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11 Ways To Get Your Home Ready To Sell

You've decided to sell your home, but you're not sure what to do to get your home ready to sell. You've done a good job of maintaining your home, but you want to make the process go as smoothly as you can. You also want to avoid last minute issues....issues that could cost you the sale of your house. Many of the items we find during a home inspection can be easily avoided with some basic maintenance and "freshening up" ideas that help indicate that you, indeed, have taken pretty good care of the home. Here are 8 things to do to prepare your house:

1. Exterior Woodwork

Make sure all the woodwork on the outside of your home has been properly painted and caulked. This includes the trim around windows and doors. Neatness counts.

2. Gutters and Downspouts

Clean all gutters and downspouts and make sure they are all flowing freely to prevent potential damage to the eaves. Check for proper alignment, damage, missing screws or brackets and repair or replace as needed.

3. Roof Shingles and Flashing

Have a licensed roofing professional check your roof shingles and flashing for repairs that may be needed. Nail holes should be filled, raised shingles secured or replaced, and flashing caulked.

4. Decking

If you have any decking such as a deck, wooden stairway or landing, make sure these are properly secured and flashed. If decking shows signs of aging or has been bleached by the sun, consider having the decking stripped, stained and sealed for proper weather protection. Unsightly decking could deter some buyers.

5. Floor Structure

If you have an older home or a home with uneven flooring, consider having a structural engineer inspect the home. Have the foundation checked for settlement and leaks. Make the suggested repairs. You may even want to share the inspection report with the potential buyer and show the invoices from the contractor who made the repairs.

6. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System {HVAC}

Have a licensed HVAC professional fully service and clean your HVAC system. Ask for a written report from the service provider concerning the condition of the system and equipment. Should there be any electrical or plumbing issues, hire a licensed contractor to evaluate and fix those issues.

7. Plumbing Fixtures

Make sure all bathtubs and showers are well caulked to prevent water leakage into the underlying structure of the home. Commodes should be tightly bolted to the floor. Faucets in tubs, showers and sinks should be checked for any leaks and repaired or replaced as needed. Make sure to check the vanity cabinets inside for any signs of water damage. Be sure to check outdoor water spigots, too. Leaks there should be addressed.

8. Fireplace

Have your fireplace flue cleaned. A build-up of creosote is a fire hazard. Even a gas fireplace requires cleaning and maintenance. Use a reputable company and be sure to save your invoice to show to the prospective buyer.

9. Windows and Doors

Make sure all windows and doors close, lock and seal properly. Windows should raise and lower with relative ease and screens should be clean and free from damage. Exterior doors should be weather-stripped. All locking mechanisms, on both windows and doors, should be secured and easy to use. Doors should have strike plates and deadbolts should fit appropriately. Make sure any interior window and door trim is well painted and caulked.

10. Appliances

Be sure to check your appliances. They should work properly, be clean, and come complete with everything they had when originally installed. If you are missing the silverware tray in the dishwasher, for example, you may want to purchase a new one.

11. The Little Things

Do a thorough walk-through of your home looking for missing outlet covers, exposed wiring, broken light fixtures, smoke detectors {which should be located in every bedroom}, loose cabinet doors, cabinet drawers that don't close smoothly, vinyl flooring damage, drywall damage, missing light bulbs, and frayed carpeting. Most of these items can easily be addressed, and while they may not make or break a sale, they will help make your home look better to a potential buyer.

We hope this article helps you on your way to listing your home!

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