Seller Beware – The Top 10 Things Sellers Overlook Before Listing Their Home
Published October 3, 2023
Dear Home Sellers,
The real estate industry is a complex, labyrinthine landscape filled with hidden challenges and potential roadblocks. When selling a home, it’s critical to maintain awareness of the many common pitfalls sellers often overlook during the process. This blog post aims to unveil these areas, thus equipping you with requisite knowledge to make informed decisions and navigate the home-sale journey with increased proficiency.
The first major issue to pay attention to is the potential for inherent property issues which often surface during home inspections. These issues range from structural/foundational problems to attic and roof leaks, from rotting woodwork to obscure masonry faults. To avoid unpleasant surprises down the line, it’s smart to perform a pre-sale home inspection. A qualified inspector will comb through your property meticulously, identifying issues which, left unaddressed, could undermine the integrity of your home in a buyer’s eyes. It will put you in front of any red flags a buyer may see, but also help when disclosing the property condition to potential buyers.
Remember, it’s not only the grandeur of a home’s façade or the sophistication of its interior design that entices potential buyers. They are also keen on the home’s condition, and anything hinting at hidden maintenance costs could scare them away. This is why disclosure is key, it’s always best to disclose everything so the potential buyer does not feel they are being deceived, or having important information hidden from them.
Key inspection areas include the plumbing system, with emphasis on water leaks and damp basements (Some houses in Las Vegas have them), under the sink, around the water heater, any ceiling stains, behind walls, around windows, etc… Take efforts to ensure your property showcases no visible water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors – prevalent signs of leakages. Equally, ensure that your basement is dry and properly sealed to avert moisture build-up, this goes for all carpet areas.
Equally, look out for electrical issues. Inspectors and buyers pay special attention to the wiring system and breaker box – a relic from a bygone era or a breaker box that is not up-to-code could scupper your sale. It’s not the end of the world if you have an older home with outdate wiring, there are fixes available, often times not as costly as one would think, but it’s always better to be ahead of the buyer.
For those with central heating or air-conditioning systems, be sure they’re functioning optimally. A malfunctioning HVAC system could significantly reduce your property’s value. Similarly, if you own a pool, ensure it is in excellent condition as well as the accompanying equipment.
It is not enough, however, to merely address the physical aspects of your property. There are legal and technological considerations to deliberate. If you have invested in home automation, you must consider smart device accessibility. Many modern homebuyers appreciate the automation of lighting, heating, cooling, and security systems. Unresolved issues with device compatibility and accessibility could be off-putting for tech-savvy buyers.
Now let us consider unseen legal aspects. Title issues, such as unaddressed IRS liens, can significantly delay or even derail a home transaction, potentially causing you to lose a keen buyer. Resorting to professional help in handling all the legal paperwork is prudent because it ensures any legal hinderances are uncovered and dealt with timely. Your agent that you are working with to list your home should have already received a profile report from a title company before listing the home on the MLS to ensure you do not end up in a transaction that will likely not close on time.
Most home warranty companies offer a Sellers home warranty which covers a large portion of the repairs needed in the items we discussed. It is usually discounted at time of closing to the seller if the buyer chooses to keep the warranty, if not, then usually there is no charge to the seller. Even if the warranty company has performed repairs, the service fee collected at time of service is all that will be required by the seller. If you do not currently have a home warranty on your home and you are in the process of selling, make sure your agent adds a seller home warranty to protect your home and any covered buyer requested repairs.
In conclusion, proactively addressing these issues puts you in a commanding position during negotiations, potentially resulting in a faster sale and better pricing. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it provides a substantial overview of the most common items sellers neglect and buyers always look for during their property hunt.
Your home-selling experience doesn’t have to be complicated. Knowledge, they say, is power. Now that you’re privy to these vital facts, you can step into the real estate market with confidence, knowing fully well that you’re ready…
Seller beware, indeed! Let’s rewrite that narrative today.