Bright and early Saturday morning a real estate agent with prospective buyer in tow pulls into your driveway. As you cordially approach to greet them, the prospective buyer puts down his tool box and ladder, then extends his hand to greet you. The tool box reveals the following items:
• flash light
• ice pick
• electrical tester
Your heart sinks. This buyer is up to something but you have no idea what. You rightly suspect that whatever it is, it may likely result in an offer lower than you’d like. Fortunately, this uncomfortable situation is avoidable. Had you prepared in advance, you’d have welcomed the inspection, knowing the purpose for all the items:
• 6-foot stepladder: attic access
• flash light: crawl space and attic inspection
• ice pick: to indicate wood rot and termite infestation
• magnet: to determine if plumbing pipes are iron
• marble: to note if the floors are relatively level
• electrical tester: for checking electrical ground connection, particularly in kitchen and bathroom
• binoculars: for a closer look at the roof and roof-mounted structures
• compass: to determine the building’s exposure (helpful in evaluating various structural elements and components)
Before any potential buyer inspects your home, go beyond the obvious tasks of cleaning out closets, drawers, and removing extra furniture. Inspect items and areas you may have overlooked, such as interior and exterior walls, electrical switches and outlets, crawlspace, attic, foundation, plumbing, roof and roof structures. To get the highest offer possible, you have to learn how to prepare your Orlando home for sale.
Below is a checklist designed to systematically draw your attention to often overlooked items. This is not a complete list, nor is it designed to replace the services of a competent home inspector. We strongly urge you to educate yourself regarding home inspection and obtain the services of a professional inspector in the Orlando area. A home inspector will check all areas of interest and recommend needed repairs. You won’t have to worry about what a potential buyer might find and use to his advantage. You yourself can prepare your Orlando home for sale.
Making small but necessary repairs will increase the value of your home and help you get a good offer. Making last-minute capital improvements, such as adding a room, probably won’t be economical and is not a great way to prepare your home for sale. Capital improvements may be economical, however, when improving the kitchen or bathroom. Ask your real estate agent about which repairs and improvements are worthwhile.
Pre-Sale Inspection Checklist
When your inspection, organizing, preparing, cleaning, polishing and repairing of the following items is complete, check it off.
___ Windows, Doors and Door Frames
___ Paint and Wallpaper
___ Light Fixtures, Wall Switches and Plugs
___ Kitchen Cabinets, Exterior
___ Kitchen Cabinets, Interior
___ Kitchen Appliances
___ Kitchen Counters
___ Bathroom Counters and Wall Fixtures
___ Bathroom Plumbing Fixtures
___ Bathroom Tile, Ceilings, Walls & Floor
___ Fireplaces & Heaters
___ Crawl Space – Overhead and Under the House
___ Closets & Pantry
___ Paint, Color, Siding and Trim
___ Garage or Carport
___ Garbage Cans and Garbage Can Space
___ Rubbish & Refuse
___ Outdoor Sheds
___ Pool or Spa
Foundation and Infrastructure
___ Plumbing & Pipes
___ Heating, Furnace, Air Conditioning
___ Water Heater
Safety Issues & Devices
___ Lead, Formaldehyde, Radon
___ Boundaries & Fences
___ Driveways & walkways
___ Sewer & Septic
The first impression is the most important. Make the front of your home a standout in every way. Take a little extra time to prepare this part of your home. The living areas must be open, spacious, well lighted and fresh smelling. Remove and rearrange furniture as needed, turn on the lights, open a window and bake an apple pie! The kitchen must appear, above all else, spacious and spotless. Store some of your overflow to make the shelves look roomier. Grind a lemon peel in the garbage disposal. Master bedroom and bath must give the impression of space and flow. Thin your closets and remove all extra furniture. Create enough space so that a potential buyer can imagine filling it with their own possessions.
Don’t forget to ask your real estate agent for additional tips on “staging” and decorating! If you learn how to properly prepare your Orlando home for sale, you will likely reward yourself with higher offers. Contact us today for more information on preparing your Orlando area home for sale.