Putting an older home on the market comes with a few unique challenges. If the property is older than ten or fifteen years since construction, and especially if it’s more than thirty, you should be prepared to do a little more preparation before the sale.
For a home to sell well, it needs to be up to a certain “move-in ready” standard. What this means is that there are no major maintenance tasks waiting for the next owner. Unfortunately, this can also mean that you, the current seller, will need to fix up a few things before you can get the best price for the property.
Here’s what to expect when selling an older home:
Roof Repairs or Reinstallation
Older roofs are only built to last between ten and twenty years before they need to be completely reinstalled. Go in with this in mind and most roofing situations will seem like a walk in the park. Expect a soft spot or two, some missing shingles that will need to be replaced. Roofs age and take damage over time. To sell your older home for top dollar, you’ll want to do any necessary roof repairs and, if necessary, invest in a new warrantied roof. Passing that roof warranty on to the buyers will up the final sale price of the home.
Plumbing Updates for an Older Home
Modern plumbing is built to last without rusting or corrosion. The plumbing in older houses, however, was often put in with iron, copper, and possibly even lead pipes and fixtures that may need to be replaced. Water heaters and drains also age with time and eventually need to be replaced. Get a plumbing assessment and don’t be surprised if you need to do some updates. Being handy with a wrench and putty can also save you a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in valuable home repairs. Just be sure to get an inspection at the beginning and end of any DIY plumbing upgrades.
You can also improve the sale price of a home by updating old faucet and spigot fixtures. Modern fixtures can be bought that will fit on the old connections, providing a shiny updated look to an older home’s plumbing.
Mold Hiding Somewhere
Expect to find mold. There is a little bit of mold growing in practically every home in the modern world, and older homes are more likely to have a hidden colony somewhere. Mold is a fungus plant that spreads via microscopic airborne spores. It settles anywhere moist and porous and only needs water and air to live. So there’s probably some mold somewhere in the older home. It will need to be carefully extricated, wrapped in plastic, and removed from the house or via a mold remediation service.
Don’t be surprised, calculate for the cost. There will be mold and it is necessary to remove it before a sale. Check under sinks, in attics and basements, on window sills, in the laundry area, and anywhere with damp floors or concrete.
A Little Manicuring Goes a Long Way
Finally, understand the key to selling an old house: Polishing and manicuring. A little work on the aging surfaces can go a long way. A fresh coat of paint on the outdoor siding or power-washing a brick facade can make the entire property look brighter. Nurture a green lawn or replace it with attractive colored rocks and xeriscaping plants. Do a little topiary shaping with the bushes or add a few wood and stone decorative pieces.
Indoors, fresh paint, new or steam-cleaned flooring, and a few refinished surfaces can make a house look like new. Consider replacing the molding on the baseboards and ceilings, and replacing any truly dating features. But you don’t have to change much to make an older home look fresh and new again. A little manicuring TLC goes a long way.
Find More Things to Expect When Selling an Older Home
If you have an older house to sell, there are a few extra hurdles to jump. But if the home is in reasonably good shape, you can make a tidy profit by putting in the effort. If you’re willing to spruce up the roof, appliances, fixtures, and general surfaces around the property, some family will be happy to move into an older home made ready and new again.
Have questions or want to explore the right strategy for your home? Contact me via phone (1-720-297-0340) or email or check out the #denverdyllan hashtag on Instagram. I’ll be glad to hear from you and we can talk about how to perfect the look and feel of your Denver for a great market showing!