Minnesota Handyman | Home Repair
Make repairs now before you put it on the market so you Don’t Panic When Buyers Are Coming!
SELLING YOUR HOME in a cooling market is stressful at best. A couple years ago, headlines screamed of bidding wars and of homes moving off the market within days. No more. Across the country, new home prices are down from one year ago. And many predict housing prices will fall farther before they’re done.
So if you plan to sell your home in the near future, call a Minnesota handyman to make sure everything is in working order. Then take a close look at your local real-estate market and find out what’s selling, what’s not and why. Finally, don’t expect to get more for your house than your neighbor got a year ago. This is a different market. Look at more recent sales data and price your home accordingly.
That said, can you still get a good price? You bet. Here are some more tips to help you get top dollar for your house.
Price, Price, Price
Selling a house is all about price. Ask too much, and you could get stuck with a home that languishes on the market. The longer it sits, the harder it is to unload. The first question a buyer asks is how long the house has been on the market. If it’s been on a while, they ask what is wrong with the house.
Ironically, homeowners who ask more for their homes tend to get less in the end. Studies show that if you price your home properly it will sell faster and at a higher price than if the home was priced aggressively. Overpricing leads to low bids. Proper pricing leads to high bids.
So how do you set the right price? First, take a look at recent sales in your neighborhood. And don’t forget to factor in the condition of your house. A home buyer in a more neutral market is still going to pay up for a new kitchen with Poggenpohl cabinets and a Sub-Zero Refrigerator. But in markets glutted with inventory, these items are unlikely to add much value to a house. And, if you failed to notice that Harvest Gold stoves and countertops went out of style with bell bottoms and love beads, you had better be prepared to drop your price by about as much as it would cost a new owner to renovate your relic.
First impressions are everything. The last thing you want is to turn off a potential buyer before he or she walks in the door. So make sure the house is painted, and call a landscaper to get your lawn in tip top shape. If your grass isn’t green, make it green. If you have weeds, get rid of them. If the shrubs are overgrown, cut them. Even small, inexpensive potted flowers can make your home seem more inviting.
Some renovations are worth an investment. An extra bathroom always makes a home more saleable. A few cans of paint and new flooring could also provide a handsome return.
Make sure everything works! Have an inspector assess everything. If there are any doubts about the mechanical functions, a buyer will walk.
Even minor repairs are crucial. Hire a contractor to go through your home with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure the gutters are cleaned and the tub has new grout and caulk in the joints. Every window must slide open, and kitchen cabinets should open with ease. And don’t forget to paint over ugly water stains. If you don’t, a potential buyer could see it as a warning sign of a larger issue.
If you’re inclined to leave your home as is, prepare to drop your asking price. Historically, buyers negotiate two dollars for every dollar of reported deficiencies.
There’s some basic advice that’s worth repeating. Keep your home as clean and as pristine as possible. This means cleaning out your closets and getting rid of excess clutter and furniture. You want your home to look as spacious as possible.
Below is a list of common issues and repairs that are typically found on most inspection reports. Taking care of these issues prior to your Pre-Listing inspection will reduce the number of issues found on your final home inspection report. While these may seem like minute details, they will create a better showing for your home while it is on the market.
Interior Repair Check List
- Secure loose tub and shower spouts and faucets
- Repair grout and sealant around tubs, showers, and faucets
- Fix all Plumbing Problems
- Replace leaky kitchen sink sprayers
- Replace missing and burned out light bulbs
- Replace missing or damaged light fixtures
- Tighten loose electrical receptacles
- Replace missing or broken switch and plug covers
- Tighten ceiling fan blades
- Adjust door hardware so that doors open and close properly
- Repair broken/cracked windows and damaged screens
- Fixing Holes in Walls
Exterior Repair Check List
- Seal and secure any exterior trim and openings in siding materials
- Secure any loose gutter and downspout sections
- Remove debris from gutters
- Repair any obvious roof problems
- Replace any rotted trim boards
- Seal and paint exposed wood
- Slope soils away from structure (minimum 2 inch drop per 6 feet of run)
- Replace or repair any damaged or rotted garage door panels
- Repair or replace any leaking pipes and water faucets
- Repair or replace non-functioning doorbells