STARTING WITH THE BASICS Every listed home should meet the basic expectations of any buyer; it should have a sound roof, functioning gutters and downspouts, foundation without cracks, functioning heating and/or air-conditioning system, solid subflooring, and safe and secure electrical wiring.With financer-mandated home inspections, any shortcomings may be required to be remedied to get buyer financing approval. It is important to understand that themarket value of a home is determined by the prices of comparable homes recently sold in the area. Extensive remodeling to sell the home or to increase the value may not pay off. The property needs to be up to the standards of neighboring homes, so while the kitchen has to be comparable to others, as in the example above, spending $25,000 to remodel a kitchen in an area where comparable homes recently sold for $275,000 will not increase the house’s value to $300,000. While it may be a helpful selling feature, it won’t return dollar-for-dollar value. MECHANICAL MAINTENANCE IS A MUST It is easy to get wrapped up in the more eye-pleasing aspects of preparing a home to sell. However, the upkeep of all the more mundane aspects of the home cannot be overlooked. These mechanical features require consideration: • Electrical boxes and wiring • Natural gas lines • Plumbing • Central heating and air-conditioning If these components are old, outdated, or not working correctly, the home’s appeal is lowered, as is the eventual sale price. According to the National Association of Realtors®, 65% of homebuyers surveyed wanted to be sure their new home had a working central air system. Of the 31 mechanical features inquired about in the survey, this was the most important.
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