The leaves have been changing to their beautiful fall color, and the temperatures are beginning to drop. The fall season is officially in full swing with Thanksgiving right around the corner. While you are sipping on that delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte, you may be thinking that it’s time to make a move. There is a definite possibility that you can sell your home this fall.Some folks believe that Spring is the only time to sell your home. However, this is completely not true. Homes sell all year long. With less homes on the market in the fall and winter, it can give a seller a great advantage with the lower inventory to compete with.When you sell your home during the winter months, it’s extremely important to know that many home buyers are looking to get FHA loan type financing, which has additional requirements. These type loans have specific requirements and standards that your home must follow to pass their inspections.
In this article, I have put together some of the most common FHA required repairs that are difficult to accomplish during the winter season. Complete these now in the fall and you are sure to help keep the sale of your home on track, at least on the seller side of things.
Here’s How to Prepare Your Home Now for A Quick Winter Sale!
1. Your Roof
Make sure the roof is in good condition. If there are any missing or curling shingles, it is a good idea to have the shingles fixed and repaired. Did you know that FHA and USDA loans require your roof to have at least 3 years’ life expectancy? If an appraiser sees any signs that may question the roof’s life expectancy to be limited they will require a roof inspection. Yes, you could hope that you get a cash buyer, or one that is using conventional financing. However, this could limit your buyer options and chances of selling your home quickly. While your contractor is up on the roof replacing and repairing the shingles (you did hire a professional, didn’t you?) you may want to ask if they will go ahead and make sure caulking around the flashing, piping, and any units you may have on the roof are in good condition.
2. Rain Gutters
Check Downspouts and Rain Gutters. Rain gutters direct rain and the melting snow to the downspouts which should be directed away from the homes foundation. While checking, and making any necessary repairs to the rain gutters ensure that they are free of fall leaves and debris. Having proper drainage away from your home will help prevent water leaks into the basement. Water damage in basements is definitely a red flag to home buyers, so to sell your home quick, it’s best to ensure you take the proper precautions to prevent it. If you do find yourself with a mishap, and end up with water damage, fix it. It’s important to fix water damage properly and don’t forget to disclose it.
Check for any peeling paint on the exterior of your home and outbuildings. This is one of the easiest low cost repairs you can do on your home. It is also one of the most commonly flagged repair items on FHA and USDA loans. Can you imagine trying to repair peeling paint with freezing temperatures? Sometimes there is just a small bit of peeling paint around the doors and/or window trims, and sometimes it’s more of a whole side of the house thanks to the hot sun. No matter how big or small, be sure to scrape and remove the peeling paint before applying the new coat. If your home is 1978 or older, be sure to take the proper precautions due to the possibility of lead-based paint. If there is a lot of peeling paint that you are correcting, this is also going to make a big positive impact on the way potential home buyers see your home. Remember, first impressions will set the mood, and help you sell your home.
4. Exposed Wires
Look for any exposed wires or electrical connections and get them covered. Exposed wires can be a big red flag and a safety issue. FHA and USDA loans require that exposed wires be in proper electrical boxes with cover plates. While you are checking for the exposed wires, check that all electrical outlets have the proper covers on them to protect them from the wet snow. Appraisers will check the outside and inside of the home for exposed wires, so don’t forget to do a walk through of the inside of the home as well. Appraisers check in even the attic.
Check to ensure your fencing is standing up tall and sturdy. Most likely if you have a vinyl or chain link fence you won’t have any problems. However, if your fence is made of wood they tend to start leaning over time if not maintained. Some appraisers see that has a safety issue, and will require for the fencing to either be removed or repaired. So just be sure to correct any fencing that is leaning, broken, or not attached properly. This is a must even if it’s not flagged as a fix by an appraiser. Selling your home with a leaning fence may indicate lack of maintaining the home to a buyer.
Replace Broken and Cracked Windows. Again, this can be a big safety issue. This is another one of those items that FHA and USDA loans may require to be fixed. Even if it doesn’t become an appraisal issue, most likely a home buyer is going to ask that it be fixed after doing their inspections. This is one you will want to take care of before the cold arrives. Brrrr!
Follow these helpful tips and call one of our experienced realtors and you should have a smooth sailing winter sale.