How to Prepare Your Home Now for A Quick Winter Sale!
The leaves have been changing to their beautiful fall color, and the temperatures are beginning to drop here in Tremonton, Utah. The fall season is officially in full swing with Thanksgiving right around the corner. While you are sipping on that delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte, you may be thinking that it’s time to make a move. There is a definite possibility that you can sell your home this fall, but what if the Winter snow creeps up on us sooner than expected? If you live in Utah, you know that is absolutely a possibility! Snow can arrive at any given time. Sometimes as early as mid-October. There are also those winters when the snow melts as quick as it falls, and it doesn't feel much like winter at all.
Some folks believe that Spring is the only time to sell your home. However, this is completely not true. Homes sell all year long. With less homes on the market in the fall and winter, it can give a seller a great advantage with the lower inventory to compete with.
When you sell your home during the winter months, it’s extremely important to know that many home buyers are looking to get FHA loan type financing, which has additional requirements. The loan types you should be most concerned about are FHA, VA, USDA, and Utah Housing loans. These type loans have specific requirements and standards that your home must follow to pass their inspections. With the winter’s snow, this can hold up some of the required repairs which will in return hold up the sale of your home.
In this article, I have put together some of the most common FHA required repairs that are difficult to accomplish during the winter season. Complete these now in the fall and you are sure to help keep the sale of your home on track, at least on the seller side of things.
Six Repairs to Make Now to Ensure The Sell of Your Home Is Not Delayed This Winter
- Make sure the roof is in good condition. If there are any missing or curling shingles, it is a good idea to have the shingles fixed and repaired. Did you know that FHA and USDA loans require your roof to have at least 3 years’ life expectancy? If an appraiser sees any signs that may question the roof’s life expectancy to be limited they will require a roof inspection. Yes, you could hope that you get a cash buyer, or one that is using conventional financing. However, this could limit your buyer options and chances of selling your home quickly. While your contractor is up on the roof replacing and repairing the shingles (you did hire a professional, didn’t you?) you may want to ask if they will go ahead and make sure caulking around the flashing, piping, and any units you may have on the roof are in good condition.
- Check Downspouts and Rain Gutters. Rain gutters direct rain and the melting snow to the downspouts which should be directed away from the homes foundation. While checking, and making any necessary repairs to the rain gutters ensure that they are free of fall leaves and debris. Having proper drainage away from your home will help prevent water leaks into the basement. Water damage in basements is definitely a red flag to home buyers, so to sell your home quick, it's best to ensure you take the proper precautions to prevent it. If you do find yourself with a mishap, and end up with water damage, fix it. It's important to fix water damage properly and don't forget to disclose it.
- Check for any peeling paint on the exterior of your home and outbuildings. This is one of the easiest low cost repairs you can do on your home. It is also one of the most commonly flagged repair items on FHA and USDA loans. Can you imagine trying to repair peeling paint with freezing temperatures and snowfall? Sometimes there is just a small bit of peeling paint around the doors and/or window trims, and sometimes it’s more of a whole side of the house thanks to the hot sun. No matter how big or small, be sure to scrape and remove the peeling paint before applying the new coat. If your home is 1978 or older, be sure to take the proper precautions due to the possibility of lead-based paint. If there is a lot of peeling paint that you are correcting, this is also going to make a big positive impact on the way potential home buyers see your home. Remember, first impressions will set the mood, and help you sell your home.
- Look for any exposed wires or electrical connections and get them covered. Exposed wires can be a big red flag and a safety issue. FHA and USDA loans require that exposed wires be in proper electrical boxes with cover plates. While you are checking for the exposed wires, check that all electrical outlets have the proper covers on them to protect them from the wet snow. Appraisers will check the outside and inside of the home for exposed wires, so don't forget to do a walk through of the inside of the home as well. Appraisers check in even the attic.
