When you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, there are many things you need to do to help your home sell quickly and for a good price. A fresh coat of paint, tidy landscaping, and cleaning everything until it shines are all important. But even more important is making sure that your HVAC system appeals to homebuyers. After all, buyers know that a new HVAC system is a big investment, and probably not one they’d like to make right after buying a new house! So here are a few things you can do to help ensure that your HVAC system is a deal-maker, not a deal-breaker.
It’s All About that Maintenance
Hopefully you’ve been having your HVAC system professionally maintained once or twice a year. If so, collect together your maintenance records and have them available to homebuyers. Those records will help to convince buyers that your HVAC system has a good chance of reaching its full expected lifespan.
See Also: How Important is Regular Maintenance?
Whether or not you’ve had preventive maintenance in the past, you should definitely have your HVAC system inspected, cleaned, and maintained before putting your home on the market. Documentation of the inspection results and the maintenance done will also help to reassure homebuyers—assuming that everything turns out to be in working order. If the inspection finds problems that need to be repaired, then it’s time to think about whether it makes more sense to repair or replace the system.
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Signing up for a maintenance plan that can be transferred with the home is another relatively inexpensive way to add value for buyers. They’ll know that if any issues do come up with their new home’s HVAC system, they have someone to call. And of course, replace your intake air filter regularly, especially right before your home goes on the market. You don’t want buyers to find a dirty, clogged filter that might make them doubt how well everything else has been maintained.
How Old is Too Old?
If your HVAC system is more than ten years old, you may want to go ahead and replace it before putting your home on the market. That’s especially true if your inspection turns up any serious problems. Heat pumps and air conditioners generally have a lifespan of 10-12 years, while gas furnaces can last 15-20 years. When a buyer hears that the HVAC system in a home is nearing or past the end of its expected lifespan, it’s a red flag.
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On the other hand, a new HVAC system is very appealing to buyers. Although replacing your system may be expensive, it can potentially increase the sale price of your home enough to make up the cost and then some, especially if you can take advantage of rebates.
Buyers Love to Save Money
If you have an older, less efficient HVAC system, you may want to consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Buyers today aren’t just looking at the base purchase price of a home. They also want to know how much it’s going to cost to maintain and operate the systems in that home for years to come.
A highly efficient HVAC system can help buyers decide that your home is a good long-term investment. That’s true for other efficiency upgrades as well, like replacing old windows and hot-water heaters with EnergyStar-rated ones. In fact, it’s even better if you can go ahead and replace the HVAC system a few months before putting the house on the market. That way you can have some utility bills to show buyers just how efficient your home really is.
What About Your Ducts?
Another way to enhance the value of your home is to have the ducts professionally cleaned and sealed. Again, this will improve the energy-efficiency of your HVAC system. It can also help to cut down on dust and unpleasant odors—both of which are big turn-offs for potential buyers. This is an especially important step if you have issues with uneven heating or cooling in your home. Often that unevenness comes from poorly designed, leaky, or clogged ductwork. You don’t want buyers wondering why one room is so much hotter than the rest, or vice versa. A comfortable home is a home that sells!
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Put Some Bling on It!
No, we’re not talking about rhinestones. We’re talking about upgrades! Upgrading your HVAC system even in small ways can give your buyers that extra incentive to make an offer on your house.
One small but very useful upgrade you can make is adding a Wet Switch to your HVAC system. This switch detects any overflow of condensation and immediately shuts off the HVAC, preventing further damage. It’s a little thing that can give homeowners (and buyers) big peace of mind.
Another upgrade that’s very useful but not very expensive is installing a smart thermostat, like a Nest or Ecobee. Smart thermostats improve comfort and can make a big difference in energy efficiency. Again, it’s a great way to show homebuyers that your house is up to date and ready for the modern family.