Selling Your Home: What Repairs Should You Complete Before Listing?
Is your home sale-ready? Check out this list of recommended home repairs before putting it on the market.
As you start down the path of selling your home, if you are wanting to maximize the value you can get out of it, making repairs to your home can be a cost-effective way to do so. Not only will you be helping maximize the price you can get for your property, but you’ll also be making it easier to find the right buyer and eliminate what can sometimes be deal killing inspection responses.
You may have learned to live with all the minor issues of your home that you no longer notice. Is it the peeling paint in the bathroom corner, or the light switch that must be flipped a couple of times before the light works, or it is the fact that you must pull up on the front door every time you close it to get it to latch? Whatever it may be, consider if it may be the key to unlocking some extra value in your home.
Let’s start the list off by discussing some of the big items that you may need to consider. These are going to be the higher cost items that may need to be managed. These items will most likely have the lowest rate of return, but if not done, they can be deal breakers for potential buyers.
A brand-new roof is not a necessity to sell a home, but you should be aware of its condition. If it is nearing the average thirty-year life span, is several layers thick, or has obvious damage, then you may need to call a roofer. In states like Indiana that can have significant snow fall each year, you want to be sure your roof is leak proof. Also, gutters that do not drain at least a few feet away from the foundation can cause issues with buyers obtaining government financing and will need extended away from the foundation prior to closing.
Your HVAC system may still be working, but is it on its last leg? This is something that an inspector may mention and may scare potential buyers. If your HVAC system is older, it may be worth having a HVAC company come and inspect it to give you and the future buyers some peace of mind.
Your electrical system should be up to the code of your city. Unfortunately, this is one of those things that gets neglected. Old two prong electrical outlets, fuse panels, and out of date wiring still plague houses across the country. If your home’s electrical seems like it could be out of date, call a certified electrician and have them consult with you on your system. A neglected electrical system can be a major detractor to a potential buyer.
The biggest problems with plumbing are old, rusted supply lines, and clogged main drains. You should be aware of any leaks or slow draining issues in your home and have them addressed before listing your home. Having a plumber come and inspect your plumbing system and water heater for issues will ensure there are no hidden problems.
This is one of the most important potential issues to have fixed. If your foundation is settling, then the rest of your home will be moving as well. This can cause cracked walls, unlevel doors, windows, and floors, and many more problems. If you suspect that you have foundation issues, you will need to have a foundation specialist inspect your foundation and see what will need to be done. If your prospective buyer is obtaining financing for the purchase of your home and an appraiser notes safety and soundness issues, the property will need cleared by a foundation specialist before the loan can be approved.
These will be the more manageable, aesthetic repairs. Ones that most of the time will be able to be done by you, the homeowner. Doing these yourself will save you money, while taking steps towards getting your home sold and moving onto the next piece of real estate.
As our homes age we tend to not notice our paint ages too. You painted all the rooms of your home when you moved in, but now they are lacking that luster and have faded into a dull appearance. Luckily, paint is one of the cheapest upgrades you can do to your home and has a huge effect on the appearance.
Putting fresh colors on your walls can bring a whole new character to the rooms. It is best to use neutrals that will impress potential buyers. You do not have to paint every room in the house either, focus on the dark rooms, or the rooms with the oldest and most faded paint.
If you have dated wallpaper on your walls, it is always recommended to pull it off and paint the walls before putting your home on the market. This may be a daunting task, but your potential home buyers may be put off by the thought of having to do it themselves. Why not take a little time to remove it and paint the room a brand-new color, bringing it into the present, while improving your chances of a sale?
How do the floors look in your home? If it is old, stained carpet, tile that has broken or missing pieces, or scratched up wood floor then maybe it will need some attention. New or freshly cleaned flooring can entirely change the look of a home for the better, impressing home shoppers.
Depending on what floor you have and whether you wish to keep it will determine your next steps. You can replace a few tiles, or get your carpet cleaned, or even refinish your hardwood. Refinished hardwood is a big selling point for many buyers.
It will, many times, be cheaper and easier to replace the flooring. Some companies will offer a free install of certain floorings if you buy a certain amount of their product. This may give you the opportunity to buy all new carpet while saving money or avoid doing the installation yourself.
The kitchen has a huge impact when you sell your home. You do not have to spend a ton of money on an expensive remodel before listing your home for sale. Putting a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets, replacing the drawer pulls, and updating the lighting will bring your kitchen up to date while keeping you on budget.
If your countertops have seen better days, then you may consider replacing them as well. There are countertop options that are very affordable.
The appliances do not have to be brand new, but make sure that any that are staying with the home are clean and working correctly. Potential home buyers will not want to see a kitchen full of broken and non-working appliances that they will have to deal with. Don’t let them to move on to the next piece of Indiana real estate over a broken dishwasher.
When talking about selling a home you cannot talk about the kitchen without discussing the bathroom. Make sure that your bathroom is clean and functional. All the fixtures should work as they are supposed to, and the drains are draining properly.
A fresh coat of paint, and new light fixtures may be all you need to make your bathroom look brand new. Depending on the age and condition, you may consider replacing your vanity and other effects as well. A new mirror, towel, and toilet paper holder may be the difference that you need to grab your buyer’s attention.
A big turn off for many potential home buyers is allowing them to walk into a poorly lit and dim home. Once you have painted the rooms in your home light and earthy tones, replacing your lighting to allow those colors to shine will encourage those buyers to put in an offer.
This is going to be an especially important thing to consider when preparing your home for sale. The initial impression that your buyers get of your home is going to set the tone before they ever step inside.
You’ll want to make sure that the exterior of your home is clean, the siding is in an acceptable state of repair, and that there are no glaring imperfections. A power washer can be a cheap rental item that may make all the difference to your home. Cleaning the walls, garage door, and driveway will give your home a fresh and clean appearance.
Another popular thing to do is to repaint your door a vibrant and appealing color. This gives your home a statement to buyers and will draw the attention of people driving by.
Another important item, if you want to give your buyers a great first impression, is the landscaping. You could set out large clay pots full of beautiful seasonal flowers. Or clean up and lay down some fresh mulch in your flower beds. Having a well-kept lawn will show the home buyers that yours is the home for them. Even if your yard is not perfect, if it the grass is not overgrown, and it is free of sticks and trash it can still impress your home buyers.
Some Other Considerations
Make sure to check that all your smoke and co2 detectors throughout your home are in good working order. This will be one of the things an inspector checks during the home inspection.
Is your home clean inside and out, and do you notice any obvious signs of damage? Rough looking trim, broken windows, a broken or damaged deck/patio or fence are all other items to consider.
Before you start working on repairs walk through your home as if you were the buyer. Take notes as you go of all the imperfections that you see, from major repairs to small fixes. Look at the list and consider what you can afford and what will appeal to the future buyers the most.
Once you have put your free for sale by owner yard sign out in the yard from The Selling Table, you’ll be confident that you’ve prepared your home to get as much value as possible and make your selling process as smooth as possible.