BlogDownsizingFirst-Time Home SellersSellersSelling Luxury HomesSelling Your Rental August 3, 2018

9 Overlooked Items to Prep Your Home For Sale

You’ve prepped your home for sale in every imaginable way–fresh paint, a deep cleaning, new landscaping, decluttered closets, even tidying up the garage!  Your house looks better than it ever has and you’re ready to hit the market! Before you stick that “For Sale” sign in the ground, consider gathering these key pieces of information to make your life a bit easier down the road!
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1.  Survey
Do you have a copy of a current survey on your home?  Buyers want to know about property lines, easements, conservation buffers, whether there’s room for a pool, if the property line extends to the water behind your home, etc. Providing a survey upfront will help to eliminate these types of concerns before your property is under contract.
2.  Floorplan 
Buyers often need to know room dimensions as it helps with determining furniture placement and to ensure their furniture will fit in the new space.  As any real estate agent can attest, many hours have been spent measuring spaces while looking at homes and comparing that against the existing buyer’s furniture dimensions.
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3.  Utility Bills 
Buyers want to get an idea of what they can expect the heating and cooling bills to be in a home.  Review your bills over the last one to two years to get an average in the various seasons, or call your local utility provider as they can often provide you with information on the high, average and low costs.  This information can be very beneficial when a buyer sits down to number crunch their total costs of owning a home.  If you had an unusually high or low bill, provide some explanation to accompany the numbers.
4.  Pest Control
If you have any type of regular pest control treatments done on your property, compile information as to who the provider is, what you have done, how much you pay and how often the company comes out to treat the property.  You may want to keep a copy of your service agreement handy for the buyer’s reference.
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6.  Insurance
Buyers especially want to know who a seller uses for their homeowners insurance and how much they pay.  This is especially important in higher risk areas (where there are hurricanes, floods, fires, etc.) With homeowners insurance potentially more difficult to obtain in some areas, using the existing seller’s insurance company can help streamline the process.
7. Product Manuals and Warranty Documents
Gather the various product manuals for all items that will be staying in the home such as appliances, water heater, heating and cooling system, ceiling fans, pool equipment, etc.  If your home came with any warranties, be sure to include these for the new owner as well.  Putting all of these in one large folder makes it easy for everything to be readily accessible in one place for the new buyer.
 8.  Service Providers
Compile a list of all service providers/vendors and their contact information who you have used on your home: lawn service, pool service, A/C company, etc. While a new buyer may or may not choose to use these services, they will certainly appreciate having resources available to them and may elect to initially use them as they make the transition to living in your home.
9.  Covenants and Restrictions, Neighborhood Rules and Information  
This is key critical information for a new owner to have on hand.  A contract may likely hinge on the buyer’s review of this information, so it’s easiest to have it available ahead of time.  If you don’t have these, contact your neighborhood’s association president or management company for assistance in obtaining a copy. Many of these documents are matters of public record and are available by going online to the appropriate municipality’s website.
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Whenever you’re ready to list, we can work together to create an informational package or binder that you can provide to prospective purchasers that come through the home with the information mentioned above.  Gathering this information before you put your home on the market will save time and make the process that more efficient once you find a buyer.  It may even help your home to sell faster as all of this information is available upfront, eliminating the need for guesswork and waiting on answers while another property could possibly come on the market to grab the buyer’s attention.