When you are responsible for getting a home ready that is part of an estate or in probate, the process can be daunting. Oftentimes, these situations mean that there has been repairs and maintenance left undone. There can be an exorbitant amount of clutter from an accumulation of years of keepsakes and family heirlooms.
Yet, the parties involved expect the home to be sold so that assets can be distributed in a timely manner.
How can you prepare a home to be listed in these circumstances?
First, it’s important to de-clutter. It’s impossible to show a home’s value and highlight the desirable features when it contains years of memorabilia. Oftentimes this can be painful. If the person who owned the home was close to you, you may not want to sort through everything until you’ve had the time to grieve. If you choose not to do it, you can hire an organizer to pack everything and store it until you have the time and emotional capacity to complete this daunting task.
After decluttering, it’s important to address those maintenance items that have been ignored. The easiest escape for someone who is under contract to purchase your home is the home inspection. If an expensive or time-consuming repair comes up, your buyer may walk, and it will take re-listing the home which means more time on the market and red flags for future buyers who wonder why the home went on the market again.
Home inspection items can also be a point of negotiation, and you may lose thousands of dollars by having an unexpected repair item show up on the home inspector’s report. Therefore, to prevent a buyer from having an easy escape, we always recommend having the home inspection done prior to listing the home on the market.
Based on the inspection, it’s important to address the major repairs. By doing this you are preventing the buyer from walking or negotiating the sales price down.
Along with the repairs that you’ll address, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference. We recommend painting the exterior and the interior. The color palette should be neutral, attracting the majority of buyers, and the trim white to appear clean and tidy.
Give your buyers a clear picture. Cleaning the windows and removing screens while the home is on the market, can bring natural light in and make everything lighter and brighter.
Finally, a clean, plush carpet can say “Welcome to your new home!” Tired, worn flooring scratched by years of traffic and pets, can be a deterrent. Replacing it with affordable, clean, neutral carpeting can make a world of difference.
Today’s buyer is busy and wants a turnkey property, meaning they want to move their personal items in and have no “honey do” lists. Doing these simple, affordable fixes means you will be able to command the best price for the home.
A little preparation goes a long way.
You may not have been through the process of listing a home that’s in probate or part of an estate; however, I have. Lean on me to guide you through the process, and provide a list of trusted professionals to help you complete this list.