Things to Repair Before Selling a House

When you live and see your house every day it’s very easy to miss a lot of the wear and tear that happens over the years. However, when you start thinking about selling, the condition of your home becomes important. There are always things that need to be fixed and cleaned up. But you only have so much money and time to make repairs. So, what should you fix?

Taking care of the obvious to repair before selling a house will put more money in your pocket!

Worth Making Before You Sell

  1. Paint

Paint is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to update the look of your home prior to a sale. You don’t need to be a professional painter, either.  Remember neutral colors are the best

Generally lighter 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 stick with the basics. You can paint every room or just those that obviously need it. Rooms with dark paint, chipped or dirty paint are the ones that will benefit most.

If you have dated wallpaper it is almost always a good idea to remove. Wallpaper is very personal, buyers have a hard time accepting wallpaper. Some sellers assume a buyer should just be able to “look past it. Getting rid of wallpaper is all about first impressions and making a home more appealing to a buyer. This is what puts more money in a seller’s pocket.

Remember first impressions come first.

  1. Exterior

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 cleanup 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. Here are some low cost exterior home improvements worth doing.

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.

  1. Kitchen

Everyone dreams of a large, spacious kitchen with spiffy appliances – where they can cook and entertain. Now your kitchen may not satisfy these desires without major upgrades, which may not make sense financially.

However, 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 counter-tops all scream 1960s, you can change all of these without too large of an investment. You can paint as necessary, install new fixtures and change the counter-tops to something more appealing (granite and marble are are what’s preferred today). The price on solid surface materials however has come down in recent years so it might be worth getting an estimate for installing granite counter tops, especially when the kitchen counter space is not huge.

As far as appliances go, buyers are going to expect appliances to work. If the oven, dishwasher or range are out of operation – or in really bad shape – replacing them might be necessary to appeal to buyers.

  1. Bathroom

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 make the toilet look much better just by replacing the seat. Cleaning up the grout and/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 definitely 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 place where buyers will focus on. 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.

  1. Lighting

Lighting can make even the smallest home seem open and inviting. You can learn more about lighting different spaces online and find a variety of affordable lighting options that will be far superior to the current overhead or stand lights in your house. Analyze your current space and see if you can find some ways to improve the lighting. Older light fixtures should be replaced and for a little bit of money invested can translate into a quicker sale. Explore energy saving LCD options.

Don’t forget natural lighting, either. Remove drapes replace with thin light colored window coverings.

  1. Refinishing Hardwood Floors

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. Re-finishing your hardwoods when they really need it can totally change how a buyer views your property. There is nothing like entering a home where the hardwoods look spectacular. The great thing about re-finishing hardwood floors is the return on investment which is very high. Greying your hardwoods seem to be a popular choice today.

  1. Functionality

Go through your home and make sure everything works like it should  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.  WD40 is a little miracle working when doing your inspections.

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!  If you are aware of any of these problems it is important to address them before putting your home on the market.

  1. Pre-Sale Inspection

One very important 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.   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, fix whatever is broken and then move forward with your sale – confident that you have covered all the bases.

Final Thoughts

Obviously there are other important things to repair before selling a house like a hvac system that does not work, mold, 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 buyer 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, certainly 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 isn’t the best condition and you are just looking to get out with a quick sale, you might want to consider selling to a real estate cash buyer like America House Buyer or JB Jackson Solutions. 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 need to sell now and get some remaining equity fast.

Additional Important Home Selling Tips

Use these additional resources to get more tips on seller your home. As a educated home seller you will be in better position to make sound decisions.

About the Author: The above Real Estate information on the most important things to repair before selling a house was provided by JB Jackson, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. JB can be reached via email at or by phone at 800-679-3060. JB has helped people move in and out of many Metro areas across the nation for the last 40+ Years.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for solving Real Estate ownership issues and love to share my expertise, we operate nationwide with focus of Rhode Island, North Carolina New England, and Florida.

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