It can be hard to know exactly what home repairs before selling are needed. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.
Here are our top home repairs you need to make before selling order to get the biggest bang for your buck when you hit the bottom line.
Home Repairs Before Selling 101
Before we get into the specifics, it’s worth covering some basics do’s and don’t’s that pretty much all homeowners looking to sell should follow.
First, you’ll need to repair SOMETHING. The difference between a slightly fixed up house and a lived in an untouched house is truly staggering.
So expect to put some money into it if you’re looking to offload it. We recommend building this into the rent to cover your mortgage and build up a small cash stash so that you’re in a position to make some home repairs before selling.
Second, you’ll want to make sure that you know what you’re getting into.
Before you read any further, do a property inspection and note down any absolutely positively essential repairs to make before you sell.
Is there a hole in the floor you didn’t know about? You’ll need to fix that before you do anything else.
Finally, having completed an inspection, work out how much of the ‘wear and tear repairs’ that you need to make will be covered by your security deposit.
Are you going to be out of pocket when your tenants leave?
Once you have a good idea of where you are with what building repairs are required, then you can move on to making home repairs before selling that will add value to your investment.
Home Repair 1: Paint
When you’re making home repairs before selling, painting is the single best thing you can do.
If you do have wallpaper, it’s might be worth repapering or (depending on what kind you have) tearing it down and putting up some paint.
There are a couple of reasons why fresh paint will give you a great return.
First, it’s pretty cheap. A fresh coat of paint won’t break the bank, even if you hire someone to do it.
If you choose to do it yourself (and it’s a simple repair, even if you’ve never painted so much as a finger painting) then it’s even more cost effective.
Second, your walls probably have oodles of small scuffs and marks on them that you’d never be able to fine and scrub off even if you spent weeks on it.
Third, walls are incredibly hard to clean. It’s virtually impossible to get a place looking freshly painted without actually freshly painting it.
Fourth, it makes a great impression when you’re showing the house. Clean, fresh walls in a light color are easy to paint over (if needed) and make your home feel inviting and open.
If you’re only going to do one home repair before selling, make sure it’s painting.
Home Repair 2: New Kitchen Cabinets
New kitchen cabinets are another easy win when it comes to getting you place looking great before you pass it on to new owners. Major chains like Home Depot make it easy to buy cabinets as standard, and places like IKEA make it easy to get cost effective cabinets that install quickly and easily and give your home a crisp, modern feel.
Rather than replacing appliances, which, while it adds value, can get expensive FAST, new cabinets in a simple white or off-white let you spruce your kitchen without breaking the bank.
And, since the kitchen is regularly one of the sought after features for prospective home buyers, getting yours looking great on a budget should be a top priority.
Home Repair 3: Fix The Bathroom
When you’re looking at the economics of home repairs before selling, it’s hard to look past the bathroom.
Home sellers, flippers, and property pros regularly report 100%+ return on investment for their bathroom improvements.
The key is knowing what’s worth fixing and what isn’t.
First, don’t bother moving any plumbing unless you ABSOLUTELY have to. Once you start moving pipes about costs tend to spiral uncontrollably.
Focus on small, aesthetic improvements that are sure to wow your prospective buyers when they come knocking.
For example, new taps and faucets to replace your crusty old ones are a great way to easily transform a bathroom into a great space.
Lighting, new caulk around tubs, fresh shower heads, and a good semi-gloss paint job will round out the crisp look.
Throw in some fresh bathroom lighting and a new mirror and you’re all set to go.
Most bathroom upgrades like this should come in around $200 (or less, if you’re willing to put in the time to really search out deals on things like Craigslist and eBay).
Home Repair 4: Replace The Floors
When you’re looking at home repairs before selling, floors are a bit of a touchy issue, since sometimes replacing a floor can be outrageously expensive and not really add any value to your home.
But there are a few good rules of thumb.
First, if you have carpet, it’s almost always worth replacing with some hard option. There’s plenty of great laminate out there now as well as vinyl. You can also replace it with an inexpensive hardwood and build the cost of the improvement into your home.
Second, if you have hardwood floors already and are thinking about refinishing them, it’s probably not worth it. Unless they’re in terrible shape, people won’t really notice, and a fresh clean and polish should do the job (about $20 vs $2,000).
Third, if you ARE putting in hard option, stick with something middle or low tier.
People will look to see if you have hard floors, not necessarily what wood they’re made out of. Italian oak just won’t add that much value compared to the mid-range pine or bamboo.
Improving your house before you sell it doesn’t have to be a bank-breaking activity. In fact, with some savvy interior design and a focus on getting the most for your interior design dollars, you can maximize your profit for minimal time and effort.
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