When people are getting ready to sell their home, they always go straight for the same items. They clean, they paint, they even patch holes in walls or replace the broken outlets. Those things will get the buyers in the door, but more often than not, the things that cause the deal to fall through are the big ticket items. The AC, water heater, Pool and pump, plumbing and electrical. Your home may be worth what you’re asking, but the buyers are never ok paying what the home is worth, if they’re looking at spending $10-$15k in the near future. They feel that they’re overpaying for the home now and in return ask you for huge discounts because of these items.
Every seller has the same response. “The AC works fine. Who cares that it’s 20 years old, it works!” While that may be true, here’s the problem… the buyers are online doing their research and finding that an AC unit is only good for 8-12 years, tops. While this may be a shocker to all of you out there with 20/30 year old AC units… this is what the research is saying.
The same goes for pools. People see plaster and assume that it only lasts for 4-5 years. I guess, in that case, I’m about 6 years overdo for my replastering… I just can’t bring myself to do it, since there is nothing wrong with it. Our pool was over 30 years old before we had it replastered for the first time. But if Google results say 4-5 years, that’s what people will believe.
I had an inspector on one of my listings recommend to the buyer that they be prepared to replace the roof soon. The shingles had been replaced 6 years prior, and had a 25-35 year lifespan, however the roofer (the professional) advised them that the roof was at the end of it’s life. Nevermind that here was not a single flaw or roof leak. What’s wrong with these people?
This year is when the tide is changing… more mellinnials are coming into the market to buy their FIRST home. With the second and 3rd time home buyers, we don’t typically worry about those big items because they know first hand that the ‘guaranteed life’ of a big ticket item is the over exaggerated, ‘covered our butts’ estimate from the people who sell these items. If they don’t sell you another one, they don’t make money… The Mellinnials have no experience with these items, so they’re taking it to google and they’re finding the reviews written by people who got the bad egg. (Cause, really, who writes a review to say that their AC held up for 20 years?)
I’m not here just to give you the bad news… There is a way to get ahead of it. Have these items tested and given a good bill of health before listing the home. Reputable companies will come to your home for a very small fee and give you a report on your major items. If something is found to be wrong, they will fix the problem on your terms and give you a clean report to show the buyer that their concern is unwarranted. Now, when that buyer falls in love with the home because of the work you did to make it show ready… they won’t easily scare when the inspection report says, “the AC is 8 years old, be prepared to replace the unit”.
For more information on getting your home ready to sell, read my article about preparing for the inspection.