You’ve got your eyes on a brand-new house that you can’t wait to call home. The only problem is that you’re currently living in a very old home that you need to sell first. Older homes come with their own sets of problems. There is a greater potential for wear and tear, not to mention extensive damage. Some of the parts and procedures used when the home was first built may no longer meet current codes. Buyers on the open market are going to be more hesitant about investing in older homes, especially young buyers who want to put down roots of their own. If you’re going to sell an older house, you need to be specific about how you go about it.
7-Steps to Sell an Old Home in Lincoln, Nebraska
Repair What You Can
If you’re going to sell your old home on the open market, you have to know that most buyers would prefer to not have to invest in a fixer-upper. Of course, few people want to buy a house with a leaky roof or busted pipes, but even the idea of buying a house with dripping faucets or cracks in the walls can send many buyers running.
Repair costs can add up pretty quickly, especially in an older house. So it’s important that you prioritize your list of repair possibilities and then figure out what you have the money to do and what you’re willing to invest in on the hope that the sale price will offset those extra costs.
Don’t bite off more than you can handle, you could end up making it worse. If you’re dealing with mold, water, or termite damage, you’re probably going to need to call in an expert to come in and deal with that. And if you’re not a trained expert on structural issues or landscaping, don’t take chances and end up costing yourself even more money.
Get an Inspection & Appraisal
If you work with a real estate agent, they will give you a market analysis that compares your home’s market value to those of similar houses that have recently sold. This helps to give you a sense of what you’re likely to get on the open market right now.
Since we’re dealing with an older home, however, it’s still important that you get a professional inspection and appraisal done before listing because while you might know the value of the house, buyers need to hear it from unbiased sources. Plus, their lenders are going to require these kinds of third-party assessments as well. It’s good peace of mind for buyers who don’t want to get stuck with a problem house after the fact, which is not only bad business but can also land you in court.
Consider Your Curbside Appeal
You know what they say about first impressions. So don’t give buyers a reason to keep driving if they decide to come to check out your house. Sometimes it’s the simple things that matter most. Make sure the lawn is mowed, the garage or carport looks clean, the landscaping is updated, and there’s a fresh coat of paint on everything. Buyers might be more willing to accept some of the interior issues if they can see the full potential of the house and property.
Don’t be afraid to kick things up a notch as well, adding lights, fountains, or statues, but make sure it fits with the style of the house. Otherwise, it can come off as tacky.
Remember That the Price is Right
You might have an idea in your mind of what the house is worth or what it means to you. That doesn’t really matter to buyers. They’re looking for the best possible deal on a house they really want to live in. Because you’re selling an older house in Lincoln, Nebraska, you’re competing against new homes and homes that may offer more modern features. So you have to price competitively without overdoing it.
If you price the house too high, you’re going to scare off potential buyers who would otherwise be interested but don’t see how they’ll be able to match that number. If you price the house too low, it’s only going to reinforce preconceptions that something is wrong with it. Consider those recent sales figures in your area as well as market trends in order to make the best possible price pitch. When in doubt, ask an expert or real estate professional for guidance.
Hire a Home Stager & Photographer
Considering most buyers go online to look at listings first, you need to make sure the visual aspects of that listing are top-notch. That means hiring a professional photographer who knows how to elevate the look of your old home and hiring a stager who can create an atmosphere that appeals to the widest audience possible.
Staging usually means depersonalizing the house, so you’d need to put away family photos, memorabilia, and other keepsakes. You’d also have to do some decluttering and perhaps move around furniture.
Consider renting a storage unit to keep these things in until you sell rather than shoving everything in a closet because chances are that buyers will want to look in that closet too. The idea is that all rooms and spaces should clear, clean, and easy to navigate. Buyers will want to imagine themselves and their things in here.
Buy a Home Warranty
Don’t worry, purchasing a home warranty doesn’t mean that you have to personally stand behind everything in the house and be responsible for any damage. It simply means that an insurance company agrees to pay the buyer if certain major appliances or features fall apart in the first year of their ownership.
The inspection that the buyer does before finalizing the contract will identify any potential problems, but a warranty gives them a bit of peace of mind so that they know they won’t have to foot the bill if the fridge breaks down or the washing machine stops working three months after they move in.
Sell the Old Home As-Is
Trying to sell an old home on the open market can sound daunting. You’re competing against new homes. Buyers will be wary of any issues that may exist in the house. You have to do extensive repairs and consider plenty of costs. And even if you do everything you’re supposed to, there’s no guarantee of a quick sale.
Another option you have is to sell your old home as-is directly to a real estate investor, like Element Homebuyers. No repairs are necessary. No need to sort out financial issues. All you have to do is reach out and they’ll start the no-hassle process for you. They’ll take a look at the property and assess it. Then they’ll make you a fair cash offer. If you accept, you decide how fast you want to close. And then you get to walk away with cash in your pockets, ready to buy a new home and move forward with your life.