Selling A Home? Red Flags to Watch For

How to Fix Your Home Before Trying to SellCertain problems with a home can raise red flags with buyers. Sellers must be aware of these red flags so they can make repairs or changes to the house before buyers show up. Often, these red flags are small and easy to fix. Here’s what you need to know.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Damage from Pets

Pets can be damaging to a home, but often in superficial ways. Sometimes pets will scratch up the carpet, other times pets will chew furniture or the corners of walls. Replace carpeting in rooms where damage has been done. Touch up walls with scuff marks and scratches.

Finally, remove furniture that has been damaged by pets. Although furniture is not usually included with the house, homes may start to look shabby when damage from pets is clearly visible.

Pest Infestations

Pests are another red flag you need to watch out for when selling your home quickly. The presence of pests not only lowers the market price of the property, but it also seriously repels people. Nobody wants to buy a house when they know there can be flea eggs hiding in the couch. Common signs of pest infestations include: 

  • Droppings and gnaw marks on furniture and walls are a certain sign of rodents. 

  • Hollow-sounding wood, pinholes in walls and scales around vents and windows are an indication of a termite infestation. The scales are the wings they shed periodically. 

  • Grease marks and tracks – mice and rats are known for leaving greasy tracks when they travel through the house

  • Strange noises – if they come from the attic or garage, it could be anything, from rodents to raccoons, squirrels and more. 

  • Evidence of nesting – many pests use anything they can find at hand to build their nests. This includes shredded paper, leaves, twigs, grass clippings and various pieces of trash. 

If you notice any of these signs in your home or anywhere around the structure, this probably means that you have a pest problem on your hands and you’ll need to take measures to fix it. Otherwise, the market value of your home and every other in the neighborhood is at risk. 

Small Maintenance Problems

Small maintenance problems like broken door knobs and torn window screens are another red flag for buyers. Maintenance problems like this imply that a home has not been well maintained, and could mean that larger problems are likely to exist. Homeowners who want to sell can fix this problem by first inspecting their house and making a list of all the needed repairs. Once all the repairs have been noted, the homeowner can make the repairs over the course of a weekend or two weekends.

Poorly Maintained Lawn

For many buyers, a poorly maintained lawn is just as concerning as small maintenance problems. Poorly maintained lawns leave buyers with a bad impression and can plant concerns that perhaps the home is not well maintained in other ways.

Fortunately, a poorly maintained lawn is easy to fix. Watering, fertilizing and cutting the grass can help the lawn grow lush and green. A poorly maintained lawn can also be fixed by planting flowers like annuals and easy to maintain shrubs. This should all be done before the house is put up for sale, so the listing pictures will highlight the home’s beautiful curb appeal. A well landscaped yard may help a home sell faster and possibly for more money.

Homes for Sale Up and Down the Block

Many buyers start to become concerned when they see that several homes have been put up for sale in one small area. Some buyers worry this could be an indicator of bad things happening in the neighborhood.

Sellers who live in neighborhoods where other homes have gone up for sale can help mitigate this issue by finding out why others in the neighborhood are leaving. Sometimes it’s a random coincidence. Being able to explain the activity can help soothe buyer concerns.

Major Appliances Broken

Broken appliances are a concern for home buyers who don’t want want to make major repairs upon moving in. For home sellers who have the means to do so, it’s best to replace broken appliances before listing the house to sell. A home that is put up for sale with broken appliances included is likely to sell for a discounted rate.

Sometimes selling the Hudson WI home without making repairs is the only option, if the homeowner is on a budget. This is best discussed with the real estate professional before deciding what to do.

Contact Your Real Estate Professional

If you’re a homeowner who is going to list your home for sale soon, contact a real estate professional to get started. Your real estate professional can work with you to make repairs, to ensure that your home will sell for a profit.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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