How to Get Your House Ready to Sell

Wondering how to get your house ready to sell? If you’re looking to sell your home during primetime which is during the first six months of the year in South Placer (we’ve got great weather!). Learn more about getting your home ready to sell.

How to get your house ready to sell

Unfortunately, getting a house ready to sell is not as easy as posting an add on Facebook. If you want your home sweet home to stand out from the competition, you need to make it shine. So, here’s how to whip your place into shape by discovering any problems and upgrading the eyesores. Because like it or not, your home has sustained some wear and tear over the years. Here’s how to assess the work you should do and find out which if any updates will pay off to help you sell.

1. Look at the big ticket items in your home, are they old?

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 won’t cut it, you will need to gather some paperwork to get your house ready to sell. If you’ve purchased your home in the past few years, check your home records or seller’s 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.

Pro Tip: How long items last depends on a lot of factors such as the model and how well it’s been maintained, but you can get a general idea of average lifespan. 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

Be a “buyer” and go through your home, room by room. Look for signs of damage that might drag down its value.  Need inspiration? Think about these types of issues looking at your home:

  • 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 what’s called the “liveability” in every room. For example: Cracks visible in the walls and floor, doors that don’t shut right, broken handles on cabinets, basically anything that doesn’t work perfectly should be repaired. And don’t forget to inspect the outside.

3. Bring in the pros to streamline the fixing

Once you’ve done your own walk-through, you may want to have a pro take a second look before you decide you’re ready to sell. These people can spot flaws you overlooked, because either you’re used to them or you didn’t realize they could cause trouble. My recommendation is to get a pre sale inspection for your home. There are companies specializing in a comprehensive home inspection. While your at it get the roof and order a wood pest inspection as well.

Pro Tip: While the cost varies, people pay $300+ for a home inspection. Go to the American Society 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 you’re 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) aren’t in for any nasty surprises as you move toward a deal.

4. Decide what needs renovating or not

Once you know what in your house could stand for repairs, it’s time to decide what to fix. Don’t worry, not everything needs to be done before your home is ready to sell. And while you’re probably not thrilled at the idea of renovating a property you’re going to sell, certain fixes will give you an edge over the competition, which means more/better offers. Remember, to think like a buyer when selling your home. Fix what matters and you’ll get better results selling.

But don’t just obsess over the obvious—e.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 more relevant to living in the home, buyers like to know are in good shape.

Pro Tip: If you are going to make the home shine. 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 don’t like to know they’ve got a solid roof over their heads?