Getting Your Property Ready To Sell

Nothing Is More Important Than The First Impression . . .

When you put your property on the market, you want to achieve the best sales price you can get, and do so within the time-frame that meets your needs. Nothing is more important to most buyers than the first impressions they receive.

PAINTING —At the top of the list for creating good impressions. Inspect interior walls as well as the exterior including trim, gutters, downspouts, mailbox, etc.

YARD —In addition to proper cutting and edging of the lawn, trim landscaping and weed flower beds. Also check for dead branches in trees and shrubbery debris. Store all outdoor lawn equipment and toys.

SPRINKLER SYSTEM —Check for defective heads and for proper water coverage over entire lawn.

FENCE —Repair where necessary and paint or stain if needed to give your yard that well-maintained appearance.

GARAGE —Check garage doors and opener to see if they are in good working order. Inspect doors for painting or staining. Remove and reorganize garage items.

DRIVEWAY —Check for grease and oil spots. When showing the property, it’s best not to have vehicles parked in the driveway.

PATIO/DECK —Clean patio and arrange outdoor furniture.

POOL —Have pool sparking clean. Store equipment and chemicals out of the way.

ROOF —Check for loose shingles or broken tiles. Make sure eaves are cleared of leaves. If mildew has occurred, consider professional cleaning.

FRONT ENTRANCE —Front door should be clean and all trim painted or stained. Check doorbell and outside light to see if they are operating properly.

AIR -CONDITIONING—Certainly, the air-conditioning system must be functioning at top performance, but also check for proper draining, install a new filter, and clean exterior unit.

WALLS —When checking for cleaning and possible painting of interior walls, look closely at wallpaper for repair or replacement, if needed.

DOORS —All interior and exterior doors should be cleaned, hardware tightened and oiled for smooth opening and closing.

CARPETING AND TILE —Steam cleaning is the best answer for most carpets. While it’s a hassle to rearrange furniture and be disrupted, this is one item that can’t wait until after the sale. Also, repair or replace damaged tile.

WINDOWS —Repair or replace all broken windows or screens. All windows must be cleaned to show the home at its best. Check blinds and draperies for cleanliness.

ELECTRICAL —Repair all switches and outlets that are not working. Good lighting through adequate wattage in garage, hallways, and closets will brighten up your home.

PLUMBING —Leaking faucets always raise questions about plumbing. Clean stains from stainless steel sinks and check enamel for repair.

APPLIANCES —All appliances should be in good working order and CLEAN. In particular, oven and stove top, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave.

KITCHEN —A bright, cheerful kitchen is a must. Clean all surfaces, check for loose knobs or sticky drawers, clean exhaust hood and organize drawers and cabinets.

BATHROOMS —Clean mirrors, shower doors, curtains, tub caulking, and flooring. Just when you decide to clean the bathroom “later” is when the prospective buyer rings your doorbell.


Important Information About Your Home

Get Prepared For The Questions The Buyer Will Ask . . .

It is important to gather information pertinent to your property. It will take time to coordinate this information from old bills, tax statements, work receipts, service contracts, and warranty documents, but it pays off when you sell your home. Prospective buyers ask questions about your home and property. The following questions can be expected and you should have the file of information to answer them:

  • — What do you pay in property taxes and when are they due?
  • — How much does it cost to heat and cool your home?
  • — What do you pay for gas and electricity?
  • — What do you pay for water and who supplies it?
  • — How old are various structural components and systems, including the roof, water heater, furnace, and plumbing system?
  • — How old are any appliances that will stay with the house?
  • — Do you have any guarantees or warranties on appliances or components of the home, such as siding or roofing, and are these warranties transferable?
  • — Are there any fees for municipal or private services, such as garbage pickup, and what are those services?
  • — Is your house located on a flood plain? If so, what kind of insurance is required?
  • — Have you had water problems in the basement or through the roof? (If so, you must show the buyer that you have rectified the problem.) Do you have warranties or guarantees on the work?
  • — Where are the local schools, and what is their quality?
  • — What is the availability and cost of mass transit?
  • — Where are the places of worship in the area?
  • — It is helpful if the seller provides a copy of their original title or abstract to the listing agent and title provider. This assists in identifying ownership in the property and can expedite a title search. It also assists the listing agent for submitting information to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so that buyers know how to submit their contract offers.
  • — Is a copy of the survey and floor plan available?
  • — Have available a copy of the Condominium Documents (if applicable).
  • — Are there any special assessments? If so, what are the special assessments and when are they due?
  • — Is the current property tax for “land” only, due to the house being newly constructed? What are estimated new tax amounts, including the house?
  • — Have you filed for a homestead exemption?
  • — Are there any Homeowners Association (HOA) dues? Who is the HOA management contact? What are the fees for and when are they due? Are the fees transferable?
  • — Does the development have an “additional” HOA fee for boat storage, golf/tennis membership or pool facilities? What are the fees and when are they due? Are the fees transferable?
  • — If the property is being sold as an investment property, provide a copy of the tenant’s lease (if applicable).
  • — What services are available for communications? Cable, wireless, satellite? Do you know who the service providers are? Is the house wired for cable access to the internet?
  • — Do you have a well or septic system? Can you provide information about the inspector and the last inspection completed?
  • — Are there any parking permissions or restrictions?
  • — Are there any storage restrictions? Examples: Boat or RV must be stored in garage. No sheds over a certain size.
  • — Are pets allowed? Are children allowed?
  • — Is this home in a “retirement” area, where a minimum age is required?
  • — If your property is in a rural area, is an aerial photo available?
  • — Have you had any environmental studies done? If so, please provide copies of reports.


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