Photo from tdhomerepair.com

When you’re planning on selling your home, often the last thing you want to do is stick money into repairs.

However, some repairs could be crucial to help you sell your house at the desired price.

There are lots of simple and inexpensive ways to quick spruce up your house before you sell. It’s important to do some of these things to avoid having to reduce your price or give any credits or concessions back to the buyer. When you’re trying to get the biggest bang for your buck, having a fresh looking house with recent touch ups will show really well. Many things that you fix are cosmetic, because you want the buyer to have a good feeling about the home when they walk in.

I’ll put a list here of some ideas for fixes you can start working on if you’re thinking about selling your home.

Cracks:

Cracks in walls, or floors or cabinets are one of the first things a buyer will note when they walk into a space. Those are signs that a house may have other issues. Even if your home is completely structurally sound (and that crack came from when your friend dropped a dish on the ground) a crack makes buyers uneasy. If you have the ability to replace a cracked tile, a chipped mirror or drywall mud a hole in the wall you can very quickly give your home a clean and fresh look. Check out this video of an expert explaining how to properly repair drywall cracks.

Paint:

One of the biggest turn-offs for buyers are too bright colors in a space. So you might want to paint over that hot pink wall in your daughters bedroom with a more subdued color. Having more subdued colors in the home can help a buyer visualize their furniture and their decorations in your home, rather than them thinking that they hate bright orange and will have to repaint the whole living room. Obviously if you want a bright color in your home, go for it! Just know that you might have to repaint before selling or else buyers might be taken aback when they come in. Check out this tutorial if you want to paint your old wood trim, or this one for tips and tricks when starting to paint a room.

Cleaning:

This one is one of the simplest and cheapest things to do before showing a house. You can drop some money on professional carpet cleaning and air duct cleaning and your house might look and feel totally different. If you don’t want to go the professional route you can always buy a carpet cleaning solution or rent a carpet cleaner to freshen up. You want to make sure all the dirt, dust and residues are out of bathrooms and kitchens as well. Often if there’s soap scum build up, or residue in bathrooms or kitchens, buyers start to scrunch up their noses. Again, even if your house is totally clean and you just forgot to clean around the edges of your tub, you don’t want buyers jumping to conclusions about the cleanliness of the home. This is especially important if you have animals and you need to clean up stains or remove the smell of urine from rugs. Check out this blog post of mine on cleaning and minimizing things in your home!

Curb Appeal:

You hear it everywhere, but curb appeal is the first impression. You really want to make sure that buyers have a positive outlook when they’re walking in your house. It can be as easy as power washing your concrete surfaces and putting a fresh layer of mulch in the landscaping. You also really want to make sure that the siding of your house looks fresh and clean. So if you need to repaint, or just power wash the side of your house, those would definitely be on the top of the list of things to do. Check this link out for some DIY curb appeal ideas.

Flooring:

Although it’s a little bit more of an investment, if your flooring is looking dated that’s quick thing¬†buyers look at and immediately take note of. If you can look around and find some discount or inexpensive updated flooring to install it can instantly add value to your home and you’ll receive brownie points from buyers. You could also get floors you already have refinished, or finally pull up the carpet to reveal the hardwood below. Check out this thread of plywood floor ideas to make your home look like a million bucks on much less than that.

Outdated Bathrooms:

An outdated or dingy looking bathroom is a great way to make buyers think twice about purchasing your home. With a fresh coat of paint, new hardware and decorations you can pretty quickly turn an eyesore into a masterpiece. Check out this bloggers story of how they transformed a bathroom in their home. For less than $500 they turned an old bathroom into an oasis. It didn’t involve any large tile or shower replacements. So you can take inspiration from their story and start adding fresh coats of paint and other quick fixes to transform your space like they did!

*Note* You can also do this kind of repair to a kitchen to turn it into a masterpiece as well. Just some paint, new hardware and pretty decorations can create a totally different space. Check out this kitchen makeover!

Lighting:

A relatively cheap and quick way to get instant results in updating your home. Lights can quickly date a home and make a space look dark and dreary. With some new bright fixtures (and energy efficient bulbs) you can have a strong selling point for a buyer. Although it’s relatively simple, buyers often don’t want to think about all the repairs they’ll have to do once they get the home. So if you can update the lights for them, they’ll think “Hey! The lights in here are great, I don’t even have to change those.”

Here’s a link to a quick way to upgrade your recess lights. And here’s one to teach you how to make your own pendant light.

Bigger Ticket Items:

Obviously dropping large amounts of money on things that you won’t get to utilize isn’t ideal, but you should always keep these things in mind when you’re prepping to list your home.

Structural:

It might be worth your time to get an inspection to find out what kinds of things will be disclosed to the buyer once they get it inspected. If there’s any glaring issues, you might want to get them fixed. Although it might involved dropping some money, if there’s too many issues it can be hard for buyers to get a banks approval. It can also lead to requests for price drops or credits. If you can get things that need to fixed done, it might be worth your money in the end.

Appliances:

If your appliances are incredibly outdated, or almost not functional it might be time to upgrade. If yours are just a little outdated and still working properly you could spruce them up with a new front panel, or appliance paint to make them look fresh. Check out this DIY for inspiration.

Looking for some DIY’s to do this summer that will increase your home’s value? Check out this link.

 

Other articles on home repairs before listing:

Forbes

Inman

This Old House

Realtor.org