Keeping a record of what you have done to your home, when, what it cost, who did the work, any warranties etc. is, of course, a great idea, but even more importantly, it inspires confidence in your home, for your future buyer.
As a realtor, I have seen some very spectacular home maintenance logs. This probably sounds like a funny thing to say, but any log, especially a very organized one, does have a HUGE impression on buyers and that translates into FASTER SALES and possibly MORE MONEY.
Of all the homes I have viewed with buyers, probably only about 5 have had maintenance records left out on a counter for potential buyers to view and, of those, about 2 have been a true thing of beauty. ALL OF THEM have made a positive impression and the immaculately organized ones almost sell the house. Here is what goes through the buyer’s head; they see the book and get a bit excited, peruse it a bit, call their significant other over, and together they look at it. Usually they then say how wonderful it is to know about the house and then comes the money statement, “well, they really cared for the house, we don’t have to worry about this one”. They then view the rest of the home believing that this one is a gem, has been well cared for, and they likely won’t have to negotiate during inspection. BAM, if they like the basics of the home, it usually makes it’s way to the top of their list. This is a sad tale for all those other homes that have also been lovingly cared for, but if you don’t tell the buyer how to view your home (i.e as a gem), they won’t assume it has been well taken care of. Woe is the home with no maintenance log.
Don’t worry about the past, start now. You can buy a multiple pocket file folder at any office store to keep all your warranty and instruction books in as well as receipts etc. Then, open Microsoft Excel and type in HOME MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE. Up will pop a premade template with columns for: category, activity, description and date. You can alter this to suit your needs, print it or keep it electronic and then just note all the jobs perform. Take particular care to enter the biggies such as a new a/c, water heater, furnace, roof etc. When you do prepare to sell, just print this out and put it on the counter with your multi-pocket file folder and BAM, you get to move to the top of the class in your buyer’s mind.
Some other items to record:
- Paint codes- so you can get touch-up paint easily and your new buyers can also.
- Furnace filter size- so you don’t have to pull out the filter before heading to the store.
- In New Builds- take photos of the walls before they are drywalled, so you know where electrical and HVAC systems run so you don’t try to hang a painting and you take out the power or puncture your HVAC system in the process.
- All major purchases such as systems (a/c, water heater, furnace) and appliances (dishwasher, stove, laundry machines)
- Maps of sprinkler systems.
- Garden beds and trees planted
- Smart upgrades, such as setting your electronic door.
- Anything else you do.
- HOA info
Don’t beat yourself up for what you have already done just make brief notes and move forward. What ever you can do WILL have a great impact on your potential buyer and that could mean more money in your pocket at close.
For more information on these ideas or buying and selling in general, PLEASE contact me!