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WANT TO SCARE SOME HOME BUYERS? We all tend to get used to our homes. It’s hard to view things from a buyer’s perspective….Let your pride go and consider these top ten items that could kill your home sale, or cost you big bucks!
10. Major mechanicals: If your roof, furnace or central air are over 25 years old when you put your home on the market – count on buyers giving you a hard time and giving very large repair credits for these items – usually larger than the cost of actually replacing the items!
9. Moisture in the basement: Does it get humid or wet in the basement? Ever smell musty? Go ahead and put your home on market without addressing these issues and watch the buyers run! Buyers will only come up with the worst conclusions when left to their own devices….JUST DON’T GO THERE!
8. Chimney: If you have a wood burning fireplace, maintain the chimney! Chimney repairs get very expensive! “We use it every year and have never had a problem”….will never do. Have a professional check out the chimney before you try to sell – and save the receipt!
7. Windows: They work, right? They close, they keep the cold air out somewhat….what’s the problem? Old windows stick out like a sore thumb and will make buyers wonder about their replacement cost ( always higher than the cost of you actually just replacing the windows before going on market) or worse…wonder about what other items have been left ignored…..
6. Water quality: In theory you should check your water quality yearly if you have well water…do most folks? No. But if you are planning to sell your home….its time to! Many well water systems run with an active state of coliform or other issue…you wouldn’t know unless you tested. The solution – a bleaching ( by professionals preferably)…costing a couple hundred dollars at most. But when a first time buyer hears – “FECES IN THE WATER”….the stakes get much higher!
5. Peeling paint: It’s kind of charming when your older home has a little bit of peel going on on the porch, right? Memories of nights rocking out on the deck with friends…or maybe you even have antique home with “character”. Unfortunately – FHA – provider of most loans to ALL first time home buyers – just doesn’t agree. This can kill the buyers ability to buy your home. If you have any peeling paint – just take care of it before the home goes on market! Don’t kill your buyer pool before you even start!
4. Lack of updating: Yes, the kitchen works just fine! They just don’t build cabinets like they used to – you know what I’m saying?! Knotty oak does have its own charm…and the gold faucets have grown on you…all these things are what make it “home” to you….JUST NOT TO BUYERS! They will only see dollar signs, or weekends wasted on remodeling projects!!! Not updating your home regularly is probably the largest deterrent to your buyer pool….Just say “needs updating” in your mls description and watch your profit wither away…..
3. Service stickers: They saw the home, they loved it! They put in an offer which you accepted, and now its inspection time! The funny thing about inspectors is that they go through all your service stickers….If you have them – COOL….you will probably move forward with flying colors! When they don’t…someone will ask you to have that item serviced – it’s a given. And if there was ever a time that a tech will want 100 other repairs to be made…it will be that time….
2. Paint: The cheapest upgrade of them all! It’s amazing how paint will set the stage for a space. When its purple, with kids greasy fingerprints and knicks and scuffs all over – buyers just get turned off. Whether the home was in perfect shape or not otherwise – they will assume it was not. If you are planning to sell – take a walk through every room: Is the color neutral? Is the wall space clean? if the answer is no, PAINT IT ALL before a buyer sees it..or pay the price of uninterested buyers…or an expectation of lack of maintenance (which always spells LOWBALL OFFERS – IF ANY!)
1. Lightbulbs: Whats the difference between a dark dungeon and an airy retreat? LIGHT! Lack of light is the single most cost effective problem to solve, and the one that will make the biggest difference in the sale of your home. Invest in good quality lightbulbs for every room in your home, and open all the curtains when its time to let the buyers in!