Real Estate Q&A: How much should I invest before putting my house on the market?

Q: I live in a row house that is old and in need of repairs from water damage in the basement to plaster falling from the ceiling in the garage. I have recently installed a new central cooling and heating unit as well as a new roof but I do not want to put more money into this property than I need to to sell. I have lived here for over 20 years and have outgrown it many years ago but seems like there is always something holding us back from putting it on the market. How can I find out what I need to do to sell now?
–Fred, Philadelphia, PA

A: If you are looking for top dollar return on your real estate investment, you may want to consider doing a home inspection BEFORE selling your home. If you are considering selling your home in the current real estate market it would be prudent to have a home inspection completed before putting your home on the market.

It’s a competitive real estate market out there. A seller’s best chance of snagging a buyer comes with having his property in top notch condition the day it goes on the market. More that just looking good, a home needs to function properly and it’s important to examine the bones in those walls. A home inspection will inform the buyer of faulty plumbing, wiring, heating and cooling issues, the need for roof replacement, foundation issues, etc.

If a seller is willing to face and deal with any problems with the property before selling, there should be no surprises when faced with a buyer’s physical inspection report while the seller is negotiating for the best possible sale price.

For more information on home inspection and locating a home inspector visit the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors.


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