What repairs should you do before selling your house?
Unless you’re selling a fixer upper to start with, taking care of some repairs in and around your home can have a significant influence on the price it will fetch when it is sold – and that’s only after you’ve had some interest in your property to start off with.
A few basic repairs and renovations can mean the difference between a number of interested potential buyers, or none at all. Sellers are often confused as to which repairs and renovations to a property are absolutely essential, and which will not really affect the selling price or the impression that potential buyers have of your property.
When buyers look at a home, they don’t want to see maintenance that isn’t up to par, or appliances, electrical or heating systems that are faulty or out of date. If it doesn’t feel like they can simply move in and start living there, they probably won’t. Preparation is key, and bearing in mind some key selling points will ultimately aid in getting your property sold.
Potential buyers walking up to your house notice the exterior first, which is why it is something you cannot neglect. Painting the fence, fixing cracks in the pavement or walls and clearing away any rubble or rubbish lying around are all things that stop your house from looking tawdry.
Make sure the lawn has been mowed and that trees and bushes have been trimmed. Planting some flowers doesn’t hurt either. Repaint the front door if necessary.
If your roof needs to be repaired, it’s better to just do it before putting your home up for sale. Buyers tend to be unwilling to buy a house if the roof needs to be replaced, so even if you just need to replace a roof tile or two, it’s better to do it in advance, than to answer and explain later.
Floors aren’t simply the surface people walk on. Buyers take special note of the condition of the floors, tiles or carpets in your home. Wooden floors are definitely an asset, but these need to be refinished prior to putting your house on the market.
In terms of carpeting, clean them thoroughly before your home goes on show. Replace carpets with spots, and when you do, try to stick to neutral colours that are more likely to appeal to most people. Many buyers prefer that areas that get heavy traffic, like living rooms, dining rooms and entertainment areas are not carpeted. If carpets in these rooms need to be replaced, consider alternative flooring like engineered wood floors or tiles.
Replace broken or cracked tiles, as potential buyers could see this as a signal for other issues. Clean the grout and re-grout where it’s necessary.
Bathrooms need to seem clean and everything should work. Clean grout and replace missing, broken or cracked tiles. Make sure the shower and bath are spotless. Replace shower doors and refinish the tub if necessary. Fix any leaks in and around the toilet and replace the seat if it looks worse for wear.
Buyers know that the bathroom, along with the kitchen, are the two areas of the house that are the most expensive to upgrade, and any obvious faults in these two rooms will turn potential buyers off almost immediately.
Unless your kitchen is well and truly in a state of disarray, you won’t have to upgrade it completely, but there are certain things to watch out for. Leaky kitchen taps and stained basins should be fixed and cleaned, or replaced. Also take care with the surfaces in your kitchen. Damaged counter tops should be relaminated or replaced. Simply repainting cabinets that look dated could make a world of difference in the appearance of your kitchen. Again, appearances matter here, because buyers scrutinise kitchens.
Repainting the interior (and exterior, if necessary) of your house is like a breath of fresh air for your property. A fresh coat of paint makes your house look fresh and well maintained. Don’t forget about the ceilings!
Consult your real estate agent before making any major upgrades to your property, unless there are obvious eyesores that need taking care of. Real estate agents who are in the know will be able to advise you on repairs and maintenance issues that can be sorted out quickly and will help you sell even faster.
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