If you really put the time and effort into getting your home ready to hit the market, it will be worth every minute of the work and sweat. This could be an incredibly long post so I will do my best to put the highlights in so that it doesn’t become too long winded.
Let me start by saying that this “ Prep Phase” may be a few weeks to months. I have worked with families in the past that worked for over a year getting their home ready to hit the market . Sometimes families that have lived in a home for 30 plus years have a good deal of organizing and “ clearing out” to do. Make sure that the realtor that you have chosen is willing to advise you, work with you, and be patient during this process. This is not a “ one and done” project typically.
Some of the top “ To Do’s” that I would recommend putting on your list would be the following:
Create either a hand written list or word document itemizing all of the improvements that you have made on your home since ownership. If you can’t remember the dates that’s ok. They still need to be on the list.
If you have a basement, is it fairly well cleared out? It’s ok to have things in the basement but buyers should be able to safely walk through it and all of your mechanicals should be easy to access ( i.e. electrical box, furnace, oil tank ) I have come into homes to find oil tanks covered with personal items, clothes, etc …yikes!
Have a pre-listing inspection ! I cannot recommend this enough. You can ask your realtor for a list of names of local home inspectors that they would recommend. The purpose of doing this is to be well aware of items that may come up in the buyers home inspection that you may not even be aware of. You can then decide whether you want to repair those items prior to listing your home, adjust the sales price, or offer to escrow money to the buyer at closing for the repair. Some buyers may even opt to buy your home inspection report and pay a small fee for the inspector to meet with them personally to go over the report.
If you have public sewer, have a sewer line scope and be sure to get an invoice from the contractor who did the scope stating that the line looked clear. If you are on private septic, we will save that prep info for another post.
Collect your utility costs for the prior 12 months . Even if you can give your realtor the average cost per month for electric and heating costs this is hugely helpful and a common request from buyers. If you have solar panels, create a list of your savings and rental agreement ( if you don’t own the panels)
Have your furnace serviced! Especially if your system is oil based, be sure that you have a service tech come, clean, and check it once a year. Also, be sure that they LEAVE A SERVICE TICKET. That way, it shows the buyer that they were actually there. They can also opt to call them and continue service with them if they buy the home by having their contact information on the ticket. Just because you have it serviced does not always mean a ticket was written for the work done. October is a great month to have this done.
Make a list or write a quick note about what you favorite parts of living in your home have been . Is it something about the home? Neighborhood? Proximity to shops etc? These may be highlights that your realtor wouldn’t know without you conveying those details to them.
Check your “ Curb Appeal” How does your home and yard look from the street? Is your garden overgrown? Is your walkway filled with weeds? Is there a good deal of debris around your yard and garage? Does your exterior need a paint job or power wash if you have vinyl siding?
Last but not least, decide how much energy you are willing to put into getting your home ready. It can be a lot of work but it can give you such a huge return!
As always, questions on this post drop me a text or email!