Getting your property ready to sell

Are you getting ready to put your house on the market? Here are some things that you can do and check prior to listing your house to make sure when you get an offer accepted, things go smoothly during the home inspection process and that there are no huge red flags that could potentially cause a buyer to want to back out of a deal. Some of these items can be done or checked yourself and some you may want to make sure and have a professional contractor evaluate or verify. 

1- The condition of the roof is important. Most lenders will require the roofs to meet a minimum of 3-5 yrs serviceable life and all moss removed. Have roof flashings checked and repaired as needed and clean your gutters 

2-Check your exterior siding and trim for dry rot damage, caulking and painting deficiencies. Repair grading issues (make sure there is no earth to wood contact). Trim all vegetation off of the house and roof. Having a clean, well maintained exterior can really help show the potential buyers that the house has been well taken care of and ready for them to move in. 

3-If you have a deck, make sure the deck is in good condition, framed, flashed and attached to the structure properly. Decks can be expensive to repair and a structural concern if not framed properly. This you may want to have checked and repaired as needed by a professional.   A new buyer may not want to have the liability of deck repairs when purchasing. 

4-Service all your HVAC equipment. Have your furnace and AC units cleaned, serviced, filters replaced and in good working condition prior to purchase.  Make sure and have this done by a licensed HVAC contractor and keep the paperwork to give to the next buyer. Regularly maintaining your HVAC equipment can help extend the life expectancy of these appliances. If your appliances are older but in good working condition, consider providing a home warranty to give the new buyer peace of mind. 

5- Check your plumbing. Look under all your sinks for signs of leaking. Make any repairs as needed. Water and leaks can cause severe damage, so it is a good idea to frequently evaluate areas where any water is present. 

6-Make sure there are no glaring visible safety electrical concerns (wires hanging, open junction boxes, bare wiring exposed, etc). Add GFCI protection to all areas where needed (exterior, garage, kitchen, bathroom outlets). Add smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to meet state guidelines. Depending on the age of construction will determine on what is required and how they are to be installed. Remember if smoke detectors are hard wired, they are required to be replaced with hard wired units. Don't mount battery only units over house wiring. Carbon monoxide detectors required on any floor with sleeping quarters and no farther than 15' from bedrooms. Some houses may require multiple detectors. All wiring repairs should be done by a licensed and bonded electrician. 

7-Check your attic for signs of leaking and moisture damage. Make sure all bathroom fans are connected and route to the exterior of the structure. Areas where insulation is missing should have more added so there is a consistent insulation depth. 

8-Check out your crawlspace under your house. Walk around the exterior and make sure all your screens on your foundation vents are in place and are keeping all unwanted critters from doing damage under your house.  If there has been animal activity, make sure and remove animals and make any necessary repairs (any damaged heat ducts? Insulation torn down throughout? Fecal matter on plastic may need replaced). A home inspector is not required to enter an area that is unsafe, so make sure and have the crawlspace cleaned up if an animal has been frequenting this area. Otherwise you run the risk of an inspector showing up, seeing there is a problem, requiring repairs to be done prior to him re-entering crawlspace and then having to make time to come back to evaluate the conditions once the crawlspace is safe and in a condition where it can be properly observed. Time can be of the essence once you have a buyer, so you may run into issues in timelines when the crawlspace is in poor condition. Remove any wood or debris from crawlspace.  Make sure your vapor barrier (should be a min 6mil black plastic) is covering all the ground. You should check for plumbing leaks, check condition of heat ducts and check for any pest and dry rot damage. Look for standing water under the house. If there is standing water, you will want to have a drainage contractor rectify the issue. Stagnant, standing water can create an environment that is conducive to pests, dry rot, microbial growth, etc. 

9-Get a Home Energy Score if listing your house in Portland. This is now required for any house being listed in the city of Portland. We can provide this service to clients.  We also have information on our website about these scores that can be helpful in understanding the score and the process. 

Being proactive prior to listing a house can go a long way and can make the real estate transaction go smoothly. It can also help you get top dollar for your house. A clean, well maintained house with limited issues can demand more when pricing your house on the market and can attract buyers and give them a peace of mind that they are buying a solid house and not one that is going to require a lot of money to maintain.  

We do perform prelisting inspections as a service for people getting ready to sell their house.  We can go through the house and get a report put together detailing what concerns a potential buyer may have and what repairs would be beneficial prior to listing. You can book all of our services online at any time or you can always call, email or text 503-310-2612 with any questions or scheduling.