When you were in the market to purchase a house, chances are you wanted one that was in really good shape; no…you wanted one that was perfect, right? Now that you are selling, don’t you think a potential buyer wants to find your house in perfect shape?
I suggest to all sellers, whose homes I list, that they make obvious repairs before putting the house on the market.
Some people choose to, and they either fix the things that they know are a problem, like a door that sticks or a faucet that leaks, or pay for an inspection and fix those recommended repairs before the seller sees them. An inspection in Oxford will run approximately $350.00.
Buyers will touch everything in your house: they’ll open the refrigerator, open and close cabinet doors to see how well they are made, turn on faucets, look under cabinets checking for leaks or damage from previous leaks. They’ll turn on the fireplace, ceiling fans and lights. Buyers will test the locks on the doors, the garage door, and look for cracks in tile floors and counters. A serious buyer will check everything…at least that’s what I’ve experienced with buyers I’ve worked with.
So, if something is leaking or off its hinge, fix it before a potential buyer sees it. Enough problems will leave buyers shaking their heads and moving on to see a house that they consider less of a project.
It’s so simple to do many of these pre-selling fixes, so take the time to do it. These can include the following, although depending on your house, there could be a few more items:
- plumbing (leaks, “running” toilet)
- electrical/light bulbs (if a socket doesn’t work you’ll need to fix it anyway)
- change a/c air filter
- clean/purge/box-up items (you are moving anyway so declutter now)
- cosmetic paint issues
- front and back door lock that sticks
- damaged screens on a screened porch
- clean out gutters
I also suggest, that before you list your house, you have it deep cleaned. There are many detail-oriented professional house cleaning businesses in Oxford. Hire one to deep clean: wipe down doors, windows, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, behind washer/dryer and refrigerator, baseboards, windowsills and frames, ceiling fans, fireplace, oven/microwave, floors, sink faucets (that crusty stuff around the base of faucets), dust around all light fixtures and crown molding. They will surely find more to clean, but you get the idea. Make your interior sparkle.
Outside, trim your bushes, remove anything dead, cut and edge the lawn, replace a missing fence board (a fenced yard with a missing post is not a fenced yard if Fido can escape). Plant some in-season annuals for extra color and wow.
I understand you may not be able to do all of this. Job relocations require you to move fast but if you are in the running for a transfer or a new job elsewhere, I’d get the house ready now just in case. A good looking house, in great condition will sell faster.
Another reason that you might not be able to make repairs ahead of time is due to something major. If you plan to fix a large issue but cannot before the house sells (price or having to move out to have it repaired), you’ll be disclosing it anyway so offer to have it fixed before the closing date or offer to pay some of the buyer’s closing costs in lieu of making the repair.
By making repairs pre-listing, you aren’t covering up problems. You’ll need to disclose the fixed leak, the screen repair and the replaced window, but you’ll be passing along, to a new homeowner, a house that is in good condition…one that is perfect, like when you bought it.
Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors BOF 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 firstname.lastname@example.org Equal housing
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