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How to Get an Older Home Ready to Sell

Painting A Home's Interior WallsOlder homes sometimes need a little extra attention when getting ready to sell. Meservier & Associates strives to make the home selling process as stress-free as possible. When you partner with one of our seller’s agents you will receive guidance every step of the way. Our agents will provide you with a detailed assessment, help set the right price, and prepare a comprehensive marketing plan to sell your home. Your seller’s agent will connect you with the resources you need, and advise you on how to best move forward with ideas specific to your property. Here are some things to consider when getting an older home ready to sell. 

Home Inspection: A home inspection is relatively inexpensive, and a valuable tool, when you are looking to sell your home. The cost range is usually around $300-$500 for a 2-3 hour single family home inspection. The results will provide you with valuable feedback on the structural condition of your home and the condition of the major systems. A home inspection is often recommended to buyers (to include as a contingency in a formal offer) but we also recommend the service to sellers, especially with older homes. The inspection will let you know if the foundation needs repair, the chimney needs to be cleaned, the roof needs to be replaced, and other important issues in the home. You won’t necessarily need to have the work done, but we can adjust the price of the home with respect to the results of the inspection (and we won’t be surprised by anything on the negotiation table during a sale). 

Landscape: No matter if your home is old or new you will need to pay attention to your front yard. In addition to your weekly lawn-care maintenance, you will want to properly edge walkways, flower beds, and the driveway. You will likely be ahead of the landscaping game in an older home, as you will have older and mature growth in both trees and bushes. Nevertheless, those trees and bushes may need proper attention with a little conservative pruning and trimming. Professional landscaping services are sometimes best when working with mature trees. 

Painting: The interior rooms of your home will need a fresh coat of paint. We always recommend light neutral colors, as they make rooms feel more spacious and better reflect natural and artificial light. Painting the exterior of your home is a larger undertaking and more costly than painting interior rooms (but sometimes necessary). Your seller’s agent will advise you on how to best move forward. Sometimes simply painting the front door and exterior window trim is all that is needed for the best ROI. 

Electrical Wiring: Bringing old and outdated electrical wiring up to code can be costly but any repair left undone will bring down the price of your home. Re-wiring can cost anywhere from $1,500-$10,000 and take 3-10 days to complete. It may be in your interest to have the work performed before listing your home. Your seller’s agent will advise you on how having the work done will be reflected in setting the price on your home, and help you make an effective decision based on ROI. 

Minor Roof Repairs: Taking care of small roofing issues is probably in your best interest. Replacing a few missing shingles, resealing flashing, and fixing small leaks may only cost $200-$1,500 and should provide a very good ROI. Larger roofing issues may be better left undone and disclosed: a full roof replacement can run upwards of $20,000.

Historic Features: Depending on the age of your home, you might have some unique and interesting features pointing back to a simpler time (laundry chutes and phone niches are rare features in modern homes). Your seller’s agent from Meservier & Associates will help identify which features are marketable and others that simply need to be removed.

Declutter: No matter the age of your home, you will need to depersonalize and declutter your home. Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in the home, so family pictures and vacation souvenirs need to be removed from walls and rooms. You will need to get rid of excess furniture and clutter. We will often recommend sellers rent a storage space to keep wanted items (while donating good unwanted items and disposing of the rest in the process). Decluttering your rooms and closets will make everything look and feel larger and keep the attention of potential buyers. 

We are a family operated local real estate agency serving Central and Mid Coast Maine. We recognize every home is different. We look forward to helping you market and sell your older home quickly and efficiently. Contact Meservier & Associates today!

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