Sell Your House Faster By Fixing These Problems

May 12, 2010

If you’re trying to sell your house, you’ll have to fill out a Sellers Disclosure form that alerts potential buyers to any possible problems with your home.

If you put your house on the market and your Sellers Disclosure form has a long list of issues, buyers may walk away and look for a different house that needs less work.  Or they may ask for a lower price or for money in an escrow account to pay for fixing the problems.

Any of those scenarios stand in the way of you selling your house quickly and at market value so it’s best to resolve these problems before listing your house for sale.  We just went through and filled out our disclosure form as we prepare our house for sale. Here’s a list of things you’ll likely be required to document; if you make sure they’re not a problem then you should be able to sell your house faster and closer to your asking price.

  • Any settling dirt, poor grading, and drainage problems
  • Roof age & condition (roof leakage caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing)
  • Bugs infestations (termites or other wood destroying insects)
  • Structural issues (foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and door headers)
  • Shifting or movement of house (foundation, walls, crawl space, slab)
  • Water leakage and dry rot
  • Fireplace or chimney problems
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Electrical issues (inadequate overload protection, faulty wiring)
  • Mold & radon testing

Here are some other problems that would give a buyer reason to hesitate that are also documented in the Seller’s Disclosure.  If you’re plagued by any of these it’s best to have them resolved before trying to sell.

  • Liens on your house
  • Zoning violations
  • Unpaid Home Owners Association fees
  • Problems with the title
  • Ongoing litigation or settlement on the property

You’ll also likely be asked for the last service date of your air conditioning system, furnace, and water heater so you may want to have those serviced before listing your house.

Home Inspections

I asked our real estate agent if we should hire a home inspector to do a property inspection to prove to buyers we weren’t experiencing any of these problems.  He pointed out that the buyers will want to hire someone they know and trust to do the inspection so even if we paid someone to inspect the house, chances are that the buyer wouldn’t trust it and would hire someone else.

We decided not to pay for our own home inspection as a seller; however, if you suspect you might have some of the issues covered it’s a good idea to have a qualified professional come take a look. Tapping into your friends and family is a good way to find an experienced contractor and another good source is to choose a highly rated company on Angies List.

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Ben

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Ben
Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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10 Responses to Sell Your House Faster By Fixing These Problems

  • Jon

    Some solid advice for home sellers. I have noticed that overall cleanliness & decluttering of the space helps sell a home quickly. Buyers think if a home is neat and tidy that the property must be well maintained.

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