It is easy to miss a lot of the wear and tear that happens to your house over the years. But when you start thinking about selling, the state of your home becomes much clearer.
You know that there are things that need to be fixed and cleaned up. However, you only have so much money and time to make repairs. So, what should you fix?
Keep in mind, this is meant to provide general advice on what works for most people. This information can give you a starting point on what to discuss with your agent about possible home repairs.
Taking care of the most important things to repair before selling a house will put more money in your pocket! This is one of the primary reasons real estate agents recommend taking care of certain things before you list your home.
Repairs Worth Making Before You Sell
Paint is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to update the look of your home before you list it. And you don’t need to be a professional painter to make this work for you, either. Watch a few videos online, pick your colors and go to town!
Lighter and neutral colors are preferred when selling because they tend to appeal to most people. You never know who will walk through the door to view the house, so it makes sense to keep the styling primary.
You don’t have to paint every room, necessarily, just those that obviously need it. Rooms with dark paint, chipped or dirty paint are the ones that will benefit most.
If you have wallpaper in your home, it is almost always a good idea to remove it to sell your home for the most money. Wallpaper dates a home.
Buyers have a hard time selling past wallpaper. Some sellers assume a buyer should just be able to “look past it.” They will give the buyer an allowance to remove the wallpaper. This is a mistake as it defeats the purpose. Getting rid of wallpaper is all about first impressions and making a home more appealing to a buyer. Removing the wallpaper is what puts more money in a seller’s pocket.
It is imperative to make them understand how important the initial visit is to a home and the impression it makes on a buyer.
The exterior is the first thing buyers will see, so you want it to look good. Replace missing fence boards, add sod if the yard is looking the worse for wear, and clean up any junk that may have accumulated in the yard or on the outside of any storage sheds.
Make sure the grass is mowed and that weeds are taken care of before someone comes to view the home. You can also plant some flowers in the beds to add color and make the place feel homier.
Moss growth on the roof, missing shingles, and problems with the siding are all things that buyers will notice. Try to get all these things patched up now so you don’t have to answer questions about it later.
Everyone wants a large, spacious kitchen with all new appliances – where they can cook and entertain (even if they never do either). Now your kitchen may not satisfy these desires without significant upgrades, which may not make sense financially.
You can make some minor repairs that will make your kitchen appear more inviting, even if it isn’t a “dream kitchen”. If the painting, lighting, and countertops all scream the 1970s, you can change all of these without too large of an investment.
You can paint as necessary, install new fixtures and replace the countertops to something more appealing (granite and marble are not a requirement for an updated look).
As far as appliances go, buyers are going to expect these to work. If the oven, dishwasher or range are out of operation – or in awful shape – replacing them might be necessary to appeal to buyers.
A clean bathroom – one where everything works as it should – is a necessity. If you have a problem with a running toilet or a leaky faucet, make repairs as necessary. You can cause the toilet look much better just by replacing the seat.
Cleaning up the grout or replacing it is always a good idea, as it can become dirty over the years. Any missing tiles should also be replaced.
If the bathroom has old wallpaper or dingy surfaces, a new paint job is recommended. The brighter and cleaner you can make the room, the better.
The bathrooms and kitchen are the most important areas in a home. These are areas where buyers will put their focus. They are also the most expensive areas in a home to upgrade. This makes it vital for you to repair any issues before putting your home up for sale.
Lighting can make even the smallest home seem open and inviting. You want to maximize the perception of space, so you will want to take advantage of the many lighting options now available.
Take some time to analyze your current space and see if you can find some ways to improve the lighting. If you have “dated” light fixtures this is another area that for a little bit of money invested can translate into a quicker sale.
Don’t forget natural lighting, either. Ditch the heavy drapes for light colored curtains that let the in the sun.
6. Refinishing Hardwood Floors
Without a doubt, hardwood floors are one of the most popular flooring selections in a home.
What does this mean when you are selling? It means that you have your hardwood floors looking their best. Refinishing your hardwoods when they need it can totally change how a buyer views your property.
There is nothing like entering a home where the hardwood looks spectacular. The great thing about refinishing hardwood floors is the return on investment which is very high.
Go though your home and make sure everything works as it should – from the small things like doorknobs and locks to bigger stuff like your garage door.
Everything doesn’t have to be new for a home to be desirable to buyers, but all the functional aspects of the home must be in good working order to fetch the best price. A few broken components are all it takes to start driving the price down, so get them fixed.
One of the smartest things a seller can do is be ready for the buyer’s home inspection. More home sales fall apart at the home inspection than at any other point in time during a transaction.
This leads to the importance of know what the most common home inspections issues are and dealing with them beforehand! Some very specific issues can kill home sales. If you are aware of any of these problems it is important to address them before putting your home on the market.
8. Pre-Sale Inspection
One crucial way to avoid the problems that can swiftly end a home sale is to have a pre-sale home inspection. A pre-sale home inspection can help you identify issues and fix them before you try to sell your home.
Unless you are a professional contractor or a home inspector, you are probably going to miss a few things as you go looking for problems with the home.
And even if you are a professional, a home inspection will still be required before a lending company will loan a buyer money to purchase your home. If you don’t find the problems now, you will be forced to deal with them later before you can finalize the sale.
Have an inspector look over your home, you can fix what is broken and then move forward with your sale – confident that you have covered all the bases.
Obviously, there are other important things to repair before selling a house like a heating system that does not work, a roof that is leaking, structural issues or something that would prevent a buyer from getting a mortgage.
It goes without saying that if the purchaser cannot procure a mortgage, it will be awfully difficult to sell your home. Cash buyers do not grow on trees. So, if you don’t have an unlimited budget to make repairs, indeed tackle the issues that would stop a sale from happening first. Once those concerns are addressed, you can then focus on some of the other important things I have mentioned above.
Leaving repairs for a buyer is not a smart thing to do if you are looking to get the most money for your home. If your home is in deplorable condition and you are just looking to get out with a quick sale, you might want to consider selling to a real estate investor.
There are companies out there who will purchase your home from you for cash with no contingencies. Of course, a company like this is not going to be paying you the market value for your home. This is for those sellers who are desperate to sell and get some remaining equity fast.