Are you considering putting your home on the market? You may have already thought of the obvious such as making cosmetic fixes that will make your home more attractive to buyers. But what about the not-so-obvious? Whether you have lived in your house awhile or used it as a rental, in all likelihood you have information about your house that will be helpful to an eventual buyer. Your Realtor will also want to be as familiar as possible with the property so she can represent it in its best light
Some of the information helpful to gather would include what one can expect with regard to utility bills. How much does it cost to heat your home in the winter? If the house has an air conditioner, how much does it cost to effectively cool the house? If you review your bills over the last year or so, you can put together an estimated average for the various seasons.
Have you ever signed up for a protection plan, such as for pest control? Do you have an alarm system? If you no longer have a copy of your policy or agreement, contact the company. It is helpful to know what kind of coverage you have. You want to know several things. How long is the plan in effect? Is there a deductible charged? Can it be transferred over to the new owner? This information and any plans that will still be in effect after the transaction closes can be an added benefit to be offered to a prospective buyer.
Are all of the product manuals and warranty information for the items that will be staying with the home all stuffed in a drawer or folder? You can pull them out and clip them together. This includes information regarding appliances, the water heater, heating and cooling system, ceiling fans, pool equipment, etc.
Have repairs been done to your home through the years? Did you keep business cards or a list of the service providers and vendors you have used? If the service providers are familiar with your home and you can vouch for their reliability, you can put a simple list together. This list will be very helpful for the new owner as he or she transitions into living in the home.
Does your house have a homeowners’ association? Are there covenants and restrictions, neighborhood rules, information that would be beneficial for a new owner? If you do not have a copy of this information handy, you can contact your homeowners’ association or management company and request a copy. Some companies now have these documents available online for a small fee. You will need to provide this information to the buyers during the escrow period anyway.
I like to put a binder together for my listings which contains all of this information neatly indexed. This binder can be left on display in the home while it is on the market (personal information obviously redacted) or it can be kept in the Realtor’s possession until close of escrow, when it will be presented to the buyer. The potential buyer will see that the you kept good records and maintained the home well and that may even help your home sell faster.