9 Repairs to Complete for Getting a House Ready to Sell
You may find this hard to believe, but doing something as small as replacing a broken light bulb can increase the sale value of your home. In nearly every home transaction I’ve been involved in, one thing is common: buyers like to see a list of completed home repair tasks before closing on a house. This can be a hassle for home sellers, especially those who have negotiated the best possible deal, and now feel pressured to make repairs before the sale is final.
Most of the home repair issues could be fixed right away if a home inspection was conducted as soon as the home was listed. The truth of the matter is that we live in our homes every day and don’t always address the minor repairs in the house that don’t directly affect our daily lives. When we’re in the market to buy a home, we look at the houses we see online with a much more critical eye than we view our own residences. I’ve seen a number of home sellers caught off guard by the repair requests made by potential buyers. Fortunately, there are practical ways to fix these issues and get a house ready to sell. It’s important to have these repairs taken care of before the home is listed, not after a price has been negotiated for the home. This increases the chances that everyone will be happier on closing day! Here are a few specific repairs to watch out for when getting a house ready to sell.
Fogged windows often occur when a window seal is broken. The window can still be fully functional, which may be the reason you haven’t gotten around to fixing the seal. This can cause a draft to travel through the home, which increases your energy bill over time. If you notice any broken window seals, ask the seller to have these repaired before the home is listed.
Leaking Jet Tubs
Recent experience has shown me that this repair applies to all jet tubs. In the last month or so, whether I was an agent for the buyer or the seller, I encountered leaks in every one of the jet tubs in the home. Most of us take showers more than baths these days, so it’s very possible that some jet tubs go unused for years at a time. If you’re selling your home, check your tub for leaks. If you discover any, have the leaks repaired right away. After all, you’d want this fixed before you purchased a new home.
Exterior Trim Water Damage
I often see rotting exterior wood on homes that are 8-10 years old or older. If you see rotting boards or boards that are splitting when you walk near the front of your home, get the boards replaced, then caulk and paint the boards. This is one of the best ways to show potential buyers that your home is well-maintained. It’s also a good idea to make sure the chimney on your home is in good shape, especially if your house was built before the late 1990s, when cement board became the standard material for chimneys.
Check to make sure your shingles are not splitting or missing. If you see any repairs that need to be done, make an appointment with a roofer as soon as you can for a roof inspection and repair before your home goes on the market.
Loose Deck Rails or Hand Rails
A buyer shared with me last year that when he was searching for a home, he checked the stair rails and deck rails. If the rails were wobbly, he took that to mean that the home was generally un-cared for. This buyer is probably not the only one who feels this way. While this may not seem fair, loose rails are a safety issue and they find their way into inspection reports more often than you may think.
Gutters that don’t work well or efficiently channel water away from the home’s foundation can cause serious problems. Make sure your gutters are free of debris and have been repaired for optimum function before you list your home.
Check to make sure your shower heads aren’t leaking. In fact, it’s a good idea to make sure there are no faucet leaks in the house, period. Call in a licensed plumber to make the repairs before you make it known that your home is for sale.
Your heating, venting and air conditioning units should be working properly before listing your house. It can cost a lot to replace an HVAC unit, so check the unit to make sure that it can still run correctly after you clean any debris or rust off of it. Also, don’t forget to change your air filters and make sure they’re working properly before any potential buyers see your home.
Don’t forget to change your light bulbs! I can’t tell you how many times a light bulb has been out or missing, and a home inspector will write up that the lights are not working. The inspector will likely recommend that a licensed electrician come out to make repairs on your home. When I asked one inspector why he didn’t just note that the light bulb was burned out, he informed me that this would increase the time it takes to complete the inspection.
There is a very simple way to avoid this. Change your light bulbs whenever necessary! Electricians can cost lots of money, and the inspector could make a buyer think that your home has major electrical issues, which could mean your home is on the market longer than it has to be.
There’s a chance that a home buyer may find something besides these fundamental issues that needs to be fixed. However, if you take care of the basics and get your house ready to sell, you’ll increase the chances of negotiating a great price for your house, and even avoid costly home repairs.