Preparing Your Home for the Market with Home Repairs
When you’re listing your home, we always recommend starting off on the best foot. That means taking a few steps to get your house ready for not only buyers but also home inspectors. More often than not, they’ll find a problem with your home. These professionals are trained to spot specifics, and it’s possible the issues are things you’ve never noticed. If problems pop up during the inspection, you may need to pay for the repairs to finalize your home sale. However, that doesn’t mean the fixes need to be a surprise to you.
Sellers often get an inspection prior to listing, so they can make repairs before the house hits the market. It’s a small investment that can save a lot of time and stress during negotiations. Your inspector will give you a list, and you can then decide what’s feasible for you to fix and what’s worth the time.
Buyers know that most homes will have some sort of improvements required, but if you can help whittle down the list of fixes, they’ll be more likely to put in an offer. Often, a long list of repairs will make buyers walk away in search of something more move-in ready, or they’ll go after a significant price drop, which isn’t feasible for most sellers.
Buyers take repairs and improvements as a good sign, too. They know you’re serious about selling a good home, and the impression can be lasting, especially when it comes time to put in an offer.
Get ahead of the game by taking care of the repairs. You’ll be more confident that when the home inspector comes, you’ll still be able to attract qualified buyers. Below we’ve compiled a quick cheat sheet of common home repairs. Start with these basics!
- Mow the lawn, trim or prune plants and trees, and keep the front entrance clear.
- Remove any dead plants, including shrubs and trees.
- Hide garbage cans, tools, and supplies to help keep clutter at a minimum.
- Wash your windows and scrub your screens clean.
- Replace any broken shingles and clean the gutters.
- Power wash, seal or resurface the driveway.
- Edit your selection of outdoor pots and planters, keeping only those that are filled with healthy plants.
- Spruce up your shrubs and trees with fresh mulch.
- Repaint or refinish trim on windows and doors.
- Clean the sink and check for leaky faucets. Clean out under the sink.
- Fix squeaky or jammed drawers and cabinet doors. Wipe down cabinets.
- Toss old food & leftovers from the refrigerator and freezer.
- Keep the refrigerator clear of pictures, notes, and magnets.
- Keep the countertops clear, putting away appliances and kitchen supplies.
- Other: ___________________________
- Remove bulbs and replace them with brighter bulbs. Wipe downlight fixtures.
- Turn on the lights and open the blinds before buyers arrive.
- Store rugs to open up the floor.
- Take advantage of soft scents by heating vanilla on the stove, baking cookies, or lighting a candle.
- Clean floors and vacuum carpets.
- Reduce clutter on window ledges and wipe them down.
- Paint over accent color walls with a neutral color.
Repairs: FAMILY ROOM
- Clear and clean the fireplace, and keep the mantle clutter-free.
- Replace the old or bright carpet.
- Remove personal items (magazines, books, toys, etc.) to declutter.
- Make sure to put away family photos.
- Dust all surfaces.
- Other: _______________________________
Repairs: LIVING ROOM
- Store or discard tired looking furniture.
- Explore Pinterest for decorating ideas.
- Remove personal items (magazines, books, toys, etc.) to declutter. Make sure to put away family photos.
- Remove large pictures that can hide walls. Patch and paint over the holes.
- Add light to dark spaces.
- Wash and iron curtains, and keep them open during showings.
- Put fresh-cut flowers in a vase.
- Remove items from the sink, shower, and tub. Clean thoroughly.
- The fixtures, tile & shower curtain should be immaculate. Wash the shower curtain, or replace with a neutral color if necessary.
- Fix up caulk & grout tile. Scrub discolored grout with a baking soda paste or bleach.
- Remove patterned wallpaper.
- Use towels to decorate, but keep them simple and neutral.
- Vacuum and wipe down bathroom vents.
- Check for leaks and repair any broken fixtures.
Repairs: MASTER BEDROOM
- Make this room a priority for clean-up.
- Keep the bedroom simple, but use space wisely (particularly if it’s a large room).
- Hang clothes in the closet and fold them carefully.
- Remove any clothing storage bins that can make the closet look cluttered.
- Keep the clothing in the closet to a minimum, so buyers can see the size.
- Remove under the bed storage, and add a bed skirt.
- Other: ______________________________
- Clean or replace HVAC filter.
- Clean air returns.
- Test all smoke detectors and CO detectors.
- Clean or hire a professional to clean your chimney, fireplace, and wood stove.
- Remove bright, patterned wallpaper.
- Test doors, cabinets, and windows for squeaks.
- Check ventilation in crawlspaces, basements, and attics.
To learn more about real estate advice, visit our blog here.
Mark Spain Real Estate is grateful to serve all of Metro Atlanta and Athens in Georgia, Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville in Florida, and Nashville in Tennessee!