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Porch & Parish

Gennaro Realty's Tips for Getting your Home Ready to Sell this Spring!

Feb 29, 2024 11:59AM ● By Jen Gennaro

As a 12-year veteran of the residential real estate industry, here are the top five things I look for when assessing a home:

  1. Leaks. Check for brown water marks on ceilings, caused by an overflowing drip pan in the attic, and near crown molding in rooms that share an outside wall where gutters may overflow. The chimney flashing is also a common culprit, so check the ceiling and walls around the fireplace for discoloration. 

  2. Stairstep cracks in the walls or outside bricks–indicative of foundation problems. 

  3. Peeling paint on soffits and fascia, which can be a deal killer when an FHA appraisal is involved. 

  4. Flood zone, even if it’s never flooded, and especially if the home is owned outright and the homeowners aren’t required by a mortgage company to pay flood insurance. If the margins are tight for the buyer, an unexpected flood premium can render their prequalification useless. 

  5. Rural Development Zoning. USDA maps are reviewed every 3-5 years, and an update several years ago qualified a large swath of the middle of Baton Rouge for 100% financing through RD, greatly increasing the pool of buyers. 

  6. Homestead exemption. If you forgot to file homestead exemption with the assessor’s office when you purchased your primary residence, you can go to them and request a refund on property taxes paid over the past five years.