What Are The Top 5 Home Repairs Before Selling Your Home?

Getting the house ready to put on the market can seem daunting enough. There is cleaning, clearing the old clutter, packing, moving, and o-by-the-way we have to get these repairs done before the buyers see it. It can be a hassle, I KNOW!

How do I know what needs attention and what can you leave as-is? My best advise is to ask someone that your trust (but does not live with you) for their honest opinion, preferably someone who has gone through the home buying process before.

Yes, your real estate agent can help but it might be too soon for that. Most home buyers think it is a good idea to do these things before meeting with an agent.

After the clutter is gone, the cleaning is done, what is next? Here are the 5 home repairs to complete before selling.

1. Landscaping

Often the most overlooked and important is landscaping to get the buyer in the door. Are the plants overgrown a little? Is it time for a little grass seed? Tree branches hanging over the roof?

All of these things affects curb appeal and potentially could be a negative home inspection item later. Tree roots too close to the foundation or tree limbs hanging over the roof can be a major concern for a buyer also will most definitely be noted by the home inspector.

Curb appeal is the 1st things the buyer will see! Did you know, most buyers will drive past your home at least one time before requesting to see the inside? If they do not like the outside you do not even get a chance to make a good impression on the inside! It’s that important!

2. Structural, Mechanical, and general Safety Issues

The best way to avoid a lengthy negative home inspection report is to fix the major items upfront before listing the home for sale. Why?

If the buyer already saw the home with the old AC unit their offer probably reflected it already. They know the AC will need to be replaced soon and their budget might to tight already. Now after the home inspection they find out there is an issue with it they will want the entire AC unit replaced, that ends up costing the seller double and to avoid. Get it inspected upfront before listing if there are any questionable items.

Doing the work upfront might not be glamorous or cheap. The big ticket items can sometimes be repaired instead of replaced completely, such as a roof or HVAC system. Appraisers are notorious for reporting items such as the roof or windows to be replaced and this causes major issues with FHA and VA financing. The lender may require the items noted on the appraisal report are required to be completed prior to closing and all of it required at the seller’s expense. This both delays settlement and cost the seller real money. Again this is a double negative outcome for the seller because the purchaser probably wrote the offer well knowing the item needed to be repaired or replaced and now the seller has to do it because the lender has required it. NOT GOOD! An experienced Realtor, such as ourselves, can help you avoid this.

Another option is to purchase a home warranty for the purchaser to give them peace-of-mind for the 1st year. If anything breaks while under warranty it will cover them and as an added benefit it can cover the time period while the home is listed too! (depending on the home warranty company). We recommend HMS Home Warranty for this.

3. Cosmetic

Let’s face it, the small details matter to buyers. When the walls have marks, the carpets are worn, and the fixtures are outdated it make the buyers not want to buy.

When I’m showing homes I try my hardest to explain to buyers that cosmetic items such as carpet and paint can be changed easily but almost none of them actually believe it. They all want move in ready and are willing to pay for it. Take the hint!

You almost always recoup 2x+ times your investment into cosmetic items such as carpet and paint when getting ready to sell your home. It is almost a no brainier.  Just like I know using professional photography will sell your home faster, the cosmetics need to look good too.

If you don’t know exactly what cosmetic items to do? I have a solution for you, before listing your home for sale we have our clients meet with an interior designer and stager. Free of charge to you, we pay for this for our clients because they work! They will walk through your home and put together a detailed report outlining everything recommend to be done. Is your dining room chandelier outdated? The designer will even provide the exact model name of the new chandelier and other items they recommend replaced… This service is free of charge for only my clients but you can of course do this on your own.

4. Kitchen and Bathrooms

Everyone knows kitchens and bathrooms are huge with buyers. If you are on the fence about making an investment in your home these two places should get the bulk of the investment.

What is in style right now? In my opinion, this is what I almost always recommend: White shaker 42′ cabinets with light granite or corian countertops and dark hardwood floors. In general light or white is clean and stylish but also with dark accents. You can also go the other way, with dark mocha maple cabinets, granite with a mix of light and dark seams in it, and light color flooring that is either tile or high end laminate flooring.

Not ready for a total overhaul? A simple and easy way to upgrade is to simply replace all of the hardware. The hardware includes; the hinges, pulls, and handles. Also replacing the cabinet doors or re-finishing them can make them look new again. In the bathroom, you can replace the bath accessory kit that includes towel rack, tp holder, and hand towel holder.

5. Simply Ask Your Real Estate Professional

We are in the home sale together with you. We need the home to sell just as badly as you and making a client happy is our primary focus. This is why we do the maximum amount of work upfront and coach you along the way to avoid the pitfalls that are common. Together we succeed! It is a Win-Win-Win for everyone.

There are numerous other tips and tricks to improve the kitchen and bathrooms on a shoestring budget. Let me know if you have questions.

I write all of these articles myself so feel free to reach out and simply ask me what you think. I am always here to help even if you don’t end up being my client in the future 🙂

Thank you for reading,
Kevin Bailey