Spring is here, which means home buying season is in full gear. Even though the coronavirus pandemic has changed the real estate industry for the time being, many homeowners are still choosing to put their homes on the market.
Most homes sell in about 56 days, but that timeline could be longer if a home isn’t in its best condition. To help ensure a smooth buying process and a decent return on investment, consider making these home repairs before selling your house.
Repair The Roof
Fixing your roof is arguably one of the biggest items to put on your list when making home repairs before selling. If you live in an older home and you haven’t repaired your roof since you bought it, take a look and see if there’s damage. Your roof can have leaks in it and could have sustained water or ice damage during the winter months.
A damaged roof could hinder your home’s sales process. If you don’t fix your roof, potential buyers may negotiate its repair as part of the closing process. They could either ask you to repair it, which will cost you money upfront, or they may opt to fix it themselves but offer you less than asking price. Either way, a damaged roof could end up costing you if you aren’t careful. This rings especially true if your roof has water damage. If that’s the case, look into water damage repair right away.
Fix The Foundation
Something else you should repair if it’s damaged is your home’s foundation. The foundation is literally the base of your home. If there’s something wrong with it, your whole house could suffer.
If you do notice damage, it’s something you should prioritize on your to-do list of home repairs before selling. If you see cracks in your foundation, get them fixed as soon as possible. A cracked foundation can lead to your house not being level and your floors becoming warped. If it’s bad enough, it could cause heavy (and expensive) damage to your home. If you suspect you have significant foundation damage, contact a professional who can help you determine what your next steps should be.
Check The Electrical System
Do you notice the lights in your house flickering lately? If so, your house may have a larger electrical issue at hand.
There are multiple signs that your house has electrical problems, and not all of them may be easy to spot. These signs include flickering lights, heat coming from electrical outlets, a burning odor, and loose outlets. If you notice these issues, do some exploring around your electrical system. If you see, smell, or hear anything that doesn’t sound normal, call an electrical contractor and ask them to check out your home’s electrical issues.
This is also your chance to evaluate the way your home is wired. If you notice there are light switches that don’t work, something could be off with the electrical wiring. This may come up when you’re selling your home, so it’s best to get in front of the issue and get it fixed. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can always reach out to a residential electrical repair service.
Fix The Plumbing
You may not have your home’s plumbing in mind when selling your home. However, the state of your home’s plumbing could mean the difference between someone putting an offer on your home and someone moving on to the next open house.
Plumbing could be a bigger project to tackle when it comes to making home repairs before selling. If you notice that your shower or sinks are slow to drain, your water pressure is low, there are strong odors coming from pipes, or your pipes are creating a lot of noise, then you need to get your plumbing looked at right away.
If a potential buyer does a walk-through of your home and they notice these issues, it could cause them to lose interest. If you can’t afford to fix the plumbing up front but you have someone who is interested in buying, talk with your realtor and see if you can work out a deal with them in terms of repairs.
Evaluate The HVAC System
The HVAC system is what controls the heating and cooling within your home. It circulates the air in your home and improves overall air quality. If your HVAC system is broken, it could lead to a decrease in your home’s value.
Signs that your HVAC system needs to be repaired include no cool air coming from vents, foul odors coming from vents, and strange noises happening when you turn on the heat or air conditioning. There could be a number of issues with the HVAC system. It could be an older system that’s running on its last legs, or there could be an electrical issue with it.
If you have issues with your HVAC system, you should contact a professional who knows what they’re doing with heating and air conditioning systems. If you aren’t careful and try to fix it yourself, you could end up with additional (and unnecessary) costs.
Test The Water Filtration System
When was the last time you had your water tested? Before you sell your house, have your water tested and, if you have one, check on the water filtration system. If there’s something wrong with your water, potential buyers could be scared away. You don’t want your home to have a potential health hazard associated with it, so cover all your bases and ensure your water filtration system is up-to-date and functioning.
Repair The Windows
Repairing your home’s windows is something that will contribute to your home’s overall value. If you have any cracks in your windows, get them fixed before any potential buyers come through your home. Cracked windows will hamper your home’s aesthetic and give prospects a reason to walk away. You should also check if your windows get stuck easily or have water damage surrounding them. If so, these are other functional and cosmetic issues that should be repaired.
