Selling a home is a bittersweet experience for most people. While you may be excited about moving on to the next stage in your life, the process of selling your home can be stressful.
There are many things to consider, from hiring a real estate agent to negotiating with buyers.
One of the most critical aspects of selling your home is ensuring it is in top condition before putting it on the market. Renovations, inside and outside the home, are a surefire way to attract potential buyers, and boost your curb appeal. Both of which may help you get a better price for your home.
Here are 8 important repairs to make before selling your house.
One of the most central rooms in any home is the kitchen. It's where families gather to cook, eat, and socialize, so it's no surprise that potential buyers will pay close attention to this space.
If all of your appliances are in working order or replaced with high-quality models, potential buyers may assume they’re purchasing a move-in-ready home.
According to a HomeLight study, consumers are 50% more likely to make an offer on a property with new stainless steel appliances than one with older models, so this may be a sound investment.
Make a checklist of every appliance you have and take note of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. This could include:
- A broken dishwasher
- A fridge that doesn't keep food cold enough
- An oven that doesn't heat up properly
- A stovetop that is scratched or stained
- A range hood that is noisy or doesn't work correctly
If any of your appliances are on the fritz, it's best to fix them before putting your home on the market. Not only will this make your kitchen look more appealing, but it will also assuage potential buyers who want to avoid replacing major appliances.
The kitchen and bathroom cabinets are some of the most heavily used pieces of furniture in any home. Unfortunately, over time, they can start to show signs of wear and tear, such as:
- Water damage
- Broken handles and loose hinges
- Chipped paint
Fixing these problems can make a big difference in the look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom, and it's well worth the effort to do so before putting your home on the market.
Another critical area to focus on is plumbing fixtures. While a lot of plumbing fixtures are built to last, the lifespan of different plumbing systems and appliances can vary.
For example, a water heater can last for 8-12 years. While a toilet, though seemingly unencumbered through time, has an average lifespan of 15 years.
As you get ready to sell your home, it's important to check all the plumbing fixtures and appliances to make sure they're still in good working order. This includes:
- Faucets that drip or leak
- Toilets that run or flush slowly
- Showerheads that are blocked or have low water pressure
- Sinks that are stained or have chipped enamel
Not only are these problems unsightly, but they can also be expensive to fix. Leaks can cause severe water damage if left unaddressed. This can be particularly challenging as seasonal weather affects your house and creates an environment conducive to mold and mildew growth.
Fixing any plumbing problems before listing your home will make it more attractive to potential buyers and ensure there won't be any expensive surprises down the road.
Garage Door and Accessories
The garage door may be one of the first things potential buyers see when they pull up to your house, so you want to ensure it's in good condition. If the door is old or damaged, it can give the impression that the rest of the house is in poor condition too.
To ensure that your garage door is in good condition, have it serviced by a professional so they can identify any other parts that may need to be repaired or replaced.
Additionally, a garage door replacement is one of the few home improvement projects that recoups its costs when you sell your home with an average return on investment (ROI) of 93.3%.
Other garage considerations to keep in mind:
- Garage door openers: Door openers are a key piece of equipment that helps keep your garage door functioning properly. If yours is outdated or broken, it will need to be replaced before you sell your home.
- Garage door parts and accessories: Often, the small things make the biggest difference. Something as simple as replacing worn-out weather stripping can help seal up your garage and make it more energy efficient. Adding decorative hardware could also give a nice refreshed look.
Likewise, garage door styles play a big part in the space's overall appeal. If yours is outdated or doesn't fit the style of your home, it could be costing you. Garage door prices vary depending on several factors, but you can easily find a door to fit your budget.
Walls and Ceilings
Your walls and ceilings take a lot of abuse over the years, so it's not uncommon for them to become damaged, scuffed, or stained.
However, potential buyers may be concerned that more serious problems are lurking behind the surface. Some may even be unwilling to take on the hassle and expense of repairs based on the quality of the walls and ceilings alone.
Luckily, fixing these problems is relatively inexpensive. Here are some common wall damage issues to look out for and how to fix them:
- Rips in wallpaper: Even if your wallpaper is in otherwise good condition, rips can make the wall appear dated and poorly maintained. To fix this, simply remove the damaged section and apply the new wallpaper.
- Holes in drywall: Small holes can easily be patched with a spackling compound, but larger holes require more extensive repairs.
- Scuffs and stains: These can often be cleaned with a sponge or Magic Eraser. For tougher stains, you may need to use a stronger cleaning solution or even paint over the affected area.
- Water stains: These can be caused by leaks in the roof, pipes, or appliances. If you see water stains on your ceiling or walls, it's crucial to have the issue repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
- Cracks: Cracks can be caused by various factors, including settlement, age, and temperature changes. While some cracks are harmless, others may indicate a more serious problem that must be addressed.
By taking care of these small details, you can show buyers that your home is move-in ready and help ensure a smooth and successful sale.
Anytime something in a home is not functioning as it should, it has the potential to reduce the resale value. This is especially true for the HVAC system.
A malfunctioning HVAC system can turn potential buyers away for several reasons:
- Potentially run-up energy costs: A fully functional HVAC system can be a surprising but sure way to decrease energy costs. On the other hand, a faulty one will surely be an added utility expense for new buyers.
- Miscellaneous problems: From drafts and uneven temperatures to moisture issues and even indoor air quality problems, a declining HVAC system may have a variety of issues.
- Signify a costly repair or replacement: One of the most expensive home components to repair or replace is an HVAC system. So, the older it is, the more wary buyers may be about this potential future.
While it's not necessary to replace your entire HVAC system before selling your home, it's crucial to ensure that it's in good working order. This means having any necessary repairs made and regularly changing the air filter.
Most homeowners don't think about their circuit breakers until there's a problem. But if you're selling your home, it's important to ensure your circuit breakers are up to date.
While circuit breakers typically last anywhere between 30 to 40 years, they can become outdated much sooner if they're not properly maintained.
Therefore, if you're noticing any problems with your breaker box, such as tripping circuits or flickering lights, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer model.
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