Preparing An Older Home For The Market: Tips For The Best Presentation And Price

A home that has been lived in for over fifteen years by the same owner should be carefully prepared for the resale market in order to present it competitively. Building codes have changed over time, and you will want the home to present well when the prospective purchasers have their home inspection. If attention is not taken before the property is listed, various defects may be unknown and cause serious problems which could result in a deal falling through if the buyer and seller cannot agree on a remedy. Then the home owner is faced with having to disclose deficits to other potential purchasers, and this may make the home less than attractive to possible buyers.

Our advice is to hire a qualified home inspector do a pre-inspection on the property, and to make the appropriate repairs before listing. Anything that would cost the home owner more than they wish to spend may be referenced on the listing as being sold in “as is” condition.

Some features that may come up would include are the following:

Vermiculite insulation- This can be a problem as some vermiculite contains asbestos which is a health hazard. A qualified laboratory can test samples of this product for around $400.00 and verify if asbestos is present.

Mold- This may be present in areas where moisture has penetrated. This can possibly be in the attic or basement or behind walls. There are various treatments to remove it from the home, and the reason it occurred in the first place must be dealt with. Is there a leak present that needs to be repaired as well?

Basement leaks- Be sure to have these repaired, and request that a warranty for the work is written on the bill.

Wood trim around windows and doors should be properly prepared and painted.

Downspouts should be extended six feet from the house to prevent possible basement leaks and dangerous ice build ups.

Replace or repair any defective outlets. If there is aluminum wiring on the property, be sure the proper outlets are installed.

Have the electrical panel and wiring checked to be sure it is up to code.

The recommend pre-home inspection carried out by a qualified home inspector will identify any unknown defects. Preparing a house properly may take some time and expense, but in the competitive real estate market it will allow you to market the house with confidence and negotiate for the best price.

If there are any structures that are close to the lot line, double check what the minimum set backs are for that part of town. Make sure if a structure is not conforming to current by-laws you are aware of it and you do your best to rectify the situation.

A well prepared house is far less stressful to sell.

One final point- Select your agent wisely. Be sure that they are willing to put the time and attention into your property before it goes on the market.