What To Expect When a Home Is “Move-in Ready”

You’ve likely heard the phrase “move-in ready” used to describe a property, but do you know what it really means? At the minimum, a home listed as move-in ready should be livable without any anticipated repairs.

However, some home buyers might incorrectly assume that the term means “updated” or “brand-new,” and move-in ready can be used to describe a property in almost any condition—from extremely dated to completely renovated. Here, realtor.com takes a look at the types of amenities you can you expect to find in a move-in ready home.

1. Electrical and plumbing

All of the electrical work should be up-to-date, and the electrical outlets and switches should be modern. The plumbing also should be in good condition, so be sure to open cabinets, turn on faucets or look for any signs of leaks when touring a home.

2. Roof, windows, and siding

The roof should have a substantial life span remaining. If a home has warped or damaged siding, it should be replaced. The same goes for old windows that may be rotting or allowing water into the house.

3. Heating and cooling systems

The water heater, furnace, and HVAC system should be in good working order. If these items need to be replaced within a year or two, although they currently are working, the home is not considered move-in ready.

4. Kitchen

Shiny new appliances and marble countertops are not requirements in a move-in ready kitchen. Functionality is the key, which means the home should come with working appliances and functioning faucets, lighting and outlets. Cabinets or countertops in need of cosmetic enhancements might turn off buyers, but they won’t prevent someone from living there.

5. Baths

The condition of the baths can make or break a potential buyer’s opinion of the entire house. However, to be move-in ready, baths must be clean, and have working plumbing and unclogged drains. Anything that would prevent normal use (such as a toilet that doesn’t flush properly, drain that leaks or shower with low water pressure) would not be acceptable.

6. Flooring

Hardwood typically is the flooring of choice among buyers, and as long as the hardwood is clean and free of warping or buckling, it’s considered move-in ready. The same goes for carpeted floors.

7. Paint

Walking into a room painted lime green might turn off a potential buyer, but an outlandish paint job won’t prohibit someone from living there. The home doesn’t need to be freshly painted. If there are no marks or chips in the paint and the color is neutral, then it’s sufficient. 

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