When you’re preparing to sell your house, your aim should be to avoid giving a potential buyer a reason not to make an offer. In many cases, this is a matter of making the house spic-and-span or freshening up the paint, but in others, more costly measures may be in order.
In most states, a professional home inspection is required, either because the mortgage lender or the state requires it. The last thing you want is to have an issue that you know about cause the sale to fall through.
Real estate website Trulia.com has created a list of eight house problems that may cause a potential sale to go south. These are issues you have might have learned to live with but that a new owner usually wants no part of.
Here are eight issues to pay attention to before listing your house for sale.
Old or leaking roof. A typical shingle roof has a lifespan of about 20 to 25 years. If yours is that old or older, replacing it might get the sale done faster than giving the buyer a discount on the sales price.
Damaged gutters. Gutters that don’t function properly can cause foundation damage, and there is nothing that will kill a sale faster than a damaged foundation.
Creaky doors and windows. All windows and doors should operate smoothly and quietly. New windows are expensive but they return 50% to 80% of your original investment.
Outdated appliances. Fashions change regularly but appliances that look like they’re from the last century can really kill a sale.
Old heating and air conditioning system. Like roofs, these systems are typically good for about 25 years, and an old one could be a real hindrance to a sale.
Termites. If you know about termites in the house, you are generally required to disclose that fact. You’ll almost certainly be required either by regulation or by the buyer to remediate this.
Cracks in the foundation. These structural problems should be fixed before you list the home. Foundation issues are an almost certain deal-breaker.
Radon. While opinions on the dangers of radon vary, most buyers will not want any part of it. The good news is that venting radon is generally not hugely expensive.
Finally, we’ve noted before that in today’s market pricing your house too high expecting to haggle over the best offer is not a winning strategy. Setting the price too high turns off buyers and could lead to delays in selling the house, and, worst of all, it could force you to accept a lower offer than you might otherwise have needed to.
Visit the Trulia.com website for more details.