As an aside, I went on a listing presentation this past week. The townhome that these folks want to sell is absolutely, positively, pristine. From top to bottom. As I walked through the home with them, before we even got upstairs, I told them, “I could comfortably put a lockbox on your front door, and a sign in your yard, RIGHT NOW, and not be worried about how the house will show. It’s perfect.” And I meant it.
The reason was not necessarily the color choices on the walls (which were tasteful) or the updated kitchen appliances (which were upgrade, and very nice). The main reason was because they had maintained and updated this home over the ten years that they had owned it. They didn’t do a mad scramble two weeks before they wanted to sell it to try to get it ready. Sure, they had cleaned it well, removed personal items, and done all of the things that you do to prep right before the buyers start coming through. But you could tell that over time, all the things that you should do to keep your home tip top had been done.
The heating system had routine maintenance done. The porch on the back was enclosed, heated, and air conditioned. The kitchen cabinets had been refaced. I could go on and on. As a listing agent, this is a dream to see. You can have the confidence that there will probably be no big surprises at the home inspection, because these homeowners were taking care of the house all along. Not to mention that there wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere. Potential buyers are always happy to see a well maintained home.
Moral of the story: work on your house while you live in it. Stay on top of the little things that need doing, so that you don’t have to do them all at once later. Not only does it make your home nice while you are living in it, it makes it much easier to sell when the time comes.