Not doing repairs on your home before selling is like not ironing your shirt before a first date. When you see your date with a wrinkled shirt, you will probably ask yourself, what else don't they care about?
You want to make the best first impression, whether on a date or selling your home. When home buyers see lots of little problems they often think there must be bigger problems too.
The good news is, you don’t need to fix up everything in your home to prepare it for sale. You can be selective and choose those projects that are most likely to help your home show well and sell quickly. Before making any big repairs, talk to your Realtor to weigh the pros and cons with your particular real estate market, home and your personal situation.
Here are some projects to consider:
Minor Home Repairs
Few things stand out more during a viewing than something in obvious need of repair. Protect your investment by getting minor repairs done.
That includes minor issues like:
a dripping bathroom or kitchen faucet
visible hard-water buildup on your faucets
broken toilet lever
loose toilet seat
loose cabinet doors and knobs
loose or rusted shower head
bent or mangled blinds
old or missing caulking around the tub
visible carpet stains
nicks or dents in the wall
burnt out light bulbs
Painting is one of the easiest and most affordable DIY projects you can do. Yet the impact it can have on your home is stunning.
Some rooms are completely transformed by a fresh coat of paint. Pick light, neutral and on-trend colors. Choose a neutral palette that will transition well with any buyer’s furniture.
Kitchens & Bathrooms
Buyers love to see great looking kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, there are even magazines devoted just to those rooms! You don't necessarily need to do a major renovation of these spaces, but a makeover can be a good idea.
In the kitchen consider new appliances, replacing the sink, countertops, and/or cabinet hardware. Buyers appreciate clean bathrooms, so consider replacing caulking, shower head or toilet.
If you see any water stains or water damage you want to get that repaired. Buyers who see water issues always assume their could be larger problems. First, get a plumber in to make sure you don't have a bigger problem and then replace or repair the area so it is not visible.
If the floors in any of your rooms have become worn and unsightly, look at options for refreshing them. Want to know how to increase the value of your home or sell your home faster? Give buyers a wow factor by replacing carpeting, refinishing hardwood, and/or getting tiles professionally cleaned and polished.
Sometimes you can compensate (a little) for a less-than-ideal interior by sprucing up the outdoor space. Explore ways to improve your deck or patio, walkways, and landscaping. Even if your home is older, you can make it more attractive to buyers with any one of these projects.
Walk through your home like a buyer. What do you notice that looks dated? What about the light fixtures, front door, or window coverings?
Light fixtures are relatively inexpensive things to update and replace, yet they go a long way toward creating value in the minds of buyers. What about the front door? Does it need a fresh coat of paint or new hardware? Could you replace the window coverings to make the room look refreshed and brighter?
Major Home Repairs
"Non-sexy" repairs include those things that are expensive and needed but don't have a wow factor, such as a new roof, furnace or windows. If any of these are on their last leg, you might need to seriously consider replacing them as these items could be a factor when selling.
You want to make the best "first impression" when selling your home. Don't be a bad first date. Take some time and get your home show ready.
Contact your Realtor to help you strike a delicate balance between what to fix and what to leave alone, so in the end, you make the right improvements that will result in a faster sale for more money.
The Marnie Campbell Realty Team has helped over 450 families buy and sell homes in Calgary, AB and surrounding area. We empower home buyers and sellers to make the most informed, "no regret" real estate decisions.