Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Checklist for Selling your Home

Making the right first impression is critical, it drives more traffic to the house and helps potential
buyers focus on the overall home and improve your chances of selling – at your price. In many
instances, the potential buyer will know within minutes whether the house meets their needs or
not. This checklist, along with the advice of your Realtor will help focus on the maintenance
issues that can help your home sell quicker and for a better price.

Check the major systems
After location and style of the home, the needs of a homebuyer move to the condition of the
basic structure and major mechanical systems. Most buyers are not prepared to spend money
correcting problems in such critical areas. Your own thorough investigation of the following
major items can help determine if any issues exist. The most critical areas to check include:
· Roof structure and covering – look for damage, worn areas and water leaks.
· Foundation, basement, and/or crawl space – any foundation cracks or water leaks should be
· Central heating and air conditioning systems – these units can be professionally cleaned and
serviced to ensure proper working condition. You can check for signs of rust or black stains
that may indicate a more serious concern
· Electrical system and plumbing systems are not for the layman, but if you have any recurring
issues, have a professional determine and repair those concerns.

Make maintenance improvements
The maintenance improvements listed below are relatively easy and inexpensive to make, yet
they can substantially improve a home's appearance, efficiency and comfort:
· Apply new caulking and weather‐stripping as needed around windows and doors.
· Clean gutters and extensions of debris and leaves to ensure proper drainage
· Re‐grade soil around the house to prevent water pooling at the foundation
· Replace or re‐grout tiles and caulking in the bathrooms to help improve appearance and
reduce the risk of moisture getting behind tiles.
· Ventilate closed basements, cold rooms and crawl spaces, or install a dehumidifier to
prevent musty smells, humidity build‐up, and moisture.
· Wash or Replace dirty filters in the heating and ventilating systems, including furnace, HRV,
humidifier, etc.

Pay attention to details
Fixing even minor items can go a long way toward improving the first impression of your
home. Here are some improvements, which you might consider:
· Repair any leaking faucets / drains and seal around sinks with caulking
· Tighten loose doorknobs – ensure doors close easily and smoothly
· Replace damaged screens or broken panes of glass
· Replace burned‐out light bulbs, and replace broken light fixtures
· Secure loose railings
· Patch small holes in walls and ceilings and repaint / remove or repair wallpaper
· Repair and coat the driveway.

Take safety precautions
Pay attention to items relating to protecting the home and its occupants from danger. The
following are important safety precautions which home buyer's will appreciate, are relatively
easy to implement and shouldn't cost a lot. Moreover, they will keep you safe while selling:
· Install good quality smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
· Ensure adequate outdoor lighting, especially in suburban and
rural locales
· Install 'GFCI' outlets outdoors and in wet locations such as
bath & laundry areas.
· Keep the stairwells tidy and free of debris and obstructions,
and leave plenty of clearance around the garage door,
electrical panel and furnace.
· Keep flammables and combustables away from the furnace
and other utility areas.
· If you have direct entry from the garage to the interior of the home, consider installing a
self‐closing device on the door.

Prepare for the buyer's inspection
More and more purchasers are requesting pre‐purchase inspections. It is a good idea to
assemble in advance the various house records that can be used to
answer questions from the purchaser and their inspector.
· Appliance receipts, service records and warranties
· Information on the age of major components such as 
  the roof
coverings, furnace, air‐conditioner, etc.
· Major component warranties (e.g. roofing, siding, windows,
carpeting, furnace and other appliances
· Heating, water & electric bills from at least the past 12 months

How did your house measure up?
Hopefully, this home seller's checklist has helped you gain a clearer knowledge of your home'soverall condition ‐ from a buyer's perspective. Now you can make repairs or improvements that will increase your home's marketability. It just makes good sense! Of course, even if your house is already in optimum condition, a professional home inspection can also be a good marketing tool. At the end of the inspection, the original copy of the inspection report will be given to you. This can then be put on display for all interested parties to view as they are viewing your home. In addition a full copy of the inspection report & a summary will be putonline for your realtor to use in the marketing of your home. This will increase your chances of attracting offers that are free of the home inspection condition.

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