Interest rates have recently moved up a notch; nothing to be alarmed about since the current 30-year rate is pretty much redolent of the 1940’s and there won’t be drastic changes in your viewfinder in 2014 since it’s an election year.
One thing a homeowner can do to increase the possibility of a quicker sale than any neighbor three blocks away is to start making a “checklist” of “to-do” repairs today so when you either list with a Realtor or become a FSBO (for sale by owner) you’ll have four aces instead of a pair of sevens.
The Initial Step
Hire a state licensed home inspection company to make the rounds of the home you’re selling and find out what actually needs your repair attention in order to “pass muster” with any mortgage lender the buyer will choose. Caution: All checklists are not the same.
Some home inspectors will be brief others who are a bit more professional, will be more thorough. Any buyer or investor will mostly be concerned with the condition of the following items: roof, concrete foundations, floors, and basement (if any).
If your home is located in a toxic area: think asbestos, radon, pests, molds and lead paint that could also be a determining factor in the sale in terms of who pays for the mitigation.
Selling Your Home? Target These Areas First!
Once you list or put up your FSBO sign there will be an open house sooner or later. That means you should target these three areas for fix-up or repair before anything else:
- Curb Appeal
Go outside and face the front of your home from the street; watch out for cars. Think if you’re a new home buyer, would you consider buying this home the way it looks?
If not repair shutters, windows, walkway, outdoor lighting, garage door, and your front door/screen if necessary. Also be sure your home address numbers can be seen from the street.
It’s a proven fact that the kitchen and bathrooms have more “foot-traffic” than any other place in your home. Both will get the “white glove” treatment during your open house. Another fact is that the person wearing the “white gloves” will be a woman. So make tile floor repairs, repair or replace kitchen cabinets, check all appliances; especially the refrigerator.
Repair renovation loans are not costly so if you have some major repairs to make in order to get at least a four-star rating, consider hiring a licensed contractor and forget making it a DIY (do it yourself) project. You would be surprised how reasonable and fast you can get a HEL (home equity loan) or HELOC (home equity line of credit) from the same lender who has your current mortgage loan.