- Check to ensure your fencing is standing up tall and sturdy. Most likely if you have a vinyl or chain link fence you won’t have any problems. However, if your fence is made of wood they tend to start leaning over time if not maintained. Some appraisers see that has a safety issue, and will require for the fencing to either be removed or repaired. So just be sure to correct any fencing that is leaning, broken, or not attached properly. This is a must even if it's not flagged as a fix by an appraiser. Selling your home with a leaning fence may indicate lack of maintaining the home to a buyer.
- Replace Broken and Cracked Windows. Again, this can be a big safety issue. This is another one of those items that FHA and USDA loans may require to be fixed. Even if it doesn’t become an appraisal issue, most likely a home buyer is going to ask that it be fixed after doing their inspections. This is one you will want to take care of before the snow arrives. Brrrr!
BONUS! Help Sell Your Home This Winter by Doing These Two Bonuses
BONUS #1- Many home buyers are nervous about home buying. Especially the first-time home buyers, or ones that had a bad experience in the past. Not knowing if they are going to have to make updates and repairs after they move in can be stressful. Inspections can be a bit more difficult to complete in the winter time. Inspectors can’t get on roof or inspect the outside well if all is covered in snow. So why not go ahead and get a home inspection and share the report with your potential home buyer. A home inspection costs around $300 depending on the size and age of the home. If you find any red flags, go ahead and fix them and note in the report that you have completed it.
BONUS #2- Offer to pay for a home warranty. A home warranty can put home buyers at ease. What is a home warranty you ask? It is a service that you can pay for at time of closing from your seller proceeds. A home warranty typically costs between $350 – $500 depending on the plan that is purchased. The home warranty covers many things such as appliances, plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical just to name a few. The home warranty is good for one year with the option for the buyer to pay to continue service. During that year, if any problems occur the buyer can call the home warranty company and pay a service call fee of about $60, and the home warranty company will either fix or replace the item they called about.
Final Thoughts on Getting Your Home Sold Fast This Winter
Appraisers have been overloaded with orders to appraise homes lately in Tremonton and the surrounding areas. To minimize any delays in the sale of your home be sure to make the necessary repairs ahead of time. If the appraiser must come back to check off any repairs it tacks on an additional fee to the buyers as well as delay the appraisal up to another week. Additional items you may want to consider checking on is making sure that your hot water heater is strapped and that the overflow line is in place.
This blog post is meant to help you prepare your home for the appraiser to help minimize delays once you have a home buyer this winter. You must also prepare your home for sale to interest buyers in looking and making an offer. Be sure to clean and declutter your home, along with making sure you have great curb appeal. You can check out my blog post how to prepare your home to sell in the fall to give you a jump start. Of course, when I mention fall décor you will want to replace that with some festive winter décor for the winter time.
When you are ready to sell, it is additionally important to make sure you pick the best real estate agent to do the job. One that knows how to market online, has their own website, and takes professional pictures is a must, among many other things.
If you are looking to sell your home and live in Northern Utah, we would love to help you! Request a free market analysis now. If you live in another area, we would be happy to refer you to an excellent realtor in that area, as we have contacts throughout the United States.
I hope that you enjoyed this article and would love your feedback in the comments below.
Additional resources you may find useful:
- Four Great Reasons To Sell Your House In The Winter via Matt Minor
- Best Winter Curb Appeal Ideas from 18 Professionals via Luke Skar
- How to Sell a Home in the Winter via Bill Gassett
The above article How to Prepare Your Home Now For a Quick Winter Sale was provided by Angela Duong. Angela can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 435-225-5200. With over 12+ years experience, if you are thinking of selling or buying, I would love to share my marketing knowledge and expertise.
Hi there! I'm Angela Duong, a REALTOR® in Northern Utah with Coldwell Banker Tugaw Realtors. I am the owner of this website MADHomesUtah.com and I enjoy helping home buyers and home sellers through the process of buying and selling real estate. I have a passion for technology, marketing, helping people, and creating informational content on this website. Please feel free to comment below, or share this article socially.