One thing a home buyer loves is a well maintained home. A great habit of any homeowner is to document the work you have done on the home. It helps give your home a pedigree.
So what is the definition of a pedigree? “The background or history of a person or thing, especially as conferring distinction or quality.”
Doesn’t that sound great? Of course it does and what home buyer wouldn’t love that.
Over the years I have had homeowners that have saved and organized everything they have ever done to their house. Boy, it is awesome and it impresses buyers. And it certainly helps in the process of selling your home.
On the other hand I have had sellers save nothing and in some cases they don’t even know if permits were pulled, when certain work was done, etc… and that can sometimes work against a seller.
As a home buyer, would you rather buy the house that is a pig with lipstick slapped on it or the pedigreed show home where everything is documented?
How To Give Your Home A Pedigree
When it comes time to give your home a pedigree, document every major repair or home renovation you have done with paperwork and neatly organize it. A great way is to get a big 3 ring binder with clear sheet protectors to organize your home’s information.
Don’t put in every little receipt in your book. Replacing a washer in a faucet it not something I would document. Use the book for significant repairs and improvement that give your home value.
Remember buyers want to know everything about your house. By creating a binder of home maintenance and improvements you help give buyers confidence.
What Types of Paperwork Gives Your Home a Pedigree
Plans- Save any house plans, plot plans and land survey. It helps a buyer give a perspective on what they are buying.
Receipts of work completed- Whether it is a roof replacement, major furnace repair, a home renovation etc…. A receipt does a few things.
It gives value as they see the receipts and the money you spent.
A receipt also reinforces the work was properly done by the appropriate, licensed professional.
Even if you did the work yourself show the receipt for the materials you used. Materials on a DIY job can be significant cost of any home improvement project.
The receipt will also give an accurate date of when the work was completed.
Permits- You pulled the permit, you got it signed off by the town, throw it in your home binder. Permits give a home buyer confidence that the work was done to code in a safe manner.
No home buyer wants to get stuck with inferior work on home improvements that should have been permitted but wasn’t. It can cost them dearly down the road.
Warranties- A lot of warranties can be passed on in part or full to a new home owner. Others might need to be transferred by the new home owner. Warranties can certainly help give a buyer peace of mind when buying your home.
If a repair or product has a warranty that can be transferred make sure you get it into your book.
Many warranties are predicated on registering the product in the first place. So don’t forget to register them.
Certifications- Work such as lead paint removal and asbestos removal provide a certification from a licensed professional that the work was done according to certain standards and was disposed of properly.
Lead paint and asbestos can very harmful and the fact you had it removed is a big deal. Ont op of it you can show you do it safely and properly.
Test Results- Sometimes a homeowner runs into issues that might require the home to be tested. Issues like radon in a home, arsenic in the water and mold will have an final test done showing the corrective measures have resolved the problem.
Homes have problems that need to be taken care of, it just happens. A home buyer wants to see the problem has been taken car of properly.
Product sheets of materials used- The product sheets describe the materials used and the benefit of the product. If it’s an upscale product even better. Many times a buyer might not know the full benefit of a particular product or brand and the product sheet gives value.
Look at our culture you can buy a sweatshirt for 15 bucks but if you slap a logo that says Ralph Lauren on it and the price jumps drastically.
Instruction Manuals- Instruction manuals provide valuable information for the owner and wouldn’t it be great to have it all organized in one area. Instruction manuals can show a new homeowner something as simple as how to replace a filter in a furnace. Or, the best way to clean a laminate floor.
Benefits of Giving Your Home a Pedigree When It Comes Time to Sell
When it comes time to sell your home, taking that little bit of extra time can give your home a pedigree over the years can have many benefits.
Gives value- Money you spent on repairs and renovations can give your home actual value or perceived value to a home buyer.
Take two home in the same neighborhood and all things relatively equal. One spent 10k on the roof and one is looking at an expensive roof repair with in the year which would you choose?
Fully informs the buyer- Imagine leaving this book at the house for showings. A home buyer can peruse it and see the care you have put into your home. But not only that, if you have upgraded your home with a high velocity ac or a tankless water heater it informs the buyer on the benefits of the upgraded product.
Highlights Low Visibility, Big Impact Repairs and Renovations- There are just some repairs and improvements that have very low “eye candy” appeal but have a major, positive impact on a home. For example, a perimeter drain in the the basement is a prime example. You don’t really see it, but if installed correctly with back up sump pump and battery backup it guarantees you will never have water in your basement again.
Gives confidence- If a home seller had been meticulous about organizing their maintenance and projects it is going to give a home buyer confidence they are buying a good house.
Save time and decreases stress- Imagine having the answer to all your buyers questions at your finger tips, instead of sorting thru tons of paperwork trying to find an answer. Because, guess what, they are going to want details.
Better Offers- The less that is left to question about a home certainly boosts home buyer confidence. When a home buyer is confident that your home is a good one, that leads to better offers.
What buyers want is to know they are not going to experience major problems shortly after buying a home. They have sunk all their money into a down payment and closing costs. And, they certainly don’t want to face major repairs.
Home buyers also want to know the work on their new home is properly and safely performed so that when they pay for that recent kitchen remodel they will enjoy it for years to come.
Compiling your homes paper work over the years will definitely help in telling the story your house has to tell.
Other Home Improvement and Maintenance Resources:
- Bill Gassett What Repairs Should You Consider Before Selling Your Home?
- HouseLogic What Home Improvements are Tax Deductible?
- Kyle Hiscock Home Improvements that Increase Your Homes Value
- Maria Mastrolonardo 5 Upgrades That Boost Your Homes Value
- Eileen Anderson Installing a Curtain Drain
Give Your Home A Pedigree- Document Your Homes Maintenance and Improvements is provided by Kevin Vitali a Massachusetts REALTOR located in Tewksbury MA. If you would like to sell your home or buy a new home give me a call at 978-360-0422 and let’s get the process started.
Real Estate Services in the following areas: Northeast Massachusetts, Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Metrowest. Including the following communities and the surrounding area- Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groveland, Haverhill, Lowell, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Wilmington, Westford