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Preparing Your House For A Fall Sale

If you're considering selling your house this fall, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. Taking care of some aesthetic and/or maintenance issues will make your property more attractive to buyers and keep you from having to deal with lots of back-and-forth during the process of selling.

1. Check for common deal breakers like mold, pests, and rodents. There are some things that people can't unsee that will make your house hard to sell. Mold is potentially dangerous to your health and hard (expensive) to get rid of.  When a potential buyer sees this:

She's imagining this:

Pests and/or rodents can send a lot of people away with visions of horror movies and lasting nightmares. Have a pest control company out to deal with any potential issue BEFORE you list. Because a buyer coming across this, probably won't be making an offer:

(TW: LOTS of rat poop)

2. Recover from the harsh Texas summer. Preparing your home to sell in the fall in North Texas is often about recovering from summer. Summer storms and high heat are hard on your home. Check for soil erosion around the foundation; clear leaves and debris from your gutters, drain spouts, and roof surfaces; cut back tree branches from roof edges and electrical wires, check chimney flashing and roof/attic seals, and have your pool closed for the season professionally. It's hard to picture a relaxing day by the pool when you're looking at this:

3. Check the major systems of your home. How is the HVAC running? Appliances all in good working condition? How old is your water heater? Call a pro to do maintenance so you're putting your property's best foot forward. Check your sprinkler system for damaged or missing heads, malfunctioning heads, or heads pointed in the wrong direction. A simple head replacement that you could do yourself will cost a lot more if you have to use a licensed pro for the repair once you're under contract. Plus, this type of stuff is just silly:

You can get yourself a comprehensive guide to everything that is wrong with your house before you sell by getting a pre-listing home inspection. The benefit - you can handle any repairs yourself and no surprises at the negotiation table. Something to be aware of is - any repair issues you know about have to be listed in the seller's disclosure.

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