Keeping your home in tip-top condition is the best way to always be ready to sell your home. If you take care of repair issues as they occur and do seasonal maintenance, then you won’t have to worry about getting your home ready to sell, other than updating colors and taking care of clutter.
Depending on your personality type, you can tackle these items in one of two ways: by “just doing it” or by making lists.
Make a List of What Has to Be Done to Maintain Your Home
Consider making lists to be productive avoidance or you can look at it as a way to survey the overall situation before handling essential items and ignoring or postponing non-essential issues.
If you are a list maker, take a pad and go from room to room and write down what you see needs to be done indoors. Then go outside and do the same. Think of each side of your home and area of your yard as a room. Simply survey what you would do if you felt like doing it. Indoor projects can be saved for a rainy day and outdoor projects can be tackled while the weather is delightful before the leaves fall and the wind turns chilly.
Review your list and assign priorities in the margin by writing “A,” “B,” or “C” next to each item. Now you can either get started on your projects or do some additional productive avoidance. “Just do it” types can skip the next few paragraphs. Visual types will create ways to color code the priorities.
Organize your list by giving each “room” its own page in a notebook or create a poster board with a header for each room. Use this master list as a checklist, be it temporary or permanent. Put your list on an Excel spreadsheet. By doing this you will have a record from year to year as to what you (or a paid contractor) accomplished and when it was done; you will be able to present a detailed maintenance record of your home to prospective buyers when you sell your home.
Want to have more fun with your list? Put each “honey-do” item on a little strip of paper the size of a fortune-cookie note. Use assorted colors to make it fun or meaningful. Fold the papers strips in half and throw them in a mayonnaise jar, what Blondie and Dagwood called the “job jar.”
Some personality types will aim to accomplish “A” list items first. Others will enjoy the serendipity of closing their eyes and selecting projects at random from the job jar.
Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Honey-Do Lists
Here are some Fall Maintenance tips to consider putting on your to do list for your home: inspect, clean, repair, replace, and paint.
Inspect and Look Over Your Home
Have your furnace inspected and serviced. This will keep your heating costs down, prolong the life of your heating system, and keep the air healthy in your home.
Inspect your Roof. Look for cracked or missing shingles. Look for buckles in roof decking. Look for where caulking may be needed. Is there moss or lichen? If necessary, contact a roof inspector. People often don’t realize they have hail damage until they go to sell their home.
Check for mold. This occurs where there is excess moisture (eg., around leaky pipes). If you find mold, hire an environmental inspector to identify the type of mold. Hire a professional to remediate mold.
Look over your siding. Is the vinyl siding buckled or warped? Is wood siding curling, splitting or cracking? Is the brick cracking or spalling? Has your foundation moved and caused cracking?
Inspect your insulation. You should have the highest concentration of insulation in your attic. Fill gaps as needed. Consider having an energy audit to identify where you may need additional insulation.
Clean, Repair, and Replace as Needed
Clean gutters and downspouts. Leaves, twigs, and nuts, and other clogs in gutters and downspouts can cause backups and leaky gutters. In the winter ice jams in gutters can cause roofs to leak and water to run down into the walls behind the gutters.
Check the airflow. Change your furnace and air conditioning filters, clean dryer vents, and check the vent over your stove. Lint buildup in your dryer vent is a fire hazard. Use higher quality filters to keep fine dust particles and allergens from circulating throughout your home. Wipe down baseboards, ceiling fans and all vents.
Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries.
Replace weather stripping on doors. Gaps around doors can add to your heating and cooling costs.
Apply a Fresh Paint Color
Apply a fresh coat of paint. Google “2017 Color Trends” to discover the best of the newest, most trending colors available. Your home will be ready for sale, because buyers are always aware of what’s trending. Also go to http://www.houzz.com/user/deborah-solano/ and Pinterest.com for design trends.
Review Your Insurance Needs and Coverage
Get earthquake insurance. Make sure you ask your agent whether your earthquake coverage specifically excludes “man-made” earthquakes caused by the injection of water into disposal wells.
It’s the deferred maintenance issues that will “get you” when you go to sell your home.
Smart homeowners do not defer maintenance issues. They take care of problems as they arise. Keep working on your “honey dos” and your home will be ready to sell when an interested buyer comes along.
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Debbie Solano, ALC, CRS is a Residential Real Estate Broker and REALTOR® at Coldwell Banker Select. She would enjoy your feedback or questions. She can be reached at 918-724-8201 or dsolano@cbTulsa.com.
Fall maintenance ideas were gleaned from an article by Anita Alvarez, “Preparing Your Home for Autumn: Maintenance Tips for the End of Summer,” RIS Media’s House (Posted on September 15, 2016).
Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Solano. All rights reserved.
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