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home improvement

Fix your home before listing it!

Spring is normally an active time of year for buying and selling homes. With the real estate marketing already hot coming out of the winter, the coming months are a great time to get top dollar for your home if you need to sell.

If the home is more than a few years-old, it likely has a few issues to be addressed. Ten- to fifteen-year-old homes were built during the last big building boom, and many were built quickly by builders that were short staffed and using anybody available. Quality came up short which has accelerated repair and maintenance needs.

We do a lot of home repair work just prior to closing when the buyer’s inspection turns up issues. All things in real estate are negotiable, but it is often the seller paying for these repairs. Imagine agreeing to sell your home and then finding out you are on the hook for $1,000 in repairs. Your net gain on the sale just went down by $1,000.

Instead, I suggest you get your home inspected before you list it so you can understand the likely issues that will come up. If you address these ahead of time you will not have the stress of a looming deadline, the closing, hanging over you. If you choose to address any issues found prior to listing, then you might reasonably ask for $1,000 more when you list the home to offset the expense. If you have fixed an eyesore that was holding your price down, you might be able to ask for more.

Once you have agreed to an offer on your home and the buyer has an inspection done, the realtors will require you to use a licensed contractor for any repairs. Many homeowners, upon finding they must pay for unanticipated repairs, might opt for unlicensed guys that do sub-standard work. This is not in the buyer’s best interest, so there are sound reasons for realtors requiring licensed contractors. If you are a bit of handy person, doing lots of the work around you own home, there is another angle to consider. Prior to listing you home, you can do these repairs yourself.

Bottom line, if you know the issues that will kick out during an inspection ahead of time, you have the most control of how to deal with those issues. You may be able to recoup the cost of repairs in the listing price, and you can deal with the issues without an imminent closing date looming over you, which gives you the choice to do it yourself or wait on your chosen contractor if they are busy right now.