Mandatory Repairs to Make Before Listing Your Home9/14/2018
You’re about to list your home and perhaps feel overwhelmed by the number of things you think you need to deal with before that can happen. The broken things. The worn and torn things. The guidance from your friends with too many opinions and the internet. The easiest way to help that overwhelmed feeling subside is to have a plan of action. That’s what we’ll help you create here.
Keep this in mind: Your list of “must-do” items should not be about doing to your home what would be of interest to you; rather, focus on what a buyer would want. Buyers want to see a home that is well-maintained and in good working order. And most actionable items that meet this need fall into one of two categories for the purposes of this conversation: things that will prevent a sale and things that will make your home more appealing.
Things That Will Prevent a Sale
Unless you’re marketing a fixer-upper, most buyers want to buy a house that’s move-in ready. And after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, they’re not too inclined to take on big-ticket repairs or replacements.
Structural and Mechanical. Some of the highest ticket items in a home are the structural and mechanical systems, including the roof, air conditioning and heating, water heater, pipes, and electrical panel. If you’re aware of a problem with any of these things, this is your priority. Not only do buyers want all of the structural and mechanical aspects of the home to be working and in good shape, but any of these things in disrepair can also impact a buyer’s financing and thus the viability of their purchase, which is especially true for FHA and VA loans.
Roof. If your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, attend to this first. Visible damage to the roof can stop a sale before it even begins, as it’s the first thing a prospective buyer may notice. A home in need of a new roof can be a difficult home to sell. Repairing or replacing the roof is a maintenance issue, and while you can’t count on it to increase the value of your home, it will increase the marketability of your home. Buyers want to know the literal and figurative roof over their heads is safe and sound.
Siding, Shingles, and More. While you’re already outside checking out that roof, look for any missing or damaged siding and shingles, or anything on the external part of the house that buyers will notice. Repairing these things now means you don’t have to make allowances to the buyer later.
Plumbing and Electrical. Now is also the time to fix any plumbing and electrical issues. Outdated electrical panel? Running toilets? Leaky or clogged faucets? Showers that only run cold? Many of these repairs are relatively inexpensive but important. (While not as important, replacing those toilet seats while you’re working on the bathrooms will make the toilets look better, too!)