In today’s market when buyers have multiple choices in a neighborhood how do you make you home stand out? Certainly every Realtor® will talk to you about pricing your home to sell and talk to you about making sure your home is free of clutter. A good agent will make sure that your home has the best quality photos in the MLS and your agent may even bring in a professional stager for a consultation if it is necessary.
We hear the commercials for the high end car dealers talking about the benefits of buying a “certified pre-owned” car. They lure you to the lot with guarantees of 32 point inspections or free vehicle reports to show you the car wasn’t salvaged from a flood. So why don’t you make your home a “certified pre-owned home”? Instead of waiting for a buyer to conduct a home inspection, after you have already negotiated what you thought was the sales price of your home, take the first step and have the inspection before you list your home for sale!
When we live in our homes we tend to overlook some of what we think may be cute quirks and don’t realize that the next owner of the home may consider them to be a excuse to ask you to lower the sales price even further or jump through hoops to make repairs. So the fan in the attic quit working at the end of the summer and the shower valve leaks, no big deal right? Wrong according to the Virginia sales contract all electric and plumbing must be in working order. Both of those items would fall under the category of MUST FIX.
How about the rotting trim around the back door, loose roof shingles and wobbly stair railing? The new buyers are going to ask you to fix them or credit them with some cash to have them fixed themselves. Do you see where this is going? If you are pro-active and have the home inspection conducted on your own and find out what issues there are you can fix them on your terms or be prepared to set your price accordingly. If you have an older home and haven’t had a termite protection plan in place go ahead and have the termite company come by too.
The next part of being a “certified-pre owned home” is to provide a home warranty for the buyers. They are going to ask for one anyway so buy it when you list the home and SURPRISE if anything breaks during the listing process you are covered by the warranty as well. The final part of the process is to consider an upfront property appraisal. No matter how many ways you look at the competitive properties in your neighborhood the bottom line is going to be what the bank says your home is worth. Appraisers take a different approach to valuing your home than a Realtor®. They are the final word on pricing no matter whether we like it or not.
So of course you are thinking how much is all of this going to cost me? Home inspections prices are generally based on the price, size and type of the home so for a mid range let’s say $500. A termite inspection will be another $50. Home warranty will be around $400 and the appraisal will be around $350. So for less than $1500 you can put a different spin on your home. The $1500 you spend up front to become a “certified pre-owned home” will save you more in time, hassle and aggravation than waiting to re-negotiate your home sale after the fact.