top of the house. Before you list, get up on your roof (or hire someone to do it for you) and inspect it for excess moss, loose shingles or flashing, dirty chimney cap, clogged gutters or any other surprises. By cleaning the roof, gutters and chimney, you not only save yourself the hassle of doing it during the 10-day window for addressing issues after inspection, but you present a home that appears well-maintained and cared for which goes a long way with buyers.
2 – Upgrade your Curb Appeal
The saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Never is this truer than when selling a home. Imagine you are a buyer and you pull up to a new listing your agent has excitedly shared with you. No matter how perfect the home might be for your family, if you are presented with an unkempt yard, dead plants in flower pots, old newspapers on the stoop or peeling paint on the front door, your first impression may be the last as you pass the home by.
In a competitive market, ensure your house grabs buyers at first sight. Keep grass trimmed, cut plants and shrubs away from the house (this will be noted in an inspection report if they are too close), add fresh mulch and colorful plantings in pots and beds. A few dollars spent at the garden center will pay you back many times over when buyers exclaim how cute your home is. And, don’t forget the front door. A cheery and well-kept entry welcomes people and offers.
3 – Stage Outdoor Living Spaces
Don’t limit your outdoor attention to the front of the house. Dwayne has witnessed many buyers relaxing on patios, porches and decks while he completes his inspections. “In homes where outdoor areas have patio furniture, people seem to relax more while we inspect the exterior of the house,” says Dwayne. “They sit, relax and see themselves in the home.” This holds true during that first visit with their realtor as well. By creating inviting spaces outdoors, buyers can imagine backyard BBQs with friends and family.
4 – Complete Safety Upgrades
Boggs Inspection Service inspects all types of residences from new construction to historic homes. And, for homes over a certain age, several standard safety upgrades are typically needed. These include CO2 monitors, GFCI outlets (the ones with the reset button in the center) in kitchens and baths and earthquake straps on the hot water heater. Each of these are small fixes, but by taking care of them prior to listing, you show buyers and realtors you have gone the extra mile to ensure a smooth sale and quick close.
5 – Add Splash Blocks
This simply fix takes only minutes, but shows pride of ownership and consistent maintenance. Splash blocks are lightweight, plastic trays located under downspouts, directing rainwater away from foundations. They are usually in place when homes are new, but can get lost or covered with dirt or mulch over time. A quick trip to the home improvement store can keep this “to do” item off your inspection report and add to the appeal of your home.
6 – Invest in a Pre-Listing Inspection
Dwayne and his team are often asked to complete a pre-listing inspection. For just a few hundred dollars, homeowners can have one of Boggs Inspection Services professional inspectors visit their home, finding any issues before the home is listed. And, by adding the description of “pre-inspected” to the listing, you may just stand out above other homes in your area.
“Finding an issue needing repair such as missing insulation in the attic, leaks in the crawl space or an outdated electrical panel before you list your home instead of during the 10-day period after a buyer’s inspection allows homeowners to get bids and make the repairs on their schedule,” says Dwayne. “This often saves money and creates a smoother closing once an offer does come in.”
To learn more or to schedule an inspection, visit Boggs Inspection Services online or call them at 360-480-9602.