The last thing you want when you are selling your home is to find out that there are problems that could jeopardize the sale. This is particularly true when you are selling the home yourself – also known as a FSBO or for sale by owner.
A home inspection will reveal the condition of your home. However, you will not be as concerned by issues that come up if you have kept your home well maintained. Good home maintenance you help you to avoid some of the most common issues and problems found by home inspectors.
These maintenance tasks are often put off for various reasons. Lack of time, lack of money, lack of skills, lack of knowledge or simply lack of interest can all cause maintenance to not be done. However, when it comes time to sell your home buyers are looking and it is time to take care of these issues.
Things you think are little may be major issues to a prospective home buyer. If left unresolved they could cost you the sale. You can eliminate the vast majority of problems impacting the home sale and avoid stress on yourself by checking on five important areas.
1. Dirty filter and coils in the furnace, air conditioning or heat pump system. Having your heating and cooling system serviced by a professional on a yearly basis is a basic maintenance item. The filters should be replaced every one to three months, depending on the requirements of your system and your home. This maintenance has a large impact on the life of your unit, efficiency, fuel savings, and the assurance that the home will have operational heating and cooling. If this has not been done you need to do this prior to putting the home on the market.
2. Poor Caulking of Ceramic Tile in the Tub and Shower Area. The cost to repair or replace a rotted shower wall can be thousands of dollars. A few dollars spent to caulk tiled areas can save a lot of money and frustration. If a crack in the calk or grout is large enough to see than it is large enough for water to get in. Poor caulking, cracked or peeling caulking or just a messy caulk job will raise questions with a home inspector and therefore the prospective buyer. Make sure that the caulking on the tub, shower and sink areas is done and looks nice before listing your home.
3. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) not functioning properly. GFCI outlets are those electrical outlets that have “Press” and “Test” buttons. They can reduce or prevent the chance of electrocution when the outlets are used. Push the “Test” button to see if the GFCIs are working as they should. If not replace the outlets. They are not expensive to replace and usually take only about fifteen minutes to install. Call a professional electrician if you are not comfortable performing the replacement. A good home inspector will test all the GFCI outlets in the house. It is not a good idea to wait until then to find out that one of your GFCI outlets is not functioning properly.
4. Wood rot. This is a big one, and it will often snag the sale of your home. Prospective buyers are scared by wood rot because it can be difficult to determine how severe the damage is and therefore how costly the repair will be. If there is visible rotting wood anywhere on your home have it fixed or replaced before you sell your home.
5. Amateur Workmanship. When amateurs do home projects it can usually be spotted by an experienced home inspector. Sometimes the materials used are not the right materials for the intended purpose, or the materials are of poor quality, or both. Sometimes the installation of the work is not good and will stand out as being done by an amateur. Amateurs seldom get permits or have the proper inspections done on the work. Unfortunately amateur work can complicate a home sale. If you are not sure, consider hiring your own inspector for the home before you sell it.
Keeping a home maintained can make the selling process go more smoothly. If for whatever reason the maintenance has not been done then go through the home and repair these items before selling the home. When you are doing a FSBO in Louisiana you can make your home more appealing by taking care of these issues.