It’s no secret that the San Diego real estate market is changing. Most experts predict we’re in the midst of shifting towards a buyer’s market. Meanwhile, interest rates continue to inch up.

So if you’ve been thinking of making a change, 2019 is the year to finally make your move and list your home for sale! But before you put your house on the market, there are a few things you’ll want to do first:


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1. Make Needed Repairs

No matter how well you’ve been taking care of your home, there’s probably still a few things you’ve still been meaning to get to. The doorknob that sticks, the leaky faucet in the bathroom, the hole in the screen door…small repairs, but when you’re trying to help your house stand out from the others on the street AND get top dollar from your home, every bit helps.

The truth is, when buyers see a home that needs a lot of little repair, they invariably start to wonder if there aren’t some other, bigger issues lurking on the inspection report. And for some people, that’s enough for them to walk away from your home without ever making an offer.

Before you put your home on the market, make the time to walk through your house with a critical eye and take note of all those little fixes your home needs. A lot of them you’ll be able to handle yourself in the course of a weekend! But if you find yourself needing a professional, call The Silva Group – we’ll be happy to recommend a few vendors in your area.

2. Take Care of Deferred Maintenance Issues

When you bought your home, you might have had the good intention to be faithful with all of your home’s “checkups”: getting your HVAC system inspected yearly, having the chimney swept regularly, getting your roof looked at every three to five years. But just like our own health checkups, it’s easy to put these things off when life gets busy and we’re not having any problems.

While you could wait and deal with any hiccups that come up during the home inspection, you’ll have a smoother escrow if you deal with the issues beforehand. Some buyers get nervous when they see too many repair items on an inspection report and simply walk away.

It’s also not uncommon for serious issues to crop up in the inspection report. Problems with the foundation, roof, or even the plumbing. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may wish you’d had the opportunity to remedy the issue while your home was off the market.

3. Declutter Your Home

Now that you’ve got all the repairs and maintenance issues out of the way, now you need to focus on decluttering your home. Whether or not you ultimately hire a professional stager, it’s always a good idea to spend some time cleaning up first.

Taking the time to go through your belongings will allow you to sort through what you have and decide if everything you own is worth keeping and boxing up to take to the new house. If you know you’re going to be moving into a smaller home, this step is especially crucial as you’ll almost certainly need to pare down your possessions. And as time-consuming as decluttering is, it can actually save you money – most stagers also offer a decluttering or editing service. Plus, you might even be able to make some money selling the things you don’t need or want anymore.

4. Boost Your Curb Appeal

Buyers start forming an opinion of your home from the moment they step out of the car. Make sure your home is putting its best foot forward by spending some time boosting your curb appeal. Here are a few ideas for chores you’ll want to do prior to listing:

            -Power wash the driveway, walkways, and porch

            -Mow the lawn

            -Trim the bushes and trees

            -Plant some colorful flowers

            -Clear cobwebs and dead leaves from the porch

            -Replace your house numbers

            -Ensure all exterior lights work

            -Give your front door a fresh coast of paint

            -Buy a new welcome mat

5. Locate All Your Paperwork

While you might be absolutely positive that you’ve kept all the paperwork related to your house in one place, it doesn’t hurt to check before listing. If you’ve made upgrades to your home or will be including appliances in the sale, you’ll want to make sure you have the warranty information on hand for each item. And if your home has had a leak or other major repair issue, you’ll want to make sure you can point to documents that show you dealt with the issue appropriately.

If your home has solar, you’ll want to take extra care to ensure you have the right paperwork. If you’ve paid off your solar panels, you’ll want to have the documentation to support that. And if you’re leasing the solar panels, you’ll want to contact the company you lease them from to find out how to transfer your lease. In recent years, many solar companies have been bought and sold in Southern California so it can sometimes be tricky to get in touch with the appropriate people!  

6. Call The Silva Group

Before you list your home, don’t forget to give us a call! With a combined sixty years of experience in residential real estate, we’ve sold more than 2,500 homes across Southern California. Whether you’re moving to a new city or just down the block, our team of experts will help you navigate the sale of your existing home and purchase of another. Give us a call at (760) 458-2575!

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