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What to Fix Before Selling: 17 Important Home Repairs
“Should I fix up my home before selling or sell as-is?” “I just got an inspection, what do I do now?” “There are so many home repairs I could make, how do I know which ones are the most important?”
It’s worth remembering that unresolved repair issues can:
- Delay closing if a buyer requests that you do repairs or wants to negotiate price
- Result in much lower offers from prospective buyers if you’re determined to sell your house as-is
- Deter buyers altogether and let your home stall on the market
So, making necessary repairs before you put your home on the market is generally a good idea. But which home repairs are worth making is another matter entirely since not all fixes will get you a good return on investment.
17 important home repairs to make before selling your house
Taking care of repairs and deferred maintenance is an important step on your home selling checklist. Whether you’re currently aware of any of the following issues or they’re discovered during your pre-listing inspection, they deserve a spot on your to-do list.
If your inspection report seems a little overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, use Curbio’s free app! You’ll instantly receive a dynamic version of the report where you can select and de-select according to your priorities, as well as easily share with your circle. Even better? For the inspection repairs you want to prioritize, Curbio can get started with them right away – so you don’t have to worry about anything.
1. A damaged roof
Your roof could have any number of issues including:
- Broken or missing shingles or ridge caps
- Water damage from clogged storm gutters, damaged weather stripping, etc
- Damaged flashings around vents
- Punctured or torn roofing materials from fallen tree branches or debris
- Sun damage resulting in curled shingles
Whatever your roof’s problem areas are, though, getting them fixed before you list your house can prevent the home sales hangups we mentioned earlier.
2. Problematic plumbing
It’s also smart to take care of plumbing problems such as damaged pipes, leaking sinks, and runny toilets. While they might not be causing major problems yet, potential buyers will be thinking long-term. And they won’t want the risk of water damage such as mold, dry rot, or more extensive (and expensive) pipe replacement than you may currently need.
3. Electrical and lighting issues
We don’t generally recommend rerouting electrical entirely. However, you should definitely fix electrical panels that aren’t up to code to eliminate safety hazards and prevent catastrophes such as house fires. Not to mention taking care of smaller issues such as:
- Replacing missing wire nuts
- Tightening up loose wire connections
- Repairing faulty power outlets and light bulb sockets
4. Improper grading and poor drainage
To prevent damage to your roof or your home’s foundation, water (e.g. rainfall) needs to be properly directed away from your home. Gutters, downspouts, and the slope of your lawn all play a part in this. Or, at least, they should.
If your home inspection report reveals improper grading or poor drainage, have these issues fixed. Especially if they’ve already caused some damage such as cracks in your home’s foundation or rotting of wooden structural beams.
5. Foundation problems
Besides problems related to poor drainage and water damage, your home could have other foundation issues such as settlement and cracks in the concrete, bricks or sheetrock. These problems can show up in a variety of ways including:
- Uneven floors
- Gaps in windows and doors
- Sinking porches
While the cost of repair varies depending on what your foundation’s problem areas are, most significant repairs cost thousands—if not tens of thousands—of dollars. This is one reason why you should ask your Realtor® about teaming up with Curbio.
Instead of having to free up cash for potentially expensive repairs up front, you can get the work done now and wait until closing to pay for the work done. Not only does it take the stress out of prepping your home to sell but it can also get you to closing faster since your home will be in better condition when you list it. We’d call that a win-win, wouldn’t you?
6. Kitchen repairs
Unless your kitchen is in truly awful shape and will make it hard for you to find a buyer at the right price, a complete renovation is likely not necessary. However, some repairs may be in order. For example, you may need to:
- Repair or replace broken (or beat up) appliances
- Repair damaged cabinets
- Touch up peeling, chipping or scuffed paint
- Fix leaks
- Replace rusty or damaged fixtures
For buyers, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house. So, even if you don’t do any upgrades, at the very least, yours needs to be in working order.
7. Bathroom repairs
As with kitchens, your bathrooms should be in good shape too. That can mean repairing:
- Runny toilets or leaky faucets
- Broken or damaged bathroom fans
- And finishing drywall
- Or replacing damaged shower or floor tiles
Not to mention smaller tasks like replacing old or damaged caulking and rusty showerheads.
