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5 Must-Do's Before Putting Your Home on the Market

Sometimes the wish list for things to accomplish before putting your home on the market is longer than practical. Regardless, there are the five critical must-do activities before you put your house on the market:

1: Install Smoke Alarms

Per Oregon law, homes may not be sold unless smoke alarms are installed according to building code and State Fire Marshal regulations. It’s important to always install Smoke Alarms according to manufacturer instructions, which can vary quite a bit based on the type of smoke alarm you purchase. Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of the house and within proximity of all bedrooms or sleeping areas. But be aware, depending on how old your house is & where it’s located, there may be some variation in the requirements relating to smoke alarm installation.

For the most accurate information regarding smoke alarm requirements for your particular property, click this link to visit the Oregon State Fire Marshal website. For questions regarding smoke alarms, contact 503-934-8228 or

2: Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms

If your house contains a source of carbon monoxide, you are required to install carbon monoxide alarms in your house prior to selling it. Carbon monoxide sources include attached garages, fireplaces, and gas cooking or heating… basically, anything in your house that emits carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed according to manufacturer instructions, and should be placed on every level of the home and within 15 feet of all bedrooms or sleeping areas.

For the most accurate information regarding carbon monoxide alarm requirements for your property, click this link to visit the Oregon State Fire Marshal website. For questions regarding smoke alarms, contact 503-934-8228 or

3: Strap Your Water Heater

If water heaters are not properly braced or strapped, they can fall over during an earthquake and have the potential to cause broken gas & water lines, fires and flooding. Because of this risk, most Lenders require that houses have earthquake or seismic straps installed to properly brace water heaters before the sale can be completed. To prepare for this requirement, I suggest that you install seismic straps or braces to secure your water heater before putting the home on the market. This is a relatively easy & inexpensive way to make sure you’re ahead of the game. By the way, if you have a tankless water heater, good news… you don’t need to worry about this!

4: Attic, Crawl Space & Electrical Panel Access

Most home buyers and certainly home inspectors will need to be able to easily view the inside of the electrical panel. Once you accept an offer on your house, the home inspector and appraiser will also likely need access to the attic and crawl space hatches. Please do what you need to now to ensure that all these are easily accessible and not blocked by any personal belongings.

5: Key Copies

Last but certainly not least, I will need two copies of your house keys. Please be sure to test the keys after having copies made to ensure that they’re working easily. You and I will discuss how Buyers agents will access your home before I put it on the market.

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