6 Issues That Could Hinder Your Home Sale

by Keri Shull

When you’re thinking about selling your home, you should always be looking to get ahead of any potential problems before you list it. Issues related to a home’s condition will be discovered during the home inspection anyway, so it’s in the best interest of the seller to remedy any existing issues before someone makes an offer. At the very least, you should be aware of any existing problems to make sure there won’t be any surprises that could hinder your home sale. It’s also essential for you to be upfront with your agent. He or she should know about any major challenges before you start receiving offers, so you can go over all of your options together to find the best way of overcoming them to successfully sell your home. A great agent will be able to sell your home regardless of any existing problems with your home’s condition, as long as you are honest, willing to compromise, and proactive in seeking a solution.

Here are six common issues that could hinder your home sale if ignored:

#1: Pest or Rodent Infestations

Pests can seem like a minor issue that all homeowners have to deal with on some level, but minor issues can easily grow into major problems if ignored. When you’re selling your home, it’s a good to idea face pest infestations head on because it can end up saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars in your home sale, and may end up earning you a buyer that would have been so “creeped out” they decided not to purchase. Termites can destroy weight-bearing walls or other wooden supports in your home, which can affect the entire foundation and structure of your home. Pests like mice, bats, and squirrels can hole up in the most unlikely of places — inside walls, chimneys, and even under the house — and cause a lot of damage over time. They’re also just plain annoying to deal with, and most buyers will walk away from a home with major pest problems.

#2: Major Structural Issues

A home with major structural issues will be hard to sell to your average homebuyer. Serious structural issues include problems with the foundation, walls, and support beams, and pose a real safety concern for anyone living in your home. Buyers are looking to make a smart investment when they purchase a home, and most are unwilling to buy a home with serious problems. Problems with your home’s main structure will drive away most buyers because they will be looking to purchase a home that will last for years. Hire a trusted contractor to give you an estimate on the necessary repairs before you list your home. If you are not in the financial position to cover the repairs yourself, disclose all of this information to potential buyers. It may still hinder your home sale, but it will show buyers that you are a serious seller and willing to negotiate.

#3: Water Penetration

The most common deal killer in real estate is water damage. Water penetration is one of the top issues that could hinder your home sale because even the smallest amount of water can lead to major problems, and unfortunately in our area, the water table is high, so this is very common. Water penetration can lead to mold infestation and cause your home to rot, two big concerns if you want your home to sell. If your home has ever flooded or if you know of any leaks, tell your agent. Water penetration problems can be very straightforward to fix, but it’s important for you to address the issue before you list your home. The average buyer gets cold feet when they hear about any water issues, so take care of the problem yourself before you try to sell whenever possible.

#4: Mold Infestation

It’s a no-brainer that mold can — and will — hinder your home sale. Buyers are understandably wary of buying a home with mold because it likely also points to water penetration and can be very toxic to your health. A home with mold is nearly unsellable, but a good agent will refer you to an expert mold remediation company that can help you solve the problem. These companies specialize in removing and preventing mold from growing in your home, so you can sell your home successfully.

#5: Failing Septic System

When a buyer sees a home with a failing septic system, they will usually ask the seller to remedy the issue or move on to another home with a sound septic system. It’s easy to see why this would kill your home sale. A home inspection will reveal any septic issues anyway, so it’s in the seller’s best interest to pay to repair the septic system before they list their home. Most buyers are still willing to buy your home as long as the seller agrees to fix the problems before closing. When a seller refuses to cover repairs, this translates into an as-is home sale which usually results in a seller taking significantly less money for their home. Consult with your agent and make the best decision for your situation.

#6: Unsavory Neighbors or Bad Neighborhood Reputation

Perhaps the hardest issue to overcome when selling your home is an issue relating to your neighborhood or neighbors, not the home itself. The above home issues are all things that a seller can pay to fix, but unfortunately it is much harder to find a solution to things out of your control. For example, if a registered sex offender lives nearby, it may hinder your home sale when selling to families with children. If there are foreclosed homes on your street or a neighbor who insists on storing their junk on the front lawn, it can affect your home sale and even the value of your home. It is imperative that you choose an agent who has experience selling homes in these kinds of situations. He or she should be able to come up with a winning strategy to successfully sell your home regardless of these issues.

If you’re ready to sell your home, contact the Keri Shull Team! Our agents have sold hundreds of homes with varying issues for nearly a decade. We know how to achieve a successful home sale and will always put the seller’s best interests first. Call us today to get started!

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