Selling Your House
Even if you are not planning on remodeling your house for top-dollar, you should still do a few repairs to get the house ready to sell. Here are top 7 simple repairs to consider before selling your house. And keep in mind, these are only the common repairs. It’s worthwhile to have a home inspector, contractor or real estate professional do a walk-through of your house for some additional suggestions.
While you don’t have to address all of them, having someone else give you their different viewpoint can be invaluable advice. Sometimes, it’s hard to hear what others have to say, but hearing it before selling your house can make it easier down the road if the same issue comes up again.
Missing or Broken Roof Shingles
A great way to turn-off buyers is to have a roof in need of repair. Why? Because a new roof is a huge cost item. Maybe buyers walking through the house don’t notice initially, but I guarantee you the buyer’s property inspector will. By doing the repairs ahead of time, the inspector will see that the roof (and the other items we mention below) were repaired and addressed, showing you are a proactive homeowner.
What specifically should you fix? At a minimum, make sure there are no missing or broken roof shingles. If there are, hire a licensed roofing contractor to repair the roof. Also, make sure that all the vents are sealed properly. These small fixes will help buyers feel good about their purchase.
Rotting Wood Trim
Nothing makes a house for sale look rundown more the splitting or rotting trim on the exterior of a house. Boards that are splitting, paint that is peeling or wood that is just rotted out – all of that makes a house look shoddy. Consider replacing, caulking and repainting the bad wood to freshen your home’s appearance. This will make a huge difference in how your house “shows”.
Also, rotting wood also typically means termites. By replacing bad wood, your termite inspection will look a little better and may require less treatment and repairs.
Dirty or Fogged Windows
Dirty windows require a few hours of elbow grease to make them shine. While you are at it, clean the window sills and the window screens, too. Fogged windows are a result of moisture that has built-up between dual panes. The seal most likely failed. Though operational, foggy windows look dirty, even after a deep cleaning. If that is the case, consider repairing or replacing fogged window panes as needed. If your windows are manufactured by one of the larger window companies, call the manufacturer and see if you still have warranty coverage. Window manufacturers have some of the best warranties in the business.
Leaky Finished Plumbing
Whether it’s the faucets, showerheads or jet tubs, check for leaks from the finished plumbing before selling your house. Mainly because, as mentioned above when discussing the roof, a buyer’s home inspector will note any leaks in the home inspection report. The better the report, the less credit back or repairs the buyers will ask for. It also shows that you’ve been taking good care of your house.
Make sure your house for sale is safe to potential buyers. Not only is it a turn-off to have railings wobble, you could be liable if a potential buyer has a mishap in your home while walking through. Luckily, this is an easy fix. Make sure the railings are properly secured by tightening all loose bolts and replacing where necessary.
HVAC units are another big concern for potential buyers due to the high cost of repair or replacement. At a minimum, have the unit serviced and cleaned, including changing the air filter. They are typically an inexpensive and easy phone call to make. However, there are times when HVAC service people will deem a system inoperable. That can be costly because now you have to pay for a replacement.
You have to ask yourself, would you rather know about that now and fix it or wait until the buyers find it during the inspection and ask for a credit that is more than it would be if you had replaced it. The last thing you want is to leave room for more negotiating when you are already in escrow. When you are in escrow to sell your house, you want to stay in escrow. Falling out of escrow looks bad for the property and can leave a bad feeling in potential buyers.
This may seem insignificant, but when you receive a home inspection report that states “hire a licensed electrician for further inspection” just because the bulb is burnt out or missing, you have just cost yourself some money. You don’t want to give the impression that there is a larger electrical issue at your house, so make sure all the bulbs are working before you sell your house. And use the appropriate wattage for the fixture.
Even though these 7 simple repairs may seem insignificant, they can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker when you want to sell your house. Ultimately, though, to get top dollar for your house, you may need to do quite a bit more than the 7 repairs. However, if you are short on cash and want to sell your house fast, these will be great fixes.
When we purchase properties, we do not ask for any of these repairs. Oftentimes, the lenders for regular buyers will ask that many of these seemingly insignificant items be fixed in order to lend on the property. As cash buyers, we are not bound by any lender requirements, which is why we can close escrow so quickly and without any issues with regards to the property’s condition.