What Makes a House Move-in Ready?

If you’ve spent much time browsing real estate listings, you’ve probably noticed some properties specified as move-in ready06. And, you probably know basically what this term is meant to indicate, at least lossely: When a seller lists their property as move-in ready, what they’re saying is that there won’t be any work required before the buyer can move in and make themselves at home. You know how some homes are described as fixer-uppers? Well, this is pretty much the opposite of that.

But what, more specifically, can buyers expect from a move-in ready home? Is it just something homeowners say when they are desperate to get the place sold, or does it carry real meaning?

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the term and its implications.

First, just a quick reminder: We love helping home sellers! If you’re here because you’re interested in selling your home, claim your FREE SOLD.com report now, and learn the best way to sell a house.

Now… back to move-in ready listings.

What Does it Mean When a House is Move-in Ready?

The first thing to understand is that this is not a legal definition; technically, any seller can list their home as move-in ready, regardless of its true condition. You can’t take it as an ironclad guarantee, then, but most of the time, homes that are marked as move-in ready genuinely are. Falsely labelling a home will do more harm than good, and sellers (as well as their listing agents) are well aware of that.

The second thing to know is that there’s really only one essential trait for a move-in ready home. Simply put, it should be ready for occupancy, without any repairs needed first.

More specifically, there are a few things homebuyers can expect from properties that are marketed as move-in ready. In no particular order:

  1. Electricity. When you move into the home, you should expect that there is proper electrical power; that all the wiring is up to code; and that older outlets or switches have been replaced.
  2. Plumbing. Along the same lines, all the household plumbing should be in good working order. It should be up to code, and there shouldn’t be any obvious or significant leaks anywhere on the property.
  3. Roof. With a move-in ready home, it is generally assumed that the roof is in good shape, and still has several years left in it. For instance, you may have a 30-year-old roof on the house, and while it may not be leaking right now, its days are probably numbered. Such a house wouldn’t be characterized as move-in ready.
  4. HVAC. The home should also have heating and cooling systems that work properly and have a few years left in them. If the air conditioning unit is just a year away from needing replacement, the home shouldn’t be labeled as move-in ready.
  5. Kitchen. When it comes to the kitchen, the key trait is functionality. A kitchen may need some aesthetic updates, and that doesn’t keep it from being move-in ready. However, a move-in ready kitchen should have a kitchen where the outlets and all the appliances work the way they’re supposed to.
  6. Bathrooms. Again, the thing to think about here is utility, not aesthetics. The bathrooms should all be ready for normal use, which means the toilets should flush and the drains should be unclogged. Cosmetic issues aren’t deal-breakers per se.
  7. Flooring. So long as the flooring is reasonably clean and free of any warping or buckling, it can qualify as move-in ready.
  8. Paint. It’s not required that a home have fresh paint, though if there are a lot of very obvious chips or peels, that might make the home’s move-in status questionable.

These are just a few of the expectations that homebuyers can have when they view properties that are advertised as move-in ready.

Learn More About Selling Your House

Again, our focus is on helping homeowners get their listings sold as quickly and as smoothly as possible… so if you’re ready to put your house on the market, make sure you claim your free seller’s report. In it, you’ll get an individualized recommendation for the best way to sell a house. Claim your SOLD.com report today.