7 Things You Should Fix When Selling your House
7 Things You Should Fix When Selling your House
If you’re moving out of the home you’ve been living in for a long time, you have likely adjusted to, come to love even, the little quirks that come with the place.
That one broken floor tile, the stiff doorknob and the old, stained carpet probably don’t bother you too much.
Given the cost and workload that comes with moving house, fixing these little things might easily shift down your priority list.
It may also be confusing which issues you need to pay attention to, and which are not as important.
For home buyers, first impressions can make a big difference when it comes to price.
Ultimately having too many imperfections in how the property is presented can kill the deal.
Failing to pass inspections is listed as one of the top 8 reasons why real estate deals fall through. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported in 2021 that 14% of contracts fell through due to appraisal issues, and a further 8% fell through due to Home Inspection/Environmental issues.
That’s a total of 22% of sales that fell through likely related to a repair issue that could have been preventable.
The bottom line is, fixing up your house before selling it will increase your pool of buyers and give you the best shot at getting the price you’re after.
So the question is: what issues should you fix before selling your property, and which ones should you not be too concerned about?
Things to definitely try and fix
1. Damaged flooring
Flooring is a central component of creating the ‘feel’ and aesthetic of a property. Grubby carpet, scratched up floorboards, old linoleum and damaged floor tiles can all instantly make your property feel aged and sad. Giving your floor a facelift can drastically improve the impression of your property.
If your home has hardwood floors, giving them a nice finish does a good job. Waxing and buffing can be a cost-effective way of revitalising wood, making sure to choose wax and finish that is suited to your floor. Replacing what’s worn out is important- laying new carpet is also fairly affordable and can go towards improving the sell point of your home. You may also consider swapping old floor materials for new hardwood flooring, the cost of which you will likely be able to recover with the improvement in sale price.
2. Faulty wiring
Electrical problems are not only damaging to the value of your property, they can also be very dangerous.
40% of house fires in NSW are caused by electronic appliances and faults in electrical wiring.
The cost of fixing your electric wiring is typically not too expensive, and chances are if you’ve been living in your home the job will be on the smaller side, like faulty light switches, damaged junction boxes or frayed wiring.
All you need to do is consult with an electrician about what repairs your property needs before it can go to market.
3. Water stains
For a buyer, a seemingly inconspicuous water-stained ceiling suggests there might be a myriad of problems lurking below the surface.
No buyer wants to have to do the investigation themselves and risk the problem coming at a greater expense than anticipated.
Water stains are typically caused by faulty plumbing, so to fix the problem it’s best to first consult with a plumber to make sure the source of the stain is fixed, before moving to replace any damaged ceiling or drywall.
4. Roof Cleaning
Clogged drain pipes and missing or damaged roof tiling can cause rainwater to flow to areas it shouldn’t be.
The cost of an entirely new roof is off-putting to anyone - but the good news is you probably don’t need to entirely replace your roof.
If you have a drainage problem you can likely fix it by replacing weather-damaged shingles and stripping, as well as a high-pressure clean and giving your roofing gutter a good clean-out.
5. Foundation issues
This can be one of the more daunting- and expensive problems to encounter when selling your home. Foundation problems are typically caused by an uneven soil moisture level causing the soil to swell or shrink at different rates, destabilising the property foundation.
Signs of foundation damage include slanted floors, windows and doors that don’t close properly and cracks in your walls. The reality is that a badly damaged foundation is threatening the structure of the whole home and can render it impossible to sell if left untreated.
6. Faulty Plumbing
If you’ve been living in your home you probably already have noticed if you have a plumbing problem.
Leaks in taps and damaged pipes are some of the typical and minor problems you may encounter if you have a plumbing issue and are easily fixed by replacing some minor parts.
Other problems such as clogged drains and replacing pipes may require hiring a licenced plumber to assess and fix the problem.
7. General upkeep
Chipped paint, torn window screens, pet damage, scuffed floors and broken tiles are all relatively minor issues, but they can make a big difference to how the buyer perceives the quality of the property.
The good news is, most of these issues you can fix yourself with a few supplies from the hardware store!
Paying attention to the small details can make a difference when it comes to selling your property.
Here are some of the things that probably won't add any value to the sale price
Other than the odd touch-up there is no need to do a full repaint of the house in a trendy new colour.
The home buyer will probably have their own taste and preference for what they want the interior to look like, and may paint over your work anyways!
Apart from general gardening the same thing applies here, the home buyer will apply their own taste and preference to the layout and landscaping of the garden.
Giving them the option to apply their own vision to how the home will look can be a good thing!
3. Doing partial fixes
Lastly, don’t worry about making partial fixes!
If a problem needs addressing, do it fully. If you run out of time, money or patience then it's better to leave an issue to the new owner rather than attempt a shoddy fix, especially when it comes to making the house look good.