If you’re getting ready to sell your house, you may want to make some repairs and upgrades, so your property makes a great impression on buyers. Here are some things to consider when trying to prepare a home for sale so it fetches top dollar.
Gather your paperwork. No matter how great your home looks at first glance, savvy buyers will want to know how old items are. Check your home records, receipts, or seller’s disclosures for the age or last repair of things like your roof, HVAC system, water heater, and gutters. You’ll also want to check how long these features are supposed to last. A central air-conditioning unit, for instance, typically lasts about 15 years, a wood shingle roof 15 to 30; but this will depend on a variety of factors such as the model and how well they’ve been maintained.
Check for flaws. Walk from room to room—and around the exterior of your house—looking for things that might detract from your home’s appearance and drag down its value. Some common problems include cracks in walls, water stains on ceilings, and doors and windows that don’t open or shut easily. Since you might be used to your home’s little quirks, it may help to get a real estate agent’s objective opinion, or to hire a home inspector who’ll conduct an inspection to pinpoint problems like bad wiring or outdated plumbing.
Decide what to repair and renovate. Once you have a handle on your home’s condition, it’s time to decide what to fix or change before putting your house on the market. While you’re probably not eager to spend money on renovating a property you’re about to sell, certain upgrades can dramatically improve the impression your home makes on buyers, leading to more and higher offers. Even relatively inexpensive alterations can pay off, like a new coat of paint or refinishing the floors. A real estate agent can help you pick which upgrades will bring the best return on investment. Here’s how to find a real estate agent.
Consider selling your home as is. If you don’t want the hassles of fixing up your house before you sell, you have the option to sell your home as is, without any improvements. This may mean you accept a lower price, but it’s worth considering if selling quickly and easily is your priority.