The Real Estate Browser Volume 10, Issue 5 - Page 18

18 — Say you saw it in The Real Estate Browser of Lynchburg — Volume 10 Number 5 How to Get Your House Ready to Sell in 4 Steps By Angela Colley House: Hill Street Studios/Getty Images; trainer: Ljupco/iStock Wondering how to get your house ready to sell? If you’re looking to sell your home during prime house- shopping season this spring, you’d better get cracking now. How to get your house ready to sell Unfortunately, getting a house ready to sell is not as easy as slapping an ad on Craigslist. If you want your humble abode to stand out from the competition, that could take months to do right. So, here’s how to whip your place into shape by fixing any problems and upgrading the eyesores. Because like it or not, your home has sustained some wear and tear over the years. Here’s how to assess the damage and find out which renovations will pay off down the road. 1. Tally the age of various items No matter how great your home looks at first glance, any savvy buyer will point to various parts and pop the question: How old? And since guesstimates won’t cut it, you will need to gather some paperwork to get your house ready to sell. If you’ve purchased your home in the past few years, check your home records or seller’s disclosure for the age or last repair of big items (namely your roof, HVAC system, water heater, and gutters), or dig up copies of your own maintenance records or receipts. How long items last depends on a lot of factors such as the model and how well it’s been main- tained, but you can get a general idea of average lifespan from the National Association of Home Builders. For example: • Wood shingle and shake roof: 15 to 30 years • Central air-conditioning unit: 15 years