As you’re preparing to put your home on the market, your real estate agent probably already has a long “to-do” list of things to make your home more “marketable.” Maybe you need to change the paint color or ditch that outdated carpet in the den. While making your home as move-in ready and appealing to every interested buyer is important, so is their safety.
As the homeowner, you have a responsibility to ensure that the property is safe by eliminating items that could pose a risk of injury to potential buyers and agents. Even though your house is up for sale, there’s still a possibility that you could be held liable for any injuries on your property.
Here are some tips to help you make sure that your home is safe while on the market.
Get Rid of Clutter
Decluttering might already be at the top of your list of things to do before you can officially put your house up for sale. Not only does getting rid of clutter make your living space look larger and more attractive, but it can make your home less hazardous.
Piles of stuff can fall over or becoming a tripping hazard. If you’re having a hard time parting with some of your clutter, think of it as safety rather than aesthetic appeal. The less clutter you have in your home, the higher the offer you’ll potentially receive.
Complete Unfinished House Projects
Many homes with unfinished projects go on the market as “fixer-uppers.” Sometimes an unfinished project simply cannot be done before you put your house up for sale but if you can finish a project, do it.
Not only do finished projects up the value of your home, it can keep your potential buyers safer. Having your floors redone? Building a patio in the backyard? Tearing down a wall to expand your dining room? These projects can be potentially dangerous if left “as is.”
Be sure to also wrap up any last-minute items that could spruce up the exterior of your home as well. This can range from lawn care, pressure washing, landscaping and paint.
Eliminate Tripping and Falling Hazards
Over the years, there’s a good chance that you’ve grown accustomed to all the little quirks in your home like the section of carpet that’s not pulled tight or the uneven steps leading to your front door.
Tripping is often more embarrassing than anything, but it can also lead to falls and serious injuries like fractures or concussions.
Invest in a Deep Clean
If you get a seemingly last-minute call from your real estate agent that there will be a showing later in the day, you probably feel like you have no time to clean. Spending money on someone else cleaning your home is a worthy investment.
If your home is prone to mold or you have years of pet odors that you have become “nose blind” to, it’s definitely worth considering hiring a pro to clean your house. A potential home buyer could have severe allergies to either mold or pet dander and even if they love your home, they’d most likely pass on making an offer.
Get a pre-listing Inspection
Most homebuyers hire an inspector to look at the home before finalizing a purchase. While this is a normal part of the homebuying process, it’s also a little unnerving for you. Considering hiring a home inspector before you put the house on the market to see if there’s anything that’s flagged as hazardous. That way, you can have it fixed before your house is sale-ready.
If there’s anything that needs fixing or is potentially hazardous, be honest with your realtor (or any other visitors to your home). While it may not guarantee a sale, people will appreciate your honesty and your value for their safety.