If your home has serious deferred maintenance issues but you must sell you have a serious dilemma on your hands. Don’t kid yourself for a minute, the maintenance issues will cost you with buyers. Funds to create the changes needed might not be there or be hard to come by. This post will give you some ideas to help you get the most money for your home when you have to sell.
Common Maintenance issues:
Wood rot on eaves beams and decks – sand, stain or paint use wood repair filler if feasible.
Maintenance on the HVAC system – sometimes a good cleaning – filter change and service (usually under $100) will go a long way toward having the heat and cooling system pass inspection.
Water damaged cabinets (baths and kitchens) – replace floor of cabinets and/or re-stain or paint. This is not expensive and makes a very bad looking problem go away. Stains may be from household products and not water but replace them anyway. Water stains on front of cabinets from drips may possibly be polished away.
Remove items that cannot be repaired. Out of sight items cannot become an issue. If the pool heater is broken and you are not going to replace it, remove it. If the decorative fencing is rotten, get rid of it. Are most of your screens trashed? Get rid of all of them.
Worse Case Scenarios:
Don’t cover up or attempt to hide anything. This could get you sued after the sale.
If you can’t fix something obtain bids so that the repair cost number can be real – buyers will have the tendency to over inflate repair estimates. Having bids keeps the conversation on a level playing field.
Insurance – this is not a first choice for anyone but if your house has serious damage check with your insurance carrier to see about placing a claim for repairs.
>Check with local vocational schools or community jobs organizations that may donate or offer low cost labor. They may do the work for a lower cost or no cost if they can use the property as a teaching project.
>Check with the city or town you live in there may be small grants or programs to help you beautify your property – any discounted or free products or supplies will really help you keep costs in check.
>Look for neighborhood organizations, they may have a yard cleanup day or even neighbors willing to donate labor/talent on a once year one time basis. For example Spring Clean ups.
>Many cities have a bi yearly or quarterly program to pick up large items, extra yard waste electronic waste etc. Use these to clean your property out to the best of your ability. Just being clean and neat can help your home look better cared for.
Home Warranty plan for Sellers: Check with your listing agent. In some areas of the country home warranty products are common place and buyers expect to receive this coverage when they purchase the home. What you may not know is that the plans have seller coverage as well. Usually on a per-diem basis while your home is on the market and in escrow. The rates for these plans are typically very reasonable ($50 a month) and can cover unexpected systems failures and problems while the home is being sold. Best of all they typically are paid out of closing funds and do not require up-front payment.
Don’t lose thousands to save a little effort and a few hundred dollars. There are ways you can make any property look better and stand out to prospective buyers.