You want your home to be in top condition when it comes on the market. Buyers will feel more confident about the value of your home if all the major systems have been maintained properly and there are no “unknowns” about them. Buyers love details and information. Here is how to give it to them up front, get the best price for your home and avoid bad inspections and closing delays.
1. Furnace/Boiler: Have it cleaned and serviced each year and make sure it’s done before the house goes on the market. Fix anything that the tech recommends.
2. Chimney: Have your chimney cleaned if needed.
3. Radon Testing: Radon gas is very common and easy to test for. Many buyers either want to see a recent test or have the house tested during the inspection period. Since the house needs to be closed up (no windows open) for 48 hours, it is best to do the test on your own time….maybe when you are gone for the weekend….to avoid the disruption to your lifestyle. What if the test results come in high? Don’t panic: A mitigation system is usually reasonable and easy to have installed. Don’t have the money to put it in before closing? Don’t panic: Disclose the radon test results so the buyers are aware and the mitigation system can be negotiated as part of the deal.
4. Well Testing: If you have a private water supply, make sure you have a recent test (within a year) to provide to the buyers and put on the disclosure form. It is very common to find bacteria in well water (typically caused by grass, leaves and other organic matter). Find out before the property goes on the market if you need to chlorinate the well or install any other treatment system to ensure a good quality water test suitable for drinking. Buyers may also look at having a water quantity test done. If you have had any issues with your well running dry or a slow recovery; consider having a quantity test to show your recovery rate.
5. Septic System Testing: If you have a private septic system, make sure that your tank has been pumped within the last 3 years. It is well worth the investment to have a septic inspection done before the house goes on the market. If you are planning to have your tank pumped, do it AFTER the inspection. Having a full tank during the inspection will give a clearer picture for the inspector. An inspection can discover if there are any issues with the baffle in the tank, if the system is draining properly, if there are any line issues and if it is working properly or if it is nearing the end of its life. There are newer systems that fail and older system that are still working great. Don’t assume yours is ok just because you haven’t seen any issues. Have it tested and make any repairs needed. Provide the results to the buyers and hopefully avoid any further testing and or repairs needed during the sale process.
6. Roof: Not only does your roof condition add to your curb appeal, but it adds to the value of your home too. If it appears to have curling or missing shingles, have it looked at and replaced if needed. If it still looks good but is on the older side, have a roof contractor give you an idea of how many years of life it has left. A new roof can be a big ticket item and one that buyers will want to negotiate if one is needed. Put their minds at ease knowing that the roof is still in good condition or has just been replaced.
7. Smoke Alarms/Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Replace all the batteries in the smoke alarms and make sure they are working properly. If you do not have any CO detectors, buy some and install them. There are combination smoke/co detectors available or you can simply buy co detectors that you can plug into an outlet.
Having your systems checked, inspected and in great working condition will reassure buyers that they are purchasing a quality home. Provide any test results up front on the disclosure form. These systems are usually the items that cause additional negotiations after inspections and or delays in closing to get them repaired. Be prepared and proactive!
For help in selecting inspectors for the above items, call or email us: we can give you several options. 207-729-1863 or Morton@MaineRe.com