Thinking of listing your home for sale? Take note of these tips before you list and maybe you will save time and aggravation later.
It’s no secret most areas of the country are returning to a market slightly tilted to the buyer. Bidding wars and waived contingencies are mostly gone. On top of this, home buyers are having a difficult time obtaining affordable homeowners insurance coverage due to tight underwriting requirements. This becomes your problem when the buyer finds they can’t close due to lack of insurance.
Here are some tips on things you can fix before listing which will make it easier to sell your home:
- Seal and paint visible water stains on ceilings, floors, or inside cabinets. No insurance carrier today will issue a policy if there are visible water stains present regardless of whether the stain is related to an active or inactive leak. You can’t have water stains!
- Clean the windows and remove cobwebs that may have termite swarmer’s present. This is reportable on the WDO report.
- Clean AC vents and the air handler unit to remove wet dust or other dirt which may be called “possible mold”. It’s not mold, but some think it is.
- If the HVAC system has not been serviced within six months, have it serviced.
- Clean the grout/tile and update missing grout/caulking in showers or around sinks/tubs. Make sure you remove any dark staining which someone can call “mold”.
- Make sure all built-in appliances work properly.
- If the mulch is over the bottom of the siding, remove any excess mulch. Mulch that is too high is a conducive condition to insects/termites and water damage.
- If you have a pool, make sure it is working properly. You may need to hire a pool technician to make sure it is properly balanced, clean, and presentable.
- Remove clutter, trash, and wood piles away from the foundation.
- Check all plumbing valves to see if they show any evidence of corrosion or leakage.
- Trim tree limbs or vegetation away from the home.
- If your home has aluminum branch wiring, have it updated with AlumiConn connectors by a licensed electrician and have the electrician provide a report on their letterhead.
- If you have an old Federal Pacific, Bulldog, Challenger, Zinsco, GTE Sylvania, or fuse panel, you should have it replaced before listing.
- If your water heater is located inside the home and the overflow is not piped to the exterior or it is missing a pressure valve, you will need to have this repaired.
- If you have polybutylene plumbing, you will need to have it replaced.
- If your asphalt shingle roof is over 15 years old, your buyer may have a hard time obtaining insurance. Be prepared to replace the roof before the buyer can close. Note: At present insurance carriers in Florida will not allow a buyer to replace the roof after closing.
- Replace all defective light bulbs including the appliances.
- Repair or replace all water-damaged wood on door frames, eaves, window trim, etc.
- Pressure wash and paint the exterior if needed. If the paint is over ten years old, it probably needs it.
- Repair or replace broken window/door locks.
Finally, make sure your home is pest free. Nothing kills deals faster than termite damage or an infestation of rats/cockroaches.