Waiting until fall or winter to sell your Tucson area property? Here are the top 5 things you should be doing NOW to ensure a successful cooler temperature sale.
#1 Strategic planting & trimming
Is your backyard lacking privacy? Do you have the not-so-lovely view of your neighbors trash cans or pool equipment outside of your kitchen window? When you bought your house, did you pay a premium for the lot- only to have trees in the common space behind your house grow and impede the views? This is time to take charge and be proactive! Contact the HOA and request they do a trim to preserve and enhance your view. It may take a few weeks or months to get a response and for the work to be completed, so don’t wait until the last few days before the photo shoot. Also, the time is NOW (yes, right now!) to plant strategically to help avoid buyer objections. There are many fast growing and desert friendly plants and trees to select from- but check with your HOA first to make sure that they are approved for planting. Lack of privacy & lack of good landscaping are two of the top objections we hear about outdoor spaces. Planting now and letting the monsoon rains spoil them for a couple of months will allow them to get a good foothold before the winter selling season. Trimming is important as well. Scalped plants are not attractive- if you need to give a heavy trim budget in a month or so of letting them fill out a bit before photos are taken.
#2 Addressing potential dealbreakers and avoiding future headaches
No matter how beautiful your home appears in the gorgeous photos our professional photographer will take after we meticulously assist you in preparing and staging your property, or how delighted buyers are when they fall in love with how well your home shows, the mask comes off in the inspection period. Not only are you required by Arizona law to disclose any material defects in the home, even if the agents or buyers do not ask you first…or ever. In addition, you are required to fill out a seven page document that asks a variety of questions pertaining to your knowledge of the property. Some topics include roof leaks, pest issues, excessive noise, age of heating and cooling units, any easements, if you have a mailbox and even such gems regarding if the property was used as a clandestine drug factory. (Yes, for real!) And then on top of that, during the inspection period a litany of inspectors will descend on your property and look for everything they can find wrong with it. Ouch.
So, if you are aware of repairs that need to be done on your roof- fix them while you are in control of obtaining bids and deciding who you hire. Some little items that can easily be repaired by a homeowner or a handy man (like a doorbell or a faulty float arm in a toilet tank) end up costing a pretty penny when the buyer asks for work to be completed by licensed electrician and plumber, respectively. Do you know you have polybutelene piping? It is a good idea to get a few estimates on replacing so you can factor the possibility of being asked to pay for all or a portion of replacement. Have you noticed termite tubes, or pack rats setting up shop around your pool equipment? Vanquish the pests and have area treated for the future. If you wait until the buyer discovers flaws and requests repairs, it could cost you more money, or even worse- it could turn the buyer off enough to simply cancel the deal. Are there big problems that you are unable to fix? Don’t panic- just let us know so we can help navigate you through all the options.
#3 Create your house file
If you don’t have one already, now is the time to create a house file. Collect any receipts or permits that you have for work done in the house. If you have remodeled anything, look in the garage to see if there is any leftover tile or other materials and put in a safe spot. If you have the paint cans, note the color brand, sheen. Taking photos of the label and emailing the information to yourself is a great way to ensure you don’t lose it. Even if you don’t need to do many touchups prior to selling, the new owner will appreciate you passing the information along. Get the contact information and last dates of service for pest control, pool service, HVAC service, etc. Compiling all of this will make the disclosure process and inspection period much easier on you, and will also provide valuable information for marketing your home. Are you in possession of the original builder book and sales materials? Dig it out of the back of the laundry room cabinet and have on hand- it is a great resource!
#4 Do the cosmetic high ROI.
Painting and cleaning (including carpet and tile) are a must if your home looks dingy- you WILL reap the rewards. Other tasks with high ROI include tiling carpeted bathrooms, replacing dated lighting and plumbing fixtures, and sprucing up your landscaping. Check the below post that goes into more detail, or call us for guidance. http://thepropertyaces.com/inexpensive-fixes-high-roi/
#5 Let us have the professional marketing photos taken while plants are in full late summer /early fall full regalia.
Let’s face it, even here in Southern Arizona, landscape plants take a beating in the winter. At the end of the monsoon rains happy plants perk up and look their lushest, but by Thanksgiving they are starting to become dormant. Even if you are a little late to the game, do everything you can to have photos taken prior to the first freeze. The photos will look much more attractive and help your listing to stand out amongst ones with dreary, dead or scalped landscape foliage. Click here to see our page about the importance of great photos and visit our photo album with several examples of our current and past sold listing photos.
We are now pre-booking for fall and winter listings. Don’t wait until crunch time- we want to meet with you soon so your home will be perfectly prepared. Click here to learn a little more about how we help prepare your home for the photo shoot. Then, when your preferred listing date rolls around we are completely ready to make a beautiful splash on the market with gorgeous photos and all the marketing bells and whistles that your property deserves. Call Hilary at 520-869-4142 to set a convenient time for us to meet you and your home!
Happy July & stay cool!
Hilary & Jay