Recording a Home's History: It Helps Sell a House
Buying a home represents a huge investment for most people. They want to know, then, that the home they hope to buy is free of defects.
It's a reasonable request, and one that sellers can meet simply by saving and presenting certain records to prove that a home is in good condition. When people buy a new car, they take it out for a test drive. They want to make sure, of course, that they're not sinking their money into a clunker. And while a car is an expensive purchase, it represents nowhere near the investment that comes with buying a new home.
How can sellers ease the concerns of rightfully uptight buyers? By keeping a permanent binder filled with important records.
This binder should include all warranties and receipts for major purchases. If homeowners install a new dishwasher, for instance, they should immediately file the receipt and warranty in their binder. The same holds true whenever homeowners pay to have their central air-conditioning unit repaired or to install a new furnace or hot water heater.
A warranty showing that a hot water heater has been installed just one year ago provides peace of mind to a potential buyer. After all, a buyer doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a new water heater when he's just shelled out more than $200,000 to purchase a new home.
A binder of important documents should also include a record of all permanent improvements to a home. Homeowners who've had their residence's roof replaced should definitely file away the record of that work. If they' ve turned an attic into a master bedroom, they should keep a record of the renovation project's plans and costs.
And homeowners shouldn't forget to keep a year's worth of utility bills in their file. This may not seem important at first. But remember, when buyers are looking for a home, they're not concerned solely with what their mortgage payments will be each month. They're also worried about how much it will cost them to heat their new homes in the winter or cool them in the summer. By having a year's worth of utility bills to study, potential buyers can get a good idea of how much the home they are considering will truly cost them.
Filing away and storing all these records may seem like yet another inconvenience for the seller, and maybe it its. But sellers need every advantage they can when putting their homes on the market. By offering buyers peace of mind in the form of meticulously kept records, sellers are adding yet another advantage to their inventory.