When a potential buyer considers a home for sale, they are looking for more than a home that “feels” good, they also want to make sure their needs and wants now and in the future can be met. One of these needs is often a concern for safety. Whether it is safety in regards to stability and workmanship of the home or safety in terms of investment potential or location, you can bet it is on their mind. Many first time home buyers are also looking at safety on a different level – considering possibly whether the home will be safe for their children or potential family.
Child safety may not be something that you reflect on when preparing your home for sale, but it really does matter in the minds of most buyers in the Maplewood, S. Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Livingston and W. Orange market. At a recent home inspection in Short Hills, my buyer’s home inspector noted that the exterior railings were too widely spaced for today’s child safety standards. For my buyers this was an issue since they had small kids.
While buyers won’t expect your home to be outfitted with the latest in baby proofing technology, they will expect some general safety parameters to be followed. Most safety measures require little effort or cost, but contribute greatly to a sense of well being in the minds of potential home buyers.
The following questions may help your home for sale to be considered (at least subconsciously) as a safe place for their future home.
- Are your floors clean and walkways clear?
- Are cleaning supplies and garage materials placed together in a secure or out of reach cabinet?
- Are your windows and doors lockable and do your interior and exterior doors shut securely?
- Can you replace any corded mini-blinds with alternative window coverings?
- Are there modifications needed to fireplace hearths, concrete, or brick work that will make your home safer?
- Can you remove or secure any electrical or cable cords and are your electrical outlets in good condition?
- Are there areas in your home that can to be fixed or tightened up inexpensively? Children have a way of loosening and removing anything that is not absolutely secure.
- Have your knickknacks and fragile items been removed or packed up so that they are not harmed if children attend the open house?
- Have you removed or secured all toiletries (ie. razors, medicines and toothpaste) in your bathrooms so they are not generally accessible?
- Should you purchase a throw rug to deter the possibility of someone slipping in any area of your home?
- If you have a pool or spa, do you have the required number of barriers or gates in place to protect children?
Lastly, consider having someone crawl through your home on their knees, viewing it as a child might. If something looks enticing or potentially dangerous, eliminate it until your home is sold. Considering these items will not only help sell your home, it will also help you to rest easy knowing your home and personal items are safe from harm when families view it during the selling process.