Many of our sellers know they may have to make some small improvements to their home to get it market ready, but there are additional costs that come into play when selling a home that may come by surprise. Make sure if you plan to sell your home that you are properly budgeting for your sale.
1. Home Renovations
As you prepare to get your home ready for market you will likely want to get a Realtor’s opinion on what to update in your home. They will be most familiar with what buyers are looking for in your market and help you save money. There are many minor updates that you should consider such as painting, tile replacement, siding replacement, appliance updates, roofing updates and landscaping to help show off your property. Just because you may be in a seller’s market does not mean your house will fly off the market, you must set the environment to make your property desirable by the general public and small cosmetic changes go a long way.
2. Title 5 Inspections
If you do have a septic tank, you will have to get it inspected with the transfer of ownership. Do this early, get it cleaned and use this in your marketing! Having a Title 5 Certificate in hand and pointed out in your home description is going to help give your property the best chance in the market.
Just do it. Unfortunately staging goes to the wayside but is probably one of the more important investments to make in the sale of your home. Curtains, rugs, pillows and decorative pieces in combination with decluttering and packing away 60% minimum of the items you have in your home will make the world of a difference. Buyers want to imagine living in your home with a blank canvas, give them that blank canvas, help them imagine!
Buyers want to negotiate. Confrontational negotiating, “my way or the highway”, usually results in both buyer and seller getting less than they could have if they would have partnered together in the transaction. The win-win approach, collaborative negotiating, will help with the good-will intention between buyer and seller. Give a little, take a little and understand what is most important to both you and the buyer. Set aside some funds to meet them halfway on their requests and try to cooperate with contractor visits. Treat them as you would want to be treated. You were at some point or will be at some point in their shoes.
5. Fire Alarms & Fire Inspection
If you have not touched your fire alarms ever or in a long while, you will likely need to pull your states and cities guidelines and start making udpates. Fire alarms can be pricy and states like Massachusetts require photoelectric, and in some locations hardwired alarms which could require an electrician and in some cases rewiring of your electrical wires. What a headache, learn what you need early on, take care of it pre-market so that your Fire Inspection is smooth before closing. If you have questions or are unsure about the updates required, call your local fire department.
6. Final Water/Sewer/Oil Bills
Prior to closing you will need to obtain your final water, sewer and oil bills. If you do not have oil then you only need your water and sewer and if you have septic, then you will only need your final water bill. Some cities will charge you a small fee to obtain this, so call your city prior to closing to understand what you need for your budget.
In addition to the costs above, you will likely pay your real estate attorney fees and may pay contractors, painters, stagers, designers and cleaners. Make a budget for the sale of your home and be prepared to spend a little bit of money prior to collecting your final check.