Essential Repairs for Selling A Home

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home cover picture shows a plumber working on a sink wearing jeans and boots.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Essential Repairs Before Selling Your House

Do you know what fixes to make before selling your house? If not, you’ve come to the right place! It is easy to miss a lot of the wear and tear that has happened to your house over the years. But when you start thinking about selling, the state of your home becomes much more apparent. You know that things need to be fixed and cleaned up. However, you only have so much money and time to make repairs. So, what should you fix?

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Staging Your Home for Sale

Remember that articles like this one are meant to provide general advice on what works for most people. Staging a home for sale will make it presentable for a potential buyer. It increases the chances of a quicker and more profitable sale. Ideally, you will have a real estate agent to talk to who will look at your home and give you targeted advice – which will get you the best results for your circumstances. But even if you are working with a Realtor, this information can give you a starting point on what to discuss with your agent about possible home repairs.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Prioritizing Essential Repairs

Taking care of the most essential things to fix before selling a house will put more money in your pocket! This is one of the primary reasons real estate agents recommend taking care of certain things before you list your home. I have been giving my clients advice on how to improve their homes for nearly forty years. What you do an don’t do can have a significant influence on how quickly you sell. Most buyers today want turnkey homes. Properties that are in unsightly condition or disrepair are punished in the real estate market. Improvements can be classified as major or minor. Both are crucial to a seller’s success.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Why You Should Fix Up Your Home Before Selling

There are many excellent reasons to make fixes to your property before selling. Enhances Curb Appeal: First impressions matter; fixing up your home can significantly improve curb appeal, attracting more potential buyers. Increases Home Value: Making necessary repairs or updates can increase your home’s value and lead to higher offers. You should ask your real estate agent to determine the home value before and after the upgrades. Doing so will help you see whether it makes sense. Speeds Up Sale Process: A home in good condition is more likely to sell quickly, reducing the time it spends on the market. Reduces Buyer Negotiation Leverage: Addressing issues beforehand limits what buyers can negotiate, potentially leading to a smoother sale process. Avoids Post-Inspection Deal Breakers: Fixing problems before the listing can prevent surprises during the buyer’s inspection, which could derail the sale.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Major and Minor Repairs With The Most Bang For Your Investment

When making adjustments to a house, one of the significant factors is return on investment. It would be foolish to waste money on things that don’t make a difference. Here are some major and minor fixes that can be worthwhile:

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Major Repairs and Updates:
  1. Roof Repairs or Replacement: Addressing roof issues is crucial as it can deter buyers if they are not in good condition.
  2. Foundation Repairs: Fixing foundation issues like cracks and water damage can attract more buyers and potentially increase the home’s sale price.
  3. Electrical System Updates: Ensuring the electrical system is up to code and in working order is essential as many homebuyers look to avoid homes with electrical problems.
  4. Plumbing Repairs: Addressing plumbing issues is vital since problems can signal to buyers that most significant matters may exist.
  5. HVAC System: A functioning HVAC system is a crucial selling point, and repairs or replacement can be necessary.
Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Minor Repairs and Updates:
  1. Interior Updates: Repairs inside the house, such as patching holes and repainting walls, can refresh the space and make it more inviting.
  2. Flooring: Ensuring floors are in good condition, whether by replacing carpet or refinishing hardwood floors, can significantly impact a buyer’s impression.
  3. Kitchen and Bathroom Fixes: Simple updates like replacing old faucets, fixing broken drawers, or a new coat of paint can make these key areas more appealing.
  4. Exterior and Curb Appeal: Addressing exterior issues like broken eaves or improving landscaping can enhance crucial first impressions.
Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  The Fixes Worth Making Before You Sell

Many potential home sellers will ask a real estate agent what to fix when selling a house. Many things can stop a house from selling, so it is best to shorten the list as much as possible. You can make fixes to a home that will offer you significant benefits.

  1. Paint Areas of Your House That Need It: Paint is one of the cheapest, most straightforward ways to update the look of your home before you list it.
  2. Improve The Exterior of Your Home: There are few things more essential than having excellent curb appeal.
  3. The Kitchen is An Essential Space: Everyone wants a large, spacious kitchen with all new appliances – where they can cook and entertain (even if they never do either).
  4. Bathrooms Are Critical Spaces in a Home: A clean bathroom – where everything works as it should – is necessary.
  5. Lighting Can Be a Fairly Cheap Fix: Lighting can make even the smallest home seem open and inviting.
  6. Refinishing Hardwood Floors: Undoubtedly, hardwood floors are one of a home’s most popular flooring selections.
  7. Functionality is Essential: Does everything work in your home?
Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  A Pre-Sale Inspection Could Help Your Sale

A pre-sale home inspection is crucial to avoid problems that can swiftly end a home sale. A pre-sale home inspection can help you identify and fix issues before you sell your home. In the grand scheme, home inspection costs are well worth it. Unless you are a professional contractor, a real estate agent, or a home inspector, you will probably miss a few things as you look for home problems. And even if you are a professional, a home inspection will still be required before a lending company loans a buyer money to purchase your home.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  What Not to Fix When Selling a House?

When selling your home, there will be things that don’t make a significant difference. There also could be repairs or improvements that don’t offer a good return on investment. Knowing what not to fix is as vital as what to fix.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  How Much Do You Lose Selling a House As-Is?

