It’s no secret that the real estate market has been heating up over the last several years. And, this summer, it’s red hot. This means that many people who have been unsure about selling are now jumping on the bandwagon and competition is fierce for buyers and sellers. If you are preparing to sell you home, there are a few things you can do to smooth the process and make your home stand out.
Over the years, Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Service, has been involved in the sale of thousands of homes as a Pierce County home inspector. Time and again, he sees sellers scrambling to address issues found during inspection that they had no idea existed. With only a short 10-day period after inspection to remedy any issues found, sellers sometimes lose a buyer when problems arise. Save yourself time, effort and money by preparing your home in advance of listing.
Follow Dwayne’s top six tips to prep your home for listing.
1 – Update the Curb Appeal
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is so true when selling your home and is especially important in a competitive market. When buyers pull up to a home for the first time, wow them with a well maintained and inviting entry.
Keep grass mowed, trim plants and shrubs away from the house (you’ll be asked to do this in the inspection report, too), plant several pots with flowers and freshen up the mulch. Just a small amount spent at the garden center will pay your back easily when buyers are drawn to your fresh looking home. And, don’t forget the front door. And inviting entry makes buyers want to learn more.
2 – Inspect your Roof
Climbing on the roof isn’t one of our top choices when it comes to home maintenance. But, roof issues are one of the top problems found during home inspections. Before you put your home on the market, get up on your roof (or hire someone to do it for you) and check for moss, loose shingles or flashing, a dirty chimney cap, clogged gutters or any other surprises. By checking and repairing the roof, gutters and chimney, you avoid a stressful and costly scramble to find a repair person in the 10-day window after inspection.
3 – Stage Outdoor Living Spaces
Give your outdoor living areas as much attention as the inside. Most people de-clutter, deep clean and stage their home’s interior for sale. Dwayne reminds sellers to do the same outdoors. He has seen 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 – Check for Splash Blocks
Splash blocks are lightweight, plastic or metal trays placed under downspouts to channel rainwater away from your foundation. While they are usually added when a home is new, over time they can get lost or broken. A quick trip to the home improvement store can keep this “to do” item off your inspection report and showcase your home as well maintained.
5 – Upgrade Safety Features
Boggs Inspection Service inspects all types of residences from new construction to historic homes. In older homes, CO2 monitors and GFCI outlets (the ones with the reset button in the center) are often missing. You can purchase simply plug in CO2 monitors at any hardware store and switching out your outlet is fairly simple, too. An electrician can help, or many homeowners can tackle this task on their own.
Check your water heater, too. An earthquake strap is now required. 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.
6 – Invest in a Pre-Listing Inspection
Pre-listing inspections are a great way to make sure you haven’t missed anything and that there aren’t any big surprises during the buyer’s inspection. Costing just a few hundred dollars, Boggs Inspection Services’ professional inspectors will visit your home and complete a full inspection, noting areas that you can fix before you list. And, by adding the description of “pre-inspected” to the listing, you may also stand out above other homes in your area, drawing more buyer interest.
“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,” explains 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.