If you’re preparing to put your home on the market, you are probably staying busy cleaning, de-cluttering, and starting to pack. You may also find time slipping away from you as you spend hours perusing Zillow searching for your dream home. However, have you even thought about gathering these important documents? By taking the time to locate the following items will make selling your home much easier. After all, you don’t want to find yourself unpacking box after box looking for that overstuffed home folder when you have a ready buyer prepared to purchase your home. So, do yourself a favor and gather these docs now; you’ll thank me later.
When you purchased your home, you likely obtained a survey for the property. If you haven’t made many structural changes to the footprint of your home, and it hasn’t been five decades since you purchased the property, you can likely still use the survey when you sell the property. When a buyer submits an offer on your home, they can select to use the existing survey or opt for a new survey. If you have an existing, reliable survey, it’s unlikely the buyer will ask you to purchase a new one. A new survey will cost at least a few hundred dollars, so do yourself a favor and find that survey today. It’s important to make sure the survey has the surveyors seal; however, you don’t have to have the original copy.
2. Floor plans
If you have existing floor plans for your home, find them. A prospective buyer may have different needs than you, and may want to alter the home to fit those needs. Floor plans make it easier for buyers to make an informed decision about the costs of remodeling. Floor plans also save buyers time and you the inconvenience of allowing them back into your home to take measurements. With a floor plan, a buyer can easily start imaging how their furniture would fit in your home.
3. Repair receipts
Did you install a new roof a few years ago? How about HVAC work? These big ticket items are often areas of interest to prospective buyers. If you can provide documentation that a new roof was installed just last year, buyers will find your home more appealing knowing they won’t have to incur roof repair costs in the near future. It’s also good to document bids for repairs you didn’t make. Maybe you thought about adding an external propane tank so you could install a gas stove but you never did. Buyers may similarly express interest in installing a gas stove, and this bid could be the last piece propelling them to put an offer in on your home.
4. Loan Statement
This one is muy importante! In order to determine how much you should list your home for, and to assess if an offer is acceptable to you, you must know how much money you have in the home. You likely receive a monthly statement from your loan provider and it will state the loan payoff amount. Keep this number in the back of your mind as you prepare to sell your home.
5. Utility Bills
Buyers often want to know about utility costs. This is another piece of the puzzle that makes up their monthly living costs. If you can provide documentation for your utility costs (especially if they are low) it will make it easier for a buyer to commit to your home. If you can find your statements for electric, water, gas, and trash for the last 12 months. You or your agent, can then average the costs to provide an estimate to prospective buyers.
6. Manuals and Warranties
If you kept all your manuals for your appliances, good for you! A buyer will find these documents helpful and you can put them all in an envelope with a pretty little bow to deliver to them at closing. Warranties will work in your favor, if they are transferable. Remember that fictitious roof repair I alluded to earlier. New roofs usually have a one-time transferable warranty attached to them. So if something happens to the roof after you sell the home, the new buyers will still be protected by the contractor’s warranty.
For other great tips on getting ready to sell your home take a look at these posts:
Prioritizing Upgrades When Preparing to Sell Your Home
Increasing Your Home's Value
Prepping Your Home Now to Net the Most Money on Your Austin Home Sale
If you’re thinking about selling your Austin area home, contact me today.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.