Listing your home for sale can be a stressful experience. Many sellers are concerned about how long it will take to find an interested buyer and what offer they may receive on the home. In many cases, sellers have future plans that directly hinge on the ability to sell the home quickly and for a reasonable price. One of the more significant factors that may impact your ability to accomplish this goal is the condition of the home. Reasonable buyers understand that any home that has previously been occupied will not be in brand new condition. Some signs of wear and tear are expected. However, when a home has significant and obvious signs of damage that extend beyond regular wear, they may be deterred from making an offer. After all, many buyers do not want to inherit a list of repair issues when buying a home. They prefer to start with a reasonably clean slate and to enjoy living in a well-maintained home from day one. If you are preparing to list your home soon, it makes sense to make some fixes beforehand.
Address Water Damage
Visible signs of water damage are a red flag for many buyers. They may immediately scratch your home off of the list if they see water spots, water-damaged drywall and other signs of water issues. This type of damage is visible, and it can be expensive to fix. In addition, many people directly correlate water damage to mold growth. Even if mold is not visible outwardly, sellers usually understand that mold could be growing in the walls. Mold adds onto the repair costs, and it can affect their health and well-being. Even the smallest sign of water damage should be repaired before you list the home for sale.
Many homeowners are so accustomed to the smell of their home that they do not notice it. However, when other people walk into the home, they may instantly be confronted with smells that may not be pleasant. While some homes naturally smell clean, fresh or even flowery, others may have pet odors, smoke smells or intense odors from cooking. Ask an honest friend or neighbor to provide you with feedback regarding the smell of your home. Then, research ways to address those specific types of smells so that you can create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for buyers who tour your home.
Patch the Drywall
Drywall is unfortunately a rather weak material that is easily damaged. The areas behind the doors where the doorknobs contact the walls are commonly damaged. Drywall may also be damaged in many other locations, such as by accidently bumping the wall with a hard object. Patching small areas of damage is easy to do with a kit from a local home improvement store. Be sure to paint over the patching material to finish the project. If you have a larger area of damage, you may need to hire an expert to patch, texture and paint the damaged area.
Repair Lighting Issues
A critical aspect of staging a home is lighting. Through staging, you want to present the home in the most attractive and appealing way. Brighter spaces are more welcoming than dark, gloomy spaces. Opening the blinds and cleaning the windows are wonderful ways to bring more natural light into the space, but many real estate agents ask you to keep the lights on throughout the home during a tour. This includes in closets and in the garage. With this in mind, any burnt out lightbulbs and damaged or flickering fixtures will immediately be noticeable. Remember that your goal is to repair all obvious signs of damage so that buyers get the impression that the home has been well-maintained.
Replace Cracked Windows
Even a small fissure on a window will immediately be noticeable to a buyer who is touring your home. Windows can be expensive to replace, and buyers often will not want to take that expense or hassle on. Keep in mind that cracked windows are visible from both the interior and the exterior, so the damage may be hard to overlook.
Fix Obvious Plumbing Issues
Some plumbing issues may not be noticeable to a typical buyer, such as a toilet that flushes sluggishly. However, if you have a toilet that runs incessantly, a dripping faucet or other issues, buyers likely will notice these issues. These types of plumbing problems may be easy to fix on your own or affordable to fix through professional plumbing service.
While you understandably want to stage your home so that it has overall cosmetic or aesthetic appeal, you also need to focus on its condition. You may be aware of some repair issues that you have been procrastinating on recently, and now is the time to tackle those projects and to restore your home to great condition.