Most sellers discover several minor repairs that need to be made before they can sell their house. Oftentimes it’s things they’ve lived with for years—closet doors that jump the tracks, doorbells that don’t work, window screens that are torn or faucets that drip if the handle isn’t turned just right. But even if you’ve lived with a broken doorbell for years, a potential buyer won’t want to. So now is the time to do something about it.
To get you started, here are some specific things to focus on as you survey your home for repairs:
• Repair anything that has been visibly damaged: Nicks in walls from that time you moved your desk, corners of the carpet that have pulled away from the wall and woodwork that’s scratched or dented all need to be repaired or replaced before you show your home to prospective buyers.
• Repair anything that isn’t working correctly: Replace burned-out light bulbs, repair the lock on the bathroom door and make sure any electrical outlets that don’t have power are repaired. These items will all come up during a home inspection, so fix them now before potential buyers ever show up at your home.
• Repaint your walls: If you’ve been creative with paint colors, you may want to consider neutralizing your color scheme. Prospective home buyers like to visualize themselves in your home, and if bright red walls scare them silly, they won’t look past them to your home’s best features. Remember, you’re trying to appeal to buyers, even if that contradicts your personal style.
• Repair all doors, especially the front door: When potential home buyers come calling, the first thing they’ll see is your front door. Make sure it’s squeaky clean, with a nicely polished doorknob and a fresh coat of paint or stain (if required) to make it look like new. It’s an inexpensive fix that will make a huge difference to prospective buyers. Check all window screens for damage and replace them if they are torn or ill-fitting. You may also want to add flowers or a decorative wreath for a welcoming entry.
Once you’ve got everything working and usable in your home, you’re that much closer to a successful sale! Take heart that a little work now will lead to payoff later!