Every experienced broker knows that neglected projects in the home will cost the seller enormously – perhaps even the sale.  That is why I write this blog, to try to educate homeowners.

If you will live in your home in a preventative maintenance mode, then, hopefully, when it’s time to sell, your home will be in “selling condition.”  Most homeowners don’t think about how their home should look to prospective buyers until it’s time to sell, but it’s never too early to think about preventative maintenance.  Keep things in working order so that it’s easy to list the home at anytime.  This will pay bigger dividends on the sale of the home at a future date. 

The exterior of the home:

Extensive tree coverage can create more problems for homeowners as time goes on.  A canopy of greenery will shade the home in the summer and it will also keep the sun from having a chance to dry the area.  If there’s evidence of mildew then it is time to trim some of the trees, but there’s no need to cut the entire tree.  Get a free estimate from a professional. 

Often times, if the exterior of the home isn’t maintained, it can move to the interior of the home.  For example, there could be a missing gutter spout.  By replacing the spout the rain run-off will be positioned appropriately to avoid water buildup around the foundation which could cause water leakage into the basement.  It’s easier to fix a small problem before it becomes a “bigger problem.”

Driveways and walkways should be maintained for safety.  Any pavers should be flush and level to avoid accidents.

The interior of the home:

Evaluate the condition of the kitchen and bathrooms before listing your home for sale.  If these rooms have not been updated, then it’s essential that they gleam with cleanliness.  It’s a good idea to replace toilets and sinks in bathrooms for a quick make-over.  It’s also a good idea to have the tub refinished if it needs an overhaul.  I  always disclose all of these updates to the prospective buyer in marketing materials when I list homes for sale.  This will not only appeal to buyers, but make the home move-in ready. 

These suggestions are not expensive and are projects that can be done quickly.  Even an old kitchen can be a clean kitchen. 

Rotten windows and window sills in older homes are always a major problem.  The one way to avoid this problem is to pull down the storm windows in the winter and also keep the storm windows down in the summer, especially if the home has central air conditioning.  It helps keep the sills dry. 

If you de-clutter daily, it doesn’t pile up on you.  Buyers do not like cluttered homes. 

If you live in your home in a preventative maintenance condition, it will be ready to sell on a moment’s notice.  In these trying economic times, you never know when a job change or financial hardship will cause you to sell quickly.  Keep your home well maintained and you won’t be stuck with the expense of fixing it up to sell it.

I got this information from an article that was first written by Charlene Geary for The Real Estate Professional November/December issue compliments of REBAC.  I receive that publication because of my Accredited Buyer’s Representative Training.  These are some of the things I help my buyers look at when they are looking at a potential home.

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