Another reason this should be one of your big home repairs before selling is that outdated or broken windows can be an energy sucker. If you feel a draft coming from your windows, the warm or cold air you’re running is likely escaping through them. That means you’re wasting money and energy in the long run. Before you officially put your house on the market, talk with local window contractors and see what you can do about repairing your home’s windows.
Fix Broken Appliances
If you plan on including appliances in the sale of your home, be sure to fix any issues with them. If you have a leaking dishwasher, get it fixed before showings start. If a burner on the stove is busted, have it repaired. If you leave the appliances, you may get room to negotiate a higher asking price for your home. However, if those appliances are broken, it could work against you. The potential buyers may ask you to fix them or remove them entirely if they don’t function properly.
Upscale The Lighting
You may not thinking your lighting could impact your home’s value, but you should consider upgrading it when making home repairs before selling your house. Lighting can give your home a particular feeling. If you want your home to feel open and welcoming, consider getting softer lights that brighten up the whole house. You can also use under cabinet lighting to give your kitchen more of an upscale ambiance and a chandelier light in the dining room to create a warm and elegant mood.
Keep in mind that upgrading your lighting will cost you some money upfront. You may need to have custom lights installed, which could delay your selling timeline a bit. It’s up to you to determine if the time and cost is worth it. If done right though, your home’s lighting could pay for itself in the sale.
Replace The Flooring
While thinking about your home repairs before selling time comes, take a look at your flooring. If the flooring is outdated or damaged, fixing it before your home goes on the market could help drive up its value.
Examine the flooring in each room of the house. If you have wood flooring and it’s warped or discolored, it should be replaced. If there’s tile flooring in the bathroom and it’s chipped or discolored, look at repairing or replacing it before potential buyers come around. If you have carpet in your home and know you have wood floors underneath, consider ripping the carpet up and finishing the wood floors. Fixing up your home’s flooring is a simply but effective way to spruce up your home for potential buyers.
Fix Any Broken Doors
A broken door can be a cosmetic issue and a safety issue for a home. If there are noticeable chips or cracks in your home’s doors, it could harm your home’s aesthetic and drop its value. If the door doesn’t shut all the way or has a broken lock, anyone could walk into your home at any time.
Before you start showing your home, take the time to fix any cosmetic and safety issues you encounter with your doors. Your front door will be one of the first things buyers will see since they’ll be walking through it. Make sure it’s in good shape and makes a good first impression.
Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint
You’d be surprised what a new coat of paint can do for your home. Before you put it on the market, paint the interior. This will give your home a newer feel while taking care of any nicks in the walls.
You can also use paint colors to play to a potential buyer’s psychology. Generally, certain colors trigger certain feelings for people. If they see a home that has a blue color scheme, they may think the home has a modern and calm feel to it. You can paint your home to reflect the mood you want your home to set. The right mood will attract the right buyer.
When making home repairs before selling your house, you shouldn’t forget about your home’s exterior. Take this time to replace the siding, gutters, and shutters if need be. It also wouldn’t hurt to touch up the paint on the outside of your house. Painting the exterior can be a big job, so you may want to ask family or friends for help. You can also look up home painters in your area and see what their rates are.
Upgrade The Driveway
Some homeowners may not think their driveway could be a deal breaker for potential buyers, but it can be. That’s why evaluating and upgrading the driveway should be on your to-do list for home repairs before selling your house.
If a buyer sees that your driveway has holes and cracks in it, it could cause them to hesitate to put an offer in. Before you put your home on the market, evaluate your driveway and see if it can be repaired. If you have a dirt or gravel driveway, you may want to consider getting it paved. If you’re curious about how that process works, there are driveway paving companies that can explain the process and give you a timeline of the project.
Fix Up The Yard
If your yard is in rough shape, do what you can to fix it up before you put your home on the market. There are home buyers who take a home’s yard and landscaping into great consideration when putting an offer in. Fill in holes, clean up debris, and keep your grass green.
If you want to bump up your home’s value, consider investing in gardening and landscape design. Your yard can say a lot about your home, so if the yard is in good shape, buyers will think the home is in good shape as well.
Making these home repairs before selling your house could mean the difference between you getting asking price and having to negotiate a lower price. The home buying process may look different now, but the fundamentals of the process are the same. The more work you put in, the greater your return on investment can be. You’d be surprised what the smallest project can do for your home’s value.