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Should You Service Your Boiler Before Selling Your Home?

In the rush to get your house ready to list, do you really need to service your boiler? While the answer may depend upon the time of year you're selling, and how cold it gets where you live, here are the reasons to put this on your to-do list.

In the rush to get your house ready to list, do you really need to service your boiler? While the answer may depend upon the time of year you're selling, and how cold it gets where you live, here are the reasons to put this on your to-do list.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do to prepare your home to sell, you might be wondering what you should prioritize and what you can skip. As well, you want to avoid spending money on something that won't be important during the home sale. While it's always a good idea to get your real estate agent's input, there are some general rules of thumb to follow.

Many recommendations have to do with cosmetic repairs, such as touching up paint, but what about your home's mechanical systems?

Mechanicals systems consist of the pipes, ductwork, and wires that keep your home functioning. Because your boiler generates the heat pumped through the pipes or ductwork, it's part of these systems. If your boiler hasn't been operating at peak efficiency, should you get it serviced before listing your house?

Think About the Seller's Disclosure

When you complete a seller's disclosure, there will be a section about each of your home's mechanical systems. This includes your boiler and heating system. Most states require that home sellers disclose any material defects.

A material defect is one which would cause a home buyer to offer less for your home, or decide not to buy it. It's not a simple repair, such as tightening a banister. States want to protect homeowners from paying too much for a house that requires work.

Let's say your boiler broke down last year, but you had it fixed and some parts to repair. Should you disclose this? The answer is maybe. To a certain point, sellers have to use their best judgment when completing the forms. As there are legal ramifications for what you do and don't include on the form, get your agent's input.

Past problems which have been fixed aren't as important to disclose. But if the repair technician who fixed your boiler told you that it would only last another two years that's something that should go on the disclosure.

Think About the Home Inspection

During a home inspection, the inspector will examine and test your boiler. Even if the height of summer, they'll turn on the heating system to see how quickly it heats up and if the home heats efficiently. As your boiler also heats up your water, they'll also turn on a faucet in each of the bathrooms and time how long it is before the water gets hot. Expect them to pull out a thermometer to test its heat, too.

In a worst-case scenario, boilers that haven't been serviced can give off too much carbon dioxide. The inspector will test for this, and even if it's an easily solved problem many home buyers get scared if carbon dioxide levels are too high.

Having your boiler serviced before listing minimizes the chances that anything will go wrong during the home inspection. This is particularly important if you're showing your home during the winter.

You want potential buyers to linger in your house, to discuss living in its spaces and picture their lives there. If your home is cold, and the boiler isn't working, they're unlikely to linger long.

Reassuring Potential Buyers About Your Boiler

Keeping a boiler functioning and in top form is part of being a homeowner. If you've had your boiler serviced regularly, make sure you keep records. Tossed the work orders? Call up the company you used and see if they can send you copies.

Replacing a boiler can be expensive. It reassures buyers to know that you've kept your boiler well-maintained and in good shape. Servicing is not that expensive, either, so if it has been over a year it certainly doesn't hurt to have it done before you list.

While servicing your boiler isn't a value add, and doesn't make your home look prettier, it's one of the practical considerations that buyers will consider when making a home buying decision.

If you're unsure about where to spend your limited home improvement dollars before selling, talk to your real estate agent. Their insight into the market and what buyers look for is invaluable. If you're ready to talk to one today, reach out to Clever and one of our representatives will connect you with an agent in your area.

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Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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