You probably read the first entry in this two-part series on home seller tips, Don’t List Your Home Until You’ve Checked These Home Seller Guidelines. This post will wrap up the list of thing home sellers need to do before they list their home. Addressing the things listed below will take some time and effort. However, you’ll be glad you followed the guidelines because you’ll get offers more quickly and at a higher price.
Home Seller Tips #1: Check for permits for renovations
If you have done any renovations or updates to your Davie or Broward County home, make sure you have permits for the work. If you hired a licensed contractor, that person should have obtained a permit to complete the work. Make sure you have proof of the permit in your possession.
If you did the work yourself, or your contractor didn’t obtain a permit when it was required, you could be facing a serious problem when you sell your home.
Permits are required for a wide range of things in Broward County. Here are some examples:
- A new driveway that connects to the County right of way
- A new dock or fence
- New air conditioning or heating units
- A new addition
- A new roof
You can get more information on permit requirements at the Broward County website residential permit pages.
Here’s the problem you face if you don’t have the permits you need. When your buyer arranges for a home inspection, the inspector will be able to identify things that weren’t an original part of the house. If you can’t produce permits where they’re required, the buyer:
- can purchase the house without the permit and be liable for the fees associated with obtaining the permit. If they find that the renovation wasn’t done according to code, they will also need to pay for the changes that are required to meet the code.
- may not be able to obtain financing because many lenders won’t finance a house if it doesn’t meet code.
Then, the problem will become your problem. Most buyers won’t buy a home that doesn’t have the required permits. The buyer will typically ask you to obtain the permits, and pay to bring the renovation up to code if necessary.
You don’t want to be in this position. Not only would your closing be delayed, but you may be unable to sell your house.
It’s critically important that you have the required permits for anything you did to the house. If you don’t, your best strategy is to correct that situation before you put your house on the market.
Home Seller Tips #2: Remove any evidence of pets or kids
You may not notice the “doggy smell” in your house, or the damage done when kids have bounced balls off the walls. But, buyers will. You need to correct those problems before you list. It may mean cleaning or replacing carpet, or doing some paint touchups.
Regardless of what you need to do, the advantages you’ll have when you sell will outweigh any time or money you spent fixing these issues.
Home Seller Tips #3: Consider staging
A buyer’s first impression is the one they will usually take away with them. If it’s obvious that the last time you updated your house was in the 1990’s, you might want to hire a professional stager to do an evaluation.
The stager may make recommendations to add things you can rent in the short-term, or just rearrange things to highlight the best features of your house. It will work wonders if your house compares favorably with other listings in your area.
Home Seller Tips #4: Get the “Stuff” out of the garage
Garages are one of those areas that seem to fill up with stuff when you’re not looking. Some of it may things you need to keep, but some things you might not really need.
Take this opportunity to clean out the garage. If you do that and the garage still looks packed, put everything you don’t absolutely need in the short-term in a storage unit.
Overflowing garages give the impression that there isn’t enough outdoor storage space, which can be a deal breaker for someone who wants a multi-functional garage.
Home Seller Tips #5: Take care of minor repairs and pump up your curb appeal
You’ve probably read articles that tell you to eliminate squeaky doors, scraped floors, and dirt. And, those articles are correct. Keep the house white-glove clean until it’s sold, and don’t let little annoyances drive buyers away.
Also, think about the house’s curb appeal. You don’t have to create a jungle in the front yard, but if your bushes or flowering plants have seen better days, you’ll be glad you took the time to replace them. And, sometimes even painting your front door with a pop of color makes the view of your home from the street much more appealing.
Selling your house takes some careful planning if you want to get top dollar in the shortest amount of time. Your Broward County REALTOR® should be able to help you turn your home into a buyer magnet.
That’s the goal of every agent on the Teri Arbogast Team. We’re a group of full-time, professional agents who know the market and how to get homes sold.