Selling Your Overland Park Home? Do You Have Maintenance Records?

When you sell your car, buyers want to see a history of the maintenance records. It’s the same when you are selling your home. Do you have any maintenance records? Buyers know that it’s not a new home but they want to know it’s been well maintained. They are willing to deal with minor things but nothing sends a buyer running faster than a home that has not been taken care of by the seller.

Your seller’s disclosure doesn’t necessarily cover maintenance items. It’s a record of what you’ve done to the house or problems that have occurred since you’ve owned it. What it’s not is a record of the maintenance you’ve done.

When I meet with sellers for the first time, I have a 10 point checklist of questions I ask to help me decide whether or not it’s a house I think I can get sold quickly. I turn down more listings than I take because I only take listings that I believe I can sell in less than 30 days – and preferably the first weekend on the market. Plus, I have a 10 Point Checklist every house has to pass.

Last week I met with a seller who was referred to me by a friend. She wanted to sell her house for $120,000. I agreed to meet with her even though her house was somewhat outside my geographical area and not in my average price range.

When I arrived at the house, I checked out the curb appeal (I wanted to keep driving). You know how I feel about curb appeal. (Here’s a link for How to Get It!) Even though the house was in the pre-list stage of the selling system, I knew major work was going to need to be done to even get it ready for the photo shoot. It had 3 strikes against it already:

  1. A deteriorated driveway and front walk that would not pass FHA or VA inspections and would need to be replaced
  2. Boards added to cover up asbestos siding that had deteriorated on the front of the house
  3. Poor landscaping and grounds

Those 3 things showed me this house had a lack of maintenance. Even before I went into the house, I had a bad feeling. She told me she had lived there 15 years and was spending $18,000 on foundation repair next week. I looked at the basement walls and agreed they had moved in. She said it had been going on for awhile but she had never done anything about it (lack of maintenance). Now that she wanted to sell, she knew she would have to correct the problems.

The bathroom had a newer vanity which was too large for the space. The bathtub had been sprayed white and was chipping off. The tub was originally a bright shade of blue that was showing through. This was another indication of a lack of maintenance.

The kitchen had no updates and had older style cabinets and butcher block countertops.

The biggest problem was the fact that she wanted top dollar for the house that had never been maintained nor updated. There were other houses in her geographical area that were bigger, with more updates that had sold for that price or less.

Did I think I could sell her house? No. I like to think I’m a miracle worker with home staging but the house has to be maintained. I can’t do anything to change that. Just because you have a newer roof and $18,000 worth of foundation repair with a warranty doesn’t mean someone is going to want to buy your house.

Luckily, she didn’t choose me. Or did I not choose her? Honestly, I couldn’t get excited about her house. And if I can’t get excited, how can I possibly get the public, the other Realtors and buyers excited?

It’s all about first impressions. This one didn’t get the first impression rose.

Will your house pass my 10 Point Checklist?

Some things are evident to buyers and their agents, some aren’t. But if you are selling your house and think it’s perfect, think again. Selling the house is easy, getting through inspections is the hard part. Home inspectors will find every possible thing wrong with your house and if it’s a major health or safety concern, you might as well fix it before you ever put your house up for sale.

If you’re thinking of selling your Overland Park home and want to know if your house will pass my 10 Point Checklist, please call me for a confidential consultation at (913) 515-3250.

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