It is possible to lose significant money when selling a home as-is. Exactly how much is hard to determine. It can change from house to house and location to location. Without a doubt, selling as-is does not convey good feelings to a buyer.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Selling a Home in Poor Condition

Selling a house in terrible condition is still possible. Accurate house pricing will be essential to ensure it’s sold promptly. There will be fewer buyers in the market who will accept a fixer-upper property. Don’t expect buyers to pay top dollar for a home with many warts. Even in strong seller’s markets, your home will likely be more challenging to sell.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Repairs Specific to St. Petersburg and Tampa, FL

In coastal cities like St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, there are unique repair considerations for homeowners looking to sell. Given the humid subtropical climate and occasional severe weather events like hurricanes, certain repairs are especially crucial to ensure your home is market-ready and attractive to potential buyers.

1. Roof Maintenance: With the frequent rain and occasional storms in St. Petersburg and Tampa, ensuring your roof is in top condition is paramount. Address any missing shingles, leaks, or signs of water damage promptly to prevent further deterioration and reassure buyers of the home’s structural integrity.

2. Hurricane Preparedness: Living in hurricane-prone areas, it’s essential to reinforce windows and doors, install hurricane shutters or impact-resistant glass, and ensure your garage door meets wind-load requirements. Buyers in St. Petersburg and Tampa will prioritize homes with adequate storm protection measures in place.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  More

3. Exterior Upkeep: The high humidity levels and salt air in coastal regions can accelerate wear and tear on exterior surfaces. Repainting or pressure washing the exterior, repairing cracked stucco or siding, and maintaining landscaping can enhance curb appeal and make a positive first impression on buyers.

4. Flood Prevention: Given the risk of flooding, especially in low-lying areas or properties near bodies of water, investing in proper drainage systems, sump pumps, and flood barriers is essential. Addressing any issues related to drainage can mitigate flood risks and provide peace of mind to potential buyers.

5. HVAC Maintenance: With hot and humid summers, ensuring your HVAC system is in good working order is crucial. Consider servicing your air conditioning unit, cleaning ducts, and replacing filters to maintain indoor comfort and energy efficiency, factors that buyers in St. Petersburg and Tampa will highly value.

By prioritizing these repairs specific to the St. Petersburg and Tampa area, homeowners can increase the marketability of their properties and attract potential buyers seeking homes ready to withstand the unique challenges of coastal living.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Final Thoughts

In conclusion, understanding what to fix before selling a house is crucial. There are many essential things to repair before selling a house. As mentioned, a heating system that does not work, a roof that leaks, previous ice dam problems, structural issues, or something that would prevent a buyer from getting a mortgage are worthwhile investments. It goes without saying that if the purchaser cannot procure a mortgage, it will be challenging to sell

buyers do not grow on trees. So, if you don’t have an unlimited budget to make repairs, tackle the issues that would stop a sale from happening first. Once those concerns are addressed, you can focus on the other important things mentioned above. Leaving repairs for a buyer is not an intelligent thing to do if you want the most money for your home.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Additional Repairs and Considerations

Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces

Beyond the major and minor repairs mentioned earlier, don’t overlook the importance of landscaping and outdoor spaces. Curb appeal extends beyond the facade of your home. A well-manicured lawn, trimmed bushes, and colorful flower beds can significantly enhance the overall appeal of your property. Consider power washing your driveway and sidewalks for a clean look. Repair any cracks or damage to pathways or patios. Outdoor spaces are increasingly important to buyers, so investing in sprucing up your backyard can yield substantial returns.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Energy Efficiency Upgrades

While major renovations like replacing windows or the roof may not offer a high return on investment, there are still energy efficiency upgrades worth considering. Simple fixes like sealing drafts around windows and doors or adding insulation in the attic can improve energy efficiency and appeal to environmentally-conscious buyers. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances or installing a smart thermostat can also make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Addressing Odors and Air Quality

Unpleasant odors or poor indoor air quality can turn off prospective buyers. Address any sources of odors, such as pet smells, cigarette smoke, or musty basements. Deep clean carpets and upholstery, and consider using air purifiers to improve air quality. Fresh paint and proper ventilation can also help eliminate odors and create a more inviting atmosphere.

Professional Home Staging

Consider hiring a professional home stager to showcase your home in the best possible light. A stager can rearrange furniture, declutter, and add decorative touches to enhance the visual appeal of your space. Professional staging can help buyers envision themselves living in the home and make a significant difference in how quickly your property sells.

Legal Considerations

Before listing your home, ensure that you are in compliance with all local regulations and disclosure requirements. This includes disclosing any known issues with the property, such as past water damage or structural repairs. Failure to disclose such information could lead to legal trouble down the line. Consult with your real estate agent or attorney to ensure that you are fulfilling all legal obligations as a seller.

Timing Your Sale

The timing of your sale can also impact your selling strategy. Consider market conditions in your area and seasonal trends when determining the best time to list your home. In a seller’s market, you may have more flexibility in pricing and negotiating terms. However, in a buyer’s market, you may need to be more strategic in your approach to attract buyers and secure a favorable sale price.

Finalizing Your Sale

Once you’ve addressed necessary repairs, staged your home, and listed it on the market, be prepared to navigate the selling process. This includes showing your home to potential buyers, negotiating offers, and coordinating inspections and appraisals. Working closely with your real estate agent can help streamline the process and ensure a successful sale.

Essential Repairs for Selling A Home:  Conclusion

Selling your home can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and attention to detail, you can maximize its appeal and attract potential buyers. By prioritizing essential repairs, enhancing curb appeal, and addressing any legal considerations, you can set yourself up for a successful sale. Remember to consider the unique features of your home and market conditions in your area when developing your selling strategy. With the right approach, you can sell your home quickly and for the best possible price, allowing you to move on to the next chapter in your life with confidence.

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About the Author
Rob Johnson
Realtor, St. Petersburg FL