Things You Should and Should Not Repair When Selling Your Home
When selling a home, ensuring that it is in good shape can help you sell it faster. Prospective buyers often look at a house with few or no repairs as they do not want to take that responsibility when they move in. On the other hand, there are repairs that you can ignore as they will not make a big difference and will only cost you money. Below, we have outlined the best home improvements before selling that you should consider and those not a must.
Things to Repair
Electrical problems are a big concern as they have led to more than 50,000 electrical fires in a year. Also, electrical issues can range from easy and inexpensive fixes to major and costly problems. However, when the problem is significant, this is one of the best home improvements before selling to be considered. Contact a residential electrician to come and fix the issue immediately. Faulty wiring is usually common in older homes that were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s. However, newer homes might also have problems if the wiring is not done well. Either way, take care of things like frayed wiring, damaged or open junction boxes, and faulty light switches. A qualified electrician will take care of these things in less than a day. If your circuit breaker fails to meet the amperage needs of a house, then this is an electrical repair you have to take care of. According to the National Association of Realtors, a home needs a 100 amp circuit breaker. However, bigger homes may require a 200 amp circuit breaker. Depending on the size of your home, an electrician will help you decide which circuit breaker is best for your home.
Clogged gutters can cause water to run off the roof since it is not draining correctly. The result is your shingles being damaged by water and rotting of your wood in your fascia boards. Also, with time, as the roof ages combined with constant exposure to harsh weather conditions, the shingles can crack or get torn off entirely. If you ignore such things for long, you will end up needing a new roof. Either way, things like missing shingles have to be repaired. This is one of the best home improvements before selling that you cannot ignore. A roof is something that a potential home buyer will see from down the street. If they can spot damage, that can be a turn-off for some of them. You may also have to replace the entire roof if it is old. Generally, a roof has a lifespan of about 20 to 30 years. When you have serviced it for a long time but it still has issues, any roofing contractor will advise you that it is now time to get rid of it. However, if the damage is minor, like a leaking roof in only one spot or a couple of missing shingles, then consider repairing. Either way, roof repairs are a must.
Among the best home improvements before selling you should not ignore are plumbing issues, with the most common one being leakages. It can be a leak under the sink, around the edge of the toilet, or inside your wall. However, when you spot water in the house, and there is no tap running, note that there is a problem that needs fixing right away. Excess water in the house can lead to water damage, rotting, or the growth of mold. Water damage restoration services and mold removal are costly. Most home buyers will refuse to take up that responsibility, hence avoiding your home. Therefore, get professional plumbers to fix the issue immediately to prevent it from escalating.
Another thing you might want to look into is your water heater. When water heaters have rust, that could be a sign of more complications. Therefore, have the plumber check it out and fix it. Other issues like slow drainage and dripping faucets happen often. Luckily, you can DIY if the problem is not severe. It is best to resolve these issues because if a home buyer notices them, they imagine the worst-case scenario. They may also try lowballing you when making an offer and use such issues as leverage. It is best not to give them that opportunity.
Grading and Drainage Issues
Grading and drainage involve how water from melting snow and heavy rain is directed away from the house. That means ensuring your gutters and downspouts are draining water efficiently. It also includes how the lawn slopes subtly for water to flow towards the street gutters. When your gutters and downspouts are clogged, they fail to effectively drain water away from the house. Therefore, if you notice soil around your foundation is spongy or water stains in the basement, call a gutter specialist to fix the issue immediately. You can also DIY by cleaning your gutters and removing debris.
When there are drainage issues around your home, your foundation is likely to be compromised. Therefore, one of the best home improvements before selling that you should not second guess is the foundation. This is whether the issue is minor or major. Basic foundation repairs can be pricey, which can turn off some buyers. When you include other costs like slab jacking and the structural engineer’s fees, the cost goes up significantly. Signs that your foundation may have issues include noticeably slanted floors, doors, and windows refusing to close properly, gaps above the cabinets, cracks in the interior wall, and the exterior foundation. If you have noticed any of the above signs, contact a professional immediately. A foundation that is extremely damaged compromises the structural integrity of a house, making it hard to sell.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Problems
While some issues can be masked temporarily, others, like the air conditioner and heater, unfortunately, cannot. As soon as the weather changes, you will tell that your home is becoming uncomfortable. That is the same thing a buyer is going to feel when they get inside the house. If your HVAC unit is not working efficiently or at all, that does not mean you necessarily need to get a new one. At times, the unit can stop working efficiently due to maintenance issues. A quick HVAC repair from a qualified technician will have the unit running smoothly within no time. Apart from the ventilation by your HVAC unit, your home probably has extra ventilation from the bathroom and kitchen fans to prevent overheating. During an inspection, poor ventilation issues that may arise in your home can be solved by adding extra ventilation in your attic or cleaning dust from the existing vents.
