Remodeling for the real estate market

Answered by Brett ~ January 16, 2012 ~ Comments

;-( where to begin? I need to sell my 12 year old house, which is in need of a lot of work. Is there a logical checklist for which work is done first?

Karen ~ kirkland wa

Brett Kulina

Karen, when preparing your home for sale, keep in mind that potential buyers will notice everything (and what they don't see, a home inspector will!) Therefore, you may want to place deferred maintenance items and areas of your home with obvious damage at the top of your priority list. Likewise, you should not spend lots of time and money trying to guess what some potential buyers may want in their new house. For example, apply a fresh coat of paint to your bedroom if the old paint is peeling, but if the walls are in good condition, don't bother repainting them just because you think the next owner won't like the existing color.

Some homeowners will actually hire a home inspector to conduct a thorough inspection of their house prior to putting it on the real estate market. This way there are no surprises later, and the "to-do" list is created for the sellers. Plus, if issues do come to light during the inspection, the sellers can fix the problems and show any potential buyers evidence of the completed work. You should be able to find a home inspector in the Kirkland area who can complete a top-to-bottom inspection of your home for about $400-$500.

Another way to tackle this issue is for you to view your house from a buyer's perspective. What would you expect when looking at a potential house purchase? Most likely, you would want the interior and exterior to be in good condition, the roof should be solid and weather tight, all mechanical and HVAC systems should be functioning, and the home and property should appear clean and well-maintained. Of course if money is tight, then you can always price your house to sell in "as-is" condition. Unfortunately in a buyer's market, if your home appears in disrepair then you can expect low offers from buyers who are only looking for a deal.

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