When a potential Seller contacts me to request I meet with them to present a marketing plan for their home, I ask them to get out a pen and paper because I have an assignment for them. I proceed to give them a list of chores.
Among the list is I ask them to focus on the last five years of history living in their home. I have them to think of every improvement made and the year they made it, no matter how insignificant they think it might be. I do this to slow them down from desiring to interview any competition, because from the very start they understand a partnership is being created to build the highest possible value in their home.
The assignment gets them ready to properly disclose the recent history of improvements made to their home. Their partnering with me results in thoroughly educated Buyers who become motivated faster to submit an offer.
Liz and William below, suggest good ways for potential Sellers to create and maintain a diary for their home. Having an easy to find reference will payoff when it is time to sell.
Tracking Your Home's History
Does your home have a diary? And we're not talking literal entries by your home...."Dear Diary, if that dog has an accident on my floor one more time I'm going to slam the door on his tail!!" type entries, but a historical log of repairs and changes.
A frequent struggle for homeowners when we meet to list their home is defining WHEN and WHAT work was actually done. "Ethel, did we put on that new roof in 2008? or 2009?". Now some homeowners are very analytical....they'll have EVERY record of EVERY thing that was ever done to the home in a file folder. Contractor, date, dollars paid. Every appliance manual, ready to rock! HOA documents? You bet!
But in most cases, it's a manual search of the gray matter memory banks, and most of us know by now that our memory retrievers suffer from a certain level of inaccuracy. The reality is time flies by and we lose track of just how long ago something happened. That dishwasher we think is 3 years old is already pushing 10. That brand new roof? There's three candles on that cake already!
We'd recommend a few approaches to help yourself:
- A file folder or box with pertinent documents. The invoices, manuals, warranties, etc., all in one easy to retrieve spot.
- A physical notebook. Jot entries as significant events occur. Not everything is done by contractors, so you can track some of the items you perform. Changed that light fixture, changed a fuse, installed a new thermostat, etc. Easily scannable to find out WHEN and WHAT you did to your home.
- Your computer. A Word document, Excel, whatever suits you. Record and track any pertinent activities. Last time you pumped out the septic system? Switched leach fields? Caulked the windows and doors? Added insulation? HOA fees and contact number? You could even add digital pics with date stamps if you wanted.
With a good record, you'll be better able to answer the Ohio Residential Property Disclosure forms required to sell your home. It also helps us market your home when we can say with accuracy when some major change was made. There's a lot more advantage to us being able to advertise "New HVAC '10" rather than "newer HVAC". We've seen "newer" used when something is 10 years old. Not exactly new is it?
We hope you find these tips helpful!
Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz
P.S. Got questions about selling your Warren County area home? Just give The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite a call and we'll be happy to help!
The Liz Spear Team
Elizabeth & William Spear
RE/MAX Elite: Ask for us by name if you visit the office!
Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Office direct: 513-248-3660 Liz direct: 513-265-3004
Bill direct: 513-520-5305 Fax: 866-302-8418
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