Exterior and Garage Doors
Getting inside a home is pretty important to a homeowner. Therefore, it only makes sense that they check the condition of the exterior door and the garage. As a seller, one of the best home improvements before selling projects you can take on is checking that these doors are in good condition. Start by inspecting the doors for chips and scratches that can easily catch the eye. Also, polish the door handles and ensure they are working well. One should be able to open and close the door without any struggle. The garage door, on the other hand, should operate efficiently without stopping. If it has any issues like stopping midway, call a technician for garage door maintenance to get it running properly.
Repairs That You Can Pass
Some of the repairs that you can pass are as discussed below
When coming up with some of the best home improvements before selling to undertake, you do not have to address cosmetic issues like wear and tear. Since this is not a new home, home buyers already know what to expect. Whether it is a few scratches on the kitchen countertops or outdated bathroom finishes, you should know which issues to be addressed and which ones to pass. Most of the time, you will find that cosmetic issues involve major home improvement projects. Therefore, instead of doing those upgrades, it is better to price your home accordingly. However, problems that do not require a lot of money and time, such as taming your landscape, should be fixed. For instance, you may want to hire tree removal services to cut falling branches or remove that dying tree that hinders curb appeal. An issue like a cracked tile is a toss-up. If you have skills in home improvement and matching tiles that remained when you were building, you can fix that without damaging surrounding tiles. However, if replacing a tile causes more damage and costs you more money, forget about it.
Minor Electrical Issues
Not all electrical issues are major or need fixing right away. While problems like sparking outlets, exposed wires, and hanging fixtures are severe and need immediate attention, minor issues can be left alone. For instance, almost all homes have a wobbly socket. During an inspection, the home inspector will simply note a loose socket. However, there is no need to go over and beyond replacing the socket. Hardly will a home buyer refuse to buy a home because the socket is wobbly.
Cracked Driveway and Walkways
Most realtors will tell you that improving curb appeal will help sell your home quickly. However, enhancing curb appeal does not necessarily mean curb perfection. When looking for some of the best home improvements before selling that you can do, be careful with your exterior. For instance, after years of constant use, your walkways and driveways are bound to develop cracks. Hairline cracks will hardly scare off buyers. The major issue that could cause them to turn away is an enormous crack which is a potential hazard.
Grandfathered Building Code Issues
In real estate, the term grandfathered means a building that already exists does not have to follow the current building codes as it was built before those codes existed or were applicable. One thing that people worry about when a home inspector comes to visit their home is the inspection report. However, if your home was built a long time ago, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars to get your home up to code. The home inspector will have to address the issue of building codes as required by law, but you do not have to do anything about it. If a potential home buyer wants to remodel the house to meet the current standards, it is up to them.
Let us say your bathroom is in pretty good shape except that the cabinets are old or the faucet is dripping. As tempting as it may be to replace the faucet or the cabinets, it is better to leave them as they are unless you are ready to give your bathroom a whole renovation. Most people agree that some of the best home improvements before selling which you should do, are in the bathroom. However, it depends on to what extent you want to do the upgrade. A partial upgrade does not look good at all. It makes no sense to have new bathroom faucets when the sinks are old. Also, when you do partial upgrades, it seems like you are trying to hide something.
A Foggy Window
When your glass fogs up, the visibility reduces, which is hard to miss. However, you do not have to replace the whole window if you are strained on cash. Broken window seals are pretty common with insulated glass. Therefore, unless the issue is more severe, you do not have to call the window company for a replacement.
Damaged Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you have installed these devices to enhance safety in your home, you do not have to repair or replace them if they are not working. Even if you are looking for affordable home improvements to take on, this should be among the last items on your list.
When deciding on the best home improvements before selling, you need to factor in your budget and time. When you have enough cash and a lot of time, then take on as many repair projects as you can. However, if you are strained on any of these, you have to prioritize.