Getting ready to sell your house?
During her guest appearance on WCNC-NBC’s Charlotte Today, Nancy Braun, owner and broker-in-charge of Showcase Realty, talked about the most important things a seller needs to address before listing a home.
Selling a home successfully takes more than just planting a "For Sale" sign on your front lawn. To immediately gain a buyer’s attention, you need to make sure that even the least considered tasks are taken care of before you open the home for showings.
Today’s buyers are very selective, and they have high expectations. They want well-maintained move-in-ready homes, usually with stainless steel appliances. Nancy Braun reminded sellers about the importance of checking that often overlooked tasks like the condition of appliances, the furnace, and water heater in top working order. These tasks are essential to prevent any issues later during an inspection report.
Nancy also pointed out that home sellers should maintain and winterize their sprinkler system to make sure that it doesn’t freeze. She also advised sellers to have the fireplaces and chimneys cleaned out, and occasionally checked for possible damages.
Another important fact that Nancy highlighted was the necessity to disclose any known malfunction or defect in the home. Home sellers should familiarize themselves with North Carolina housing laws to ensure they understand what is expected on a disclosure agreement to avoid and future legal obligations -- which can even happen after the sale.
Lastly, Nancy stressed that sellers need to create a clean palette where buyers can easily envision themselves living in the home. That’s why sellers should get rid of personal items that might distract buyers.If you’re looking for real estate experts who can help you sell your home fast and for the best price, there’s only one team you can trust — Nancy Braun and her team of agents at Showcase Realty. Get in touch with them today at 704-488-3109 and experience professional service, personally delivered.
Colleen Odegaard: Homeowners who are thinking about selling have a checklist of things to do before putting their home on the market. But there are key tasks that can be overlooked, things that are important enough to make or break a sale.
Eugene Robinson: So welcome Nancy Braun, award-winning RealtorⓇ and owner of Showcase Realty to the show to help us navigate and walk through this one. Hello! How are you doing today?
Nancy: Good morning! Good! Thank you.
Colleen Odegaard: We’re glad you’re here today! Okay Nancy, buyers are savvy. You know that. We all know that. And if they’re using an experienced RealtorⓇ like you, like yourself, there will be a thorough inspection of course, and assessment before they buy. What is the most important thing that a seller needs to address before listing their home? Or what are the most important things?
Nancy: Well, they must check all of their appliances, and check all of their furnace, their water heater, making sure they’re all operational, that they’ve been serviced recently, that their filters have been changed, that their light bulbs are working. All of those things are gonna come up and, as possible issues on the inspection report, which they could be a non-issue. An inspector might think that the light fixture is broken just because the light doesn’t go on and it’s just a matter of turning the light bulb a little more or switching it out. So we wanna make those non-issues right at the beginning.
Eugene Robinson: So let’s drill down a little bit. What should their plans be? What types of shapes should they be in?
Nancy: Well, buyers are very picky today. They have really high expectations. HGTV has really changed the world! So, they want move-in ready, they want it really gorgeous, they want it sparkling clean, and they’re expecting all their appliances to be stainless steel today, and newer. They’re really afraid of having to have unexpected expenses when they move into a home and have to replace things. And they’re higher standards because of the remodel HGVT kind of effect. They think that their home should be as beautiful as what it is on TV. Yeah.
Colleen Odegaard: Okay, so that’s for sellers to think about. Let’s talk about the sprinkler system. That can be an easy thing to overlook. Is it critical for the seller to make sure that the sprinkler system is in perfect working condition?
Nancy: Yes! It’s a simple, easy thing to do, but a homeowner might have that inspected. So, we’re supposed to be winterizing our sprinkler system now to make sure that they don’t freeze so, make sure you call your irrigation company and have that addressed. And then you’re gonna have it de-winterize in the spring. And at the time that they do that, they’re gonna make sure all of those naturals of sprays are working. So, simple fix. Don’t make an issue of it if you fix it upfront.
Eugene Robinson: Well, what about here? Fireplaces, chimneys, I’ve even called a chimney sweep now to clean up my chimney, you don’t need to clean up the fireplace. What do I need?
Nancy: Yeah. It’s a great idea. I think it’s so overlooked. No one thinks about it. So if you actually have a wood-burning fireplace, absolutely call up one of those companies that have the ability to go in and clean it out. And just do a check. Because you could have cracks in the mortar, and that can be really dangerous. So, you wanna make sure you have that checked maybe every five years. Make sure that it’s, you know, no real issues.
Colleen Odegaard: How much of a disclosure are we talking about?
Nancy: Okay. So, under North Carolina law, and South Carolina law, you really have to disclose any known malfunction or defect to your home. So, it could be as simple as an electrical socket. You know it doesn’t work. But later on if you didn’t disclose it and you knew it wasn’t working, you’ve really violated that rule. So you do have to disclose anything that you knew about. It’s some things that could come up to bite you after you close on the house. Even after the buyer has done their due diligence and done all their inspections, and they bought the house at its present condition. But if they later buy the house, and then a neighbor runs over and says, “Hey, Sally! Welcome to the neighborhood! Did your seller tell you about the drainage issue they have in the backyard? The standing water? Did they mention that, you know, their AC unit needs to have freon charge? Every summer I see that truck pull-up.” Well now, that seller who thought they washed their hands off that house and walked away, is under a legal obligation. So it could come back to bite them later. So, over-disclose is better, even if you know that there’s a potential problem, or an issue. It’s better to disclose because, you don’t wanna have to look back later.
Eugene Robinson: So what are some other tasks that the seller needs to address? And what I am thinking about are merely, you always have a lot of personal items, and personal pictures when you’re trying to sell your home. Is that a good thing to keep those things up? Or not keep those things up?
Nancy: Well, I’m not a big stickler on that unless it’s just overkill. You know if, there’s way too many wedding photos, way too many kids photos that it’s distracting to the house, then I’m gonna ask that we have them removed. So, you know, we certainly don’t wanna have anything distracting from, someone envisioning themselves in the house.
Eugene Robinson: So you want a clean palette for the most part?
Nancy: Yeah. Ideally. Ideally. And if anyone’s been to a new neighborhood, and gone into a model home, that’s like, you know, the perfect scenario of course people live in this home so you’re never gonna get to that level. But sparse is always critical and neutral tones are very good. Smell is, you know, real deterrent. So if there’s scents in the house that might deter someone. If there’s a smoker in the house that’s certainly gonna be an issue. All of those things you just have to think about, what, you know, animal smells, pet smells.
Colleen Odegaard: Lots to think about for sure. Nancy can help you with all of this. By the way, for free copy of Nancy Braun’s report on the “8 Seller Tasks That Can Make Or Break A Sale”, visit ReadyToSellNC.com. ReadyToSellNC.com. You can also call Nancy at 704-488-3109. 704-488-3109. Nancy Braun thank you very much.
Eugene Robinson: Alright.
Nancy: Thank you.