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7 Tips to Prepare Your Arlington, VA, Home for Sale

7 Tips to Prepare Your Arlington, VA, Home for Sale


Most of my sellers want to get top dollar for their homes and will do the work to make that happen. They are happy to do some items to prepare their home for sale. When this is the case, I advise my clients  to get a pre-listing home inspection, and make any corrections before going on the market. I even market the home as having a clean bill of health with my “Buyer Approved Home Program.” This saves you, the homeowner, the possible need to give a monetary credit or doing work if a buyer finds something “that is not quite right” and “needs fixing.” And, if you do the work early on, saves you from doing it in a period of time that is usually not convenient – the same timeframe that you will be planning your move and preparing for closing.

Even worse – what can and has happened –  the buyer might get concerned, perhaps, about one single item she sees and take it as an indication that the owner has not paid attention to more items – and the buyer “freaks out,” decided to not buy your home. Talk about a hiccup in your home selling process! You’ve taken your home off the market, effectually, to have the buyer work through a home inspection as a contingency for sale, and now you need to put it back on, and potentially not only having lost other buyers that were out there, also possibly having additional buyers think that there is a “stain” on the property. Meaning that there is something so wrong with it that a buyer did not want to purchase it after having an inspection. You may get less money for it than originally or even not be able to sell it now.

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Here are some items to pay attention to or to do to prepare for selling your home!

1. Have all of your electrical switches and outlets in working condition. Electrical can scare some buyers because most do not know anything or much about what electricity is or how an electrical system works.

2. Make sure there are no plumbing leaks. Water is a major source of concern for buyers. Among other reasons, water or moisture is a component of mold formation.

3. Make sure that your toilet(s) flush correctly and that they do not wobble when you attempt to rock them with your hands by the seat side to side. Inspectors are known to tell buyers that a “broken seal” caused by a toilet that is not secured well to the floor can start a leak and damage the house.

4. Get items free and clear of your furnace and water heater. Do not have things near near them that could either combust or make a buyer think they could. Having the items there might register negatively in their minds in terms of what care they think you have given the home.

5. Have a termite inspection, if you are not in a type of dwelling such as a condo where the management does it already regularly. Get a clean bill of health and show that you take great care of your house.

6. If you are in a home that has you taking care of the exterior vs. a management company, take special note of roof and gutter condition and make any repairs. The goal is to keep water out of and away from the house. Make sure downspouts extensions lead well away from the foundation and that the ground is graded away from the house to allow proper drainage.

7. Have documentation of all work that has been done on the house, either preventative and even possibly corrective.  Put it in neat order in a binder. This helps the purchaser access the information and feel good that you are on top of the houses’ care, so they do not need to be concerned about items in the house .

I hope these tips to prepare your home for sale were helpful to you! Please let me know what questions you might have that I can help answer.


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