Prepare For The Spring Market With The Kopf Group
Preparing for the spring market is key. We often have clients ask what they should think about doing to their house prior to selling, we have found an article written by Angela Colley about preparing for the spring market. For more guidance, let the Kopf Group Realtors help you now!
So You Wanna Sell Your Home?
Source: Prepare For Spring Market; written by Angela Colley
If youre looking to sell your home during prime house-shopping season this spring, youd better get cracking now. After all, its not as easy as slapping an ad on Craigslist; if you want your humble abode to stand out from the competition, that could take months to do right.
Thats why were kicking off our 2016 Home-Selling Guidea series of articles in which, each week, well show you the next step to prep your house for sale and ace the deal. (In case youre also on the hunt for a new home, we kicked off our Home-Buying Guide yesterday.)
Step 1 to selling a home is a New Years classic: Whip your place into shape by fixing any problems and upgrading the eyesores. Because like it or not, your home has sustained some wear and tear over the years. Heres how to assess the damage and find out which renovations will pay off down the road.
1. Tally the age of various items
No matter how great your home looks at first glance, any savvy buyer will point to various parts and pop the question: How old? And since guesstimates wont cut it, its time to gather some paperwork. If youve purchased your home in the past few years, check your home records or sellers disclosure for the age or last repair of big items (namely your roof, HVAC system, water heater, and gutters), or dig up copies of your own maintenance records or receipts.
How long items last depends on a lot of factors such as the model and how well its been maintained, but you can get a general idea of average life span from the National Association of Home Builders. For example:
- Wood shingle and shake roof: 15 to 30 years
- Central air-conditioning unit: 15 years
- Electric water heater: 14 years
- Gutters: 30 years
2. Do your own walk-through
Channel Sherlock Holmes and go through your home, room by room. Look for signs of damage that might drag down its value. Chandler Crouch, broker for Chandler Crouch Realtors in Forth Worth, TX, suggests looking for these common problem spots:
- Wood rot around outside door frames, window ledges, and garage doors. Condensation and rain can cause these areas to weaken and rot.
- Water stains on the ceiling or near doors and windows. This can indicate a leaky roof or rain seeping in from outside.
- Leaks under sinks or around toilets.
- Bulges under carpet or discoloration on hardwood floors, which can indicate flooding problems or an uneven foundation.
Next, test whats called the functionality in every room. For example, Cracks visible in the walls and floor, doors that dont shut right, broken handles on cabinetry, basically anything that doesnt work perfectly should be repaired, Crouch says. And dont forget to inspect the outside.A lot of sellers skip the outside, but it is so important. That is where buyers will make their first impression, says Darbi McGlone, a Realtor® with Jim Talbot Real Estate in Baton Rouge, LA.
3. Bring in the pros
Once youve done your own walk-through, you may want to have a pro take a second look. These people can spot flaws you overlooked, because either youre used to them or you didnt realize they could cause trouble. You can enlist a Realtor or hire a home inspector to do an inspection (or pre-inspection) to pinpoint problems from bad wiring to outdated plumbing.
While the cost varies, people pay an average of $473 for a home inspection, according to Angies List. Go to the National Association of Home Inspectors to find an inspector in your area. It may cost a bit, but it will buy you the peace of mind of knowing youre not in for any surprises down the road. In fact, having a home inspection report handy to show buyers can inspire confidence that they (and you by association) arent in for any nasty surprises as you move toward a deal.
4. Decide what needs renovating
Once you know what in your house could stand for repairs or upgrades, its time to decide where to infuse some cash. Dont worry, not everything needs to be done before your homes on the market. And while youre probably not jumping at the idea of renovating a property youre going to sell, certain fixes will give you an edge over the competition, which means more/better offers. Remember, real estate is an investment!
But dont just obsess over the obviouse.g., your kitchen could stand for new cabinets. After all, many buyers will want to tweak cosmetic details to their own tastes, so you could be throwing money down the drain. Instead, focus on fix-its that are less susceptible to personal preferences that buyers like to know are in good shape.
For example, a recent study by the National Association of Realtors® found that upgrading hardwood floors reaps an estimated 100% return on investment, essentially paying for itself. Upgrading your insulation can net you a 95% ROI, a new roof a whopping 105%! Because what buyers dont like to know theyve got a solid roof over their heads?
Once youve got the ball rolling on getting your place in shape, youll be ready for the next step.
The Kopf Group Realtors are ready to help you!
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