Before putting your home on the market, it’s important to take a step back and imagine how buyers will feel when they tour it. Unless you are listing a fixer-upper, buyers are looking for as close to “move-in ready” as possible. They want to walk in and feel like the home has been well-maintained and won’t be a money pit once they’ve signed on the dotted line. You can make potential buyers feel confident in your home by making necessary home repairs before listing it. It may seem easier to just list it “as-is” and let the buyers deal with the repairs afterwards, but in a competitive market they are likely to just pass on your home and go to the next one on the block that is already fixed. Show some care for the home and respect for buyers by getting it in the best shape possible. Of course, anything major – such as a broken A/C – should definitely be fixed. However, there are also some smaller, more common repairs that many homeowners tend to overlook. Here’s a list of the most important home repairs to do before selling:
Must-Do Home Repairs Before Selling
- Pavement and Driveway ─ Pressure-wash your pathways and driveway, then repair any cracks or stains. This will help improve your overall curb appeal and make buyers less nervous about the condition of the property.
- Lawn and Landscaping ─ Your lawn should be full and green while it’s on the market. Replace any bald patches in the grass and remove weeds. Trim the trees and replace any flowers that have seen better days with fresh ones.
- Mailbox ─ Make sure the mailbox is in good condition and that the numbers on the side are fully visible. If it’s looking a little old or worn down, repaint it or replace it with a new one.
- Fence ─ If your fence is stained, repaint or restain it to its former glory. If it’s falling apart, replace the broken areas or consider switching the fence out entirely if the entire thing is damaged.
- Front Door ─ Your front door is vulnerable to the elements, so it’s likely to need a fresh coat of paint or stain on it to get rid of the weathered look. Buyers have a lot of time to observe this area while they wait to be let in, so you want to make sure it makes a great first impression.
- Walls ─ Repair any holes in the walls left behind by décor that was hanging or general wear and tear. It’s a good rule of thumb to put a fresh coat of paint on the entire house before listing it. If you have wallpaper, definitely take it down and paint the walls in a nice, neutral color.
- Flooring ─ Different types of flooring require different maintenance. For carpet, give it a deep cleaning and if any stains are left over, consider replacing it altogether. Tile and wood floors should be steamed and polished.
- Ceiling ─ If there are any stains left behind by old leaks, be sure to put a fresh coat of paint over them. Popcorn ceilings definitely date a home and are undesirable to most buyers, so it’s worth the investment have it scraped off or to scrape it off yourself.
- Doors ─ Check your interior doors for any marks or damages and repaint or repair as needed. Make sure none of the doors stick or squeak when used. Doorknobs should be updated and in good condition.
- Caulking ─ It is common for the caulking around bathtubs, sinks, windows and baseboards to get damaged and stained over time. You can purchase caulk from your local hardware store and easily update any areas that need to be freshened up.
- Baseboards ─ Some of the most overlooked features in a home are the baseboards, but they can have a surprisingly large effect on how your home shows. Fix any chips or damages in the baseboards, clean off any marks, and put a fresh coat on them to brighten them up.