How to prepare your home for sale

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If you are preparing to sell your home, you may want to do some repairs and upgrades to make a good impression on buyers of your property. Here are some things to consider when preparing your home for sale so that it sells for top dollar.

Gather your paperwork. No matter how good your home looks at first glance, savvy buyers want to know how old items are. Check your home records, receipts or seller disclosures to find out the age or last maintenance of items such as the roof, HVAC system, water heater and gutters. You’ll also want to check how long these features should last. For example, central air conditioning units typically last 15 years and shingle roofs last 15 to 30 years; however, this depends on various factors, such as the model and the level of maintenance.

Check for defects. Walk from room to room and look around the exterior of the house for things that could affect the appearance of your home and drag down its value. Some common problems include cracks in the walls, water damage in the ceiling, and doors and windows that don’t open or close easily. Since you may be used to your home’s little quirks, it may be helpful to get an objective opinion from a real estate agent, or hire a home inspector to do an inspection to identify problems like bad wiring or outdated plumbing.

Decide what to repair and renovate. Once you have a handle on the condition of your home, it’s time to decide what to repair or change before putting your home on the market. While you may not be eager to spend money renovating your soon-to-be-sold property, certain upgrades can greatly improve the impression your home makes on buyers, leading to more and higher offers. Even relatively inexpensive remodeling can pay off, such as a fresh coat of paint or refinishing the floors. A real estate agent can help you choose which upgrades will bring the best return on investment. Here’s how to find a real estate agent.

Consider selling your home as-is. If you don’t want the hassle of fixing up your home before you sell, you may choose to sell your home as is, without any improvements. This may mean you’ll have to accept a lower price, but it’s worth considering if you want a quick and easy sale.

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