Selling Older Homes
Question: I have an older home I would like to sell. It was built in the 40’s. Although I have maintained the home, I am concerned that others may think it is too old and not want to purchase it. What are your thoughts?
Answer: Many things have changed since the 40’s and codes have changed and building standards have changed. In an older home the main concerns of a buyer would be the electrical system and the piping system. If the home has been rewired and the water pipes are now copper, then that hurdle is behind you. If not, and you have galvanized pipes and old style electrical, then the buyer may be concerned and continue looking. How is your roof? Since that is an expensive replacement, it is important that your roof is not leaking and has useful life left in it. You might want to have a roofer check it out and give you an estimate to fix the problem area and give you a roof certification that will guarantee against leaks for at least one year. That will give the buyer confidence that they will not experience undue roofing bills. If you have an old floor furnace and no air conditioning, that could be a drawback to the purchaser. If you have central heating and air, then you move to the top of the list. I would recommend you have a heating and air-conditioning specialist do a servicing on the units. That is recommended no matter what the age of the home as it will insure that the property inspection will go well and not list any issues with these important systems. You might be wise to hire a property inspector to go through the home prior to listing to help you understand those items that need repair, replacement, or disposal. You will want your home to be ready for that potential buyer and be able to inform them that the home has been checked out and problems corrected. Having an inspection before the sale is more important with an older home but can be a wise move even if the home is newer, just to insure that you are not going to be surprised at the time of sale. A property inspection usually runs between $300 and $450 dollars. It depends on the size of the home and the additional services requested, such as a pool inspection, or going under the home in the crawl space. An older home is vulnerable at the time of the property inspection and it can make or break the transaction if there are too many items uncovered and the buyer suspects that the home is not sound or worth the risk. On the other hand, older homes have a charm that many newer tract homes do not have and that appeals to many buyers. My ultimate advice is just doing your work ahead of time and you will reap the rewards at the time of sale.