This Little Home Went to Market

By Johnny B. Reeves
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Southern Realty

As a seller, your No. 1 goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible at or near the listing price. In today’s market, where there is much more competition for buyers, it is important to put your best foot, or in this case, home forward because first impressions are vital. The old adage “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression “Many of today’s prospective homebuyers have busy lifestyles and are looking for properties that don’t require a lot of work. With the limited number of buyers in today’s market sellers must take advantage of every opportunity to “catch a buyer’s eye.” Therefore a home in move-in condition is much more attractive. Before placing your home on the market, you may want to invest in making needed repairs.

To get started inspect both the inside and outside of the home. Take inventory of practical and aesthetic repairs.

You may want to apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and shutters. Clean the carpet and buff and polish wooden floors. Tighten and polish hardware. Repair cracks in sidewalks and driveways, and clean any stains on them. Replace missing or warped roofing. Clean or re-grout kitchen and bathrooms. Repair dripping faucets and drains or plumbing fixtures that aren’t operating. Fix sticking doors and replace old locks and doorknobs. Replace old bulbs and broken electrical sockets. Replace cracked windows and torn screens. Repair broken fencing and reseal the deck. Clean up stains on the tiles and countertops.

Some experts also recommend hiring a certified home inspector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate the property. (For a list of inspectors in your area ask your real estate professional for recommendations.) A standard report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure. If there are recommendations for improvement, consult with your real estate professional in prioritizing the list of repairs.

Depending on your goals and budget, you may want to repair only items that could cause significant deterioration to the home, such as a leak. In addition, your local market conditions may dictate how extensive your repairs need to be. Let your budget and your real estate professional guide you. However, be careful about major repairs. Sellers rarely recoup money on major remodeling projects, and you may want to save funds for your new home. A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to make small repairs to your home can go a long way in making sure that your home is presented to potential buyers in its best possible light. They also just might make the sale. Take the time to put your best foot forward.