8. Hardwood floor refinishing
One of the advantages of hardwood flooring is that it has 9 lives! Unlike other types of flooring that have to be completely replaced once damaged or worn out, hardwood floors can be sanded down and refinished several times, making them look like new.
If yours are discolored, scratched, or slightly uneven, refinishing would be a good idea to help you attract as many buyers as possible. After all, hardwood is among the most popular options for flooring and it’s even more attractive if it’s in great condition!
9. Paint touch-ups
Is your interior or exterior paint peeling, chipping, bubbling or fading? If you don’t bother to address something as simple to fix as an unsightly paint job, it could lead buyers to suspect that your home has been poorly maintained in other, larger ways. So, instead of hurting your home’s appeal, boost it by touching up paint as needed.
10. Deck and porch repairs
Got a deck, patio or porch? If so:
- Make sure it’s structurally sound (including any support beams)
- Repair water damage and termite damage
- Make sure you have code-compliant guardrails if necessary
You wouldn’t want any safety hazards present while showing your home or any problems that could delay closing, lead buyers to haggle on price, or scare them off completely.
11. Pool Issues
A pool can be attractive to prospective buyers. But since most want to do as few repairs and as little maintenance as possible upon move-in, your pool has to be well taken care of. That includes fixing circulation and filtration issues, fixing structural or foundational cracks before they cause other issues, and getting rid of excess organic waste or calcium buildup.
12. Mold remediation
Not only is mold a serious health hazard but, in the right conditions, it can weaken the structural integrity of your house. And it’s not an issue that will resolve over time; it will only get worse. Buyers know this. So, to keep them interested and maximize your profit from selling your house, bring in remediation pros to address any existing mold issues.
13. Pest control
No buyer is eager to buy a home plagued by pests. If rodents, spiders, termites, ants or other pests are a common sight in your area (or if you see signs of their presence), pest control is a smart investment.
14. Damaged HVAC units
Especially if you live in an area where the weather is either very hot or very cold at some point in the year, a working HVAC system is a huge selling point for buyers. If your current HVAC unit is either broken or running inefficiently, have it repaired or, if needed, replaced.
15. Broken or damaged garage doors
Garage doors don’t just need to work. They need to be up to code and compliant with safety regulations. So it’s worth having yours inspected and repaired as needed, along with making sure that the remotes for your garage door are working properly.
16. Damaged drywall
From nail holes to discoloration to dents and larger holes, there are several reasons why drywall may need to be repaired. If you have any such issues, get them fixed right away since all of them can make a poor impression on prospective buyers.
17. Damaged doors and windows
As mentioned earlier, foundation issues can have ill effects on doors and windows, leaving gaps between them, making them hard to close, etc. But that’s not the only reason they could be damaged. If your windows are cracked, frames are dented or screens are torn, have them fixed. The same goes for doors with damaged door jambs, improperly aligned hardware or other problems.
You should also know what not to fix
Knowing what’s worth fixing is crucial to attracting the broadest set of buyers and getting your home sold at or above asking price. But so is knowing what not to fix. After all, who wants to invest in improvements that won’t do much to boost either appraised or fair market value (and that may even cut into net profit)?
Your real estate agent’s role
Ultimately, your real estate agent will be in the best position to advise you on what repairs are necessary, especially if they partner with Curbio. We specialize in repairs and upgrades that help homes to sell faster and that maximize sellers’ profits. And the best part? Sellers don’t pay a dime upfront! (Seriously.)
Turning inspection quotes on home repairs over to the pros
As a busy real estate agent or homeowner looking to sell, you simply don’t have the time to worry about making necessary home repairs before you sell. That’s why Curbio exists. As an end-to-end solution, we can help you take projects over the finish line quickly, affordably, and profitably. That means you don’t worry about anything. Whether you need to make home inspection repairs or you want to sell your home faster and for more – Curbio can help.
With our experienced team, we help you prioritize only the high-impact home improvements that will make you the most money in the least amount of time. Win for the agents, because they get their time back. Win for the buyers, because they move into a functional, safe, updated home. And win for YOU, because you can pocket more in profit by working with Curbio. So… what are you waiting for?