Things You May Not Have Considered When Preparing Your Basement for Showings
I hope you are all doing well and have been able to find some activities to take your mind off the stresses of today’s situation. I understand that many gyms are offering on-line exercise classes for free! Summer is coming! So lets get the basement ready to show and save some space for some exercise!
The basement is often the make or break area when looking at a home. Dark, Dingy, Dirty and Damp will not go over well! Let’s change out those light bulbs and get started. Up first – your homes mechanicals. The furnace, hot water tank(s), well head(s), water softeners, electrical box, generator connection, central air connections and any plumbing pipes/tubes and soil pipes to public sewer or septic systems, should be in good repair and must be able to be viewed by prospective buyers and opened/working during home inspections. Please Note on Your TO DO List: have furnace/hot water serviced if not done in the past year. Make sure to have a sticker put on the unit and keep your receipts. If your hot water tank is more than ten years old or showing “little leaks”, you may want to have it replaced. If your electrical service has any rust, missing breakers or double tapped breakers, please consider repair or replacement. Keep those receipts! In most cases, your septic system is going to be inspected prior to a sale. If you have not had your system pumped and inspected in the last 5 years, please do yourself a favor and have it done before listing. If needed, make repairs now, so that buyers are not put off by “bad systems”. I find that a bad septic inspection will have buyers walking away faster than most other concerns.
The basement walls and any drainage areas also need to be exposed for inspection. Buyers and inspectors are looking for dampness and cracking in foundations. Most, if not all basements, need a dehumidifier. If there is any dampness, please invest and maintain the unit. Also, please try not to use cardboard boxes for storage as they hold moisture and odor. Odor in a basement will turn buyers off as well. Move boxes in neat piles to one area of the basement away from walls. Move other items being stored to one area as well without blocking walls. Try to keep as much are open area as you can, to show storage or that exercise area!
As you go through and expose necessary mechanicals, please clean up. No cobwebs dangling, clean the kitty liter box, remove any garbage. Please do not use air fresheners. Most often, trying to hide a smell only makes it worse. Don’t forget to clean out french drains around the perimeter of the basement floor. Clean up rodent droppings and if you have an issue with rodents, please consult with a pest control expert for ways to control/clear an infestation. Save those receipts. If there is peeling paint on basement walls, this may be flagged on appraisal as safety issue (children put paint chips in their mouths), consider scrapping down the wall at a minimum. Please don’t just paint over the area, this will crack, and will be exposed again very quickly. Another safety issue that often is flagged is the lack of a handrail on basement stairs. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a properly attached 2 x 4 will do!
And then there is always the issue of Mold. A home will not sell with any signs of mold on inspection and it is the SELLERS responsibility in most cases to have a remediation completed, and the cause of the mold remedied (fixed). I will never pretend to be an expert on mold, but I will do my best to post accurate information on my Facebook page for reference.
If your basement is finished, good for you! If done with proper permits, a finished basement can add great value to a home. Find Your permits or contact your Town Building and Codes Office for a Copy. Clean up this area and remove as many personal items as possible. Sell extra furniture and fixtures that you will not be using in a new home. Please try not to have bedrooms set up if the bedroom does not have legal egress. When you remove posters and pictures or nick-knacks from the walls, please fill holes and touch up paint. Remember, your buyers will want to picture their items in this space!
Well the basement may keep you busy for a few days! Remember to label as you pack and price if items are going in the garage sale when this is all over. Speaking of the Garage, that will be my next topic! Your going to need a place to put the items for sale, and place to store what you are packing up.
Hope you have Found this Information Helpful!
Any Questions? I am always available to Provide you a Free Market Analysis (even virtually) and discuss my custom listing packages that will fit your needs and budget!
Please remember to wash your hands and wipe down your phone. Don’t Forget Your Face Mask! Stay Well!
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