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  • Alexander Wissel

The 5 Best Pre-Sale Repairs and Upgrades to Sell Your Home Like a Pro

Get Top Dollar for Your Home

  1. Learn the importance of repairs and upgrades before selling your home as they compare to your neighboring home competition.

  2. Understand the three categories of home preparations based on market conditions.

  3. Discover five essential repairs and upgrades to maximize your home's market appeal and sell your home for top dollar.

Pre-Sale Repairs and Upgrades to Sell Your Home - Source:
Pre-Sale Repairs and Upgrades to Sell Your Home

To ensure a smooth home sale process, it's important to make some smart home repairs and upgrades before your house hits the market. In this article, we'll discuss the key areas you should focus on when preparing your home for the market.

What are the top repairs and upgrades to consider before selling a home? A little investment here before you list can save you money down the line – and help attract the highest offers. So let's dive in and explore what to fix when selling a house.

Before selling a home, it is crucial to focus on several key repairs and upgrades. The top considerations include painting the walls to modernize and neutralize the color palette, replacing outdated fixtures to give a contemporary look, fixing any electrical issues through professional inspection, considering appliance updates for a more updated and valuable impression, and addressing plumbing issues to ensure all fixtures with water are in perfect working condition. These repairs and upgrades are essential for attracting potential buyers and maximizing the value of your home during the selling process.

When Is a Home Repair a Must-Do?

There are three categories of things to prepare a home for market readiness: Like to do’s, consider doing, and must do’s. In a perfect world these are the same for every house in every market. But they aren’t.

Depending upon your market – is it a seller’s market or buyer’s market – the time you have before you sell, and the amount of money you want or have to spend can make all the difference in what you ‘must’ do before selling your home.

Your local market and neighborhood peers have a big impart on what you need to do. For example: If your neighbors all have new roofs and yours is 40 years old, you might want to consider replacing it to maintain market readiness.

Now, you might not have the time or money to do so before you list. Which is fine. It just means that your home may not sell for as much because it isn’t market ready.

While there are many items that you can do to get your home ready for the market, we’ve picked out some ‘must do’ items that could hurt your financial return or cost you time if they aren’t done.

1. Painting

A freshly painted home is simply beautiful. Paint can quickly and affordably bring your home out of a specific decade and into the present. It helps modernize and neutralize a home’s palette to appeal to the broadest spectrum of buyers.

If the walls of your house are dirty, if they are too dark or they look lived-in… then you might need to paint before you list your property. Purple, Orange and Black are incredibly hard colors to pull off in the the best designed spaces. Taste specific colors like dark reds, greens and yellows can be off-putting to buyers.

If your home walls are dirty, dated, or have aggressive colors on the walls then you need to paint before you list your home.

2. Fixtures

What is the state of the fixtures in your home? We are talking about your: ceiling fans, recessed lighting, bathroom fixtures, outdoor lights, dining room chandeliers, hall lights, and your kitchen lights.

If your fixtures are original and your home is over 20 years old then you should plan on replacing them – looking at you brass fixtures from the 90’s. Get rid of any broken fixtures or lighting that doesn’t do the job.

Changing your ceiling fans and lighting fixtures is another affordable way to give your home a quick style refresh. It can quickly help your curb appeal, and show buyers a contemporary look. Lighting has a huge impact on how potential buyers quite literally view your home – a bright, well-lit home presents as larger and more welcoming.

If your fixtures are recent and don’t need to be replaced, take the time to evaluate the light bulbs in them. Older energy efficient bulbs take a few minutes to ‘warm up’ and reach maximum brightness. If your buyers are turning a light on and making a decision about a space in the few few seconds, you’ve lost them well before that bulb is warmed up.

If you have the right fixture, consider putting ‘Edison’ bulbs that show off the filament in unique ways. If not you should be changing the rest of your light bulbs – and we do mean all of them – to energy efficient and flicker free LED bulbs. They read as modern, on trend and ensure maximum brightness.

3. Fix Any Electrical Issues

If your house is older, you might want to have an electrician update and fix anything that might pop up in a home inspection. You might have been handy enough to upgrade your light fixtures in our prior item. If you aren’t you’re going to need an electrician anyway. Having them give your home a once over can help before you go active.

Specifically, have your electrician check for spaces that need GFCI outlets. A ground fault circuit interrupter shuts off power to outlets in 1/40 of a second. They should be used any time an outlet is near water – such as a kitchen or bathroom.

The other thing you want an electrician to look at is your electrical panel to see that it is labelled properly and doesn’t need any corrections due to code changes.

4. Appliances

If your budget and time allows, consider new appliances for your home. If your appliances are 10 years or older you should be considering replacing them. Kitchen appliances can give your space a new or dated look. I’ve seen older kitchens look modern with just new appliances.

If you have a dedicated laundry space then your Washers and Dryers are telling your buyers a story. It’s either telling buyers clean, new and organized… Or it’s telling buyers dated, dirty and unkept. Which one do you think will sell for more?

Appliance updates are spaces where sellers can present as updated and on trend. While not cheap, appliances can be purchased affordably in relation to the price of the house. It can give buyers the impression your home is more updated and worth more.

5. Fix Plumbing Issues

Do you have any appliances or water fixtures that leak? You want to make sure every fixture with water in your home works perfectly. Exterior hose bibs, plumbing under sinks, shower diverters and water shut off levers all should be in good condition without leaks or drips.

If you have these or if your copper pipes are pitted you need to have a plumber check them out. Water can be incredibly destructive and create the conditions for mold – which can be even worse. Three words that will scare any potential buyers’ insurance agents are water damage and mold… so it’s best to address any potential issues early.

If you’re replacing your appliances you might have a plumber coming to your property anyway, take advantage of the time and ask if they can check your house out for issues. If your toilets’ are super old, un-functional, or so stained they can’t be salvaged... you might want to replace them.

A good plumber can stave off many of the biggest issues that arise from a home inspection. They can check your water pressure and give you an idea if your water drains slow (indicating you might have root issues or broken drainpipes) vs your neighborhood.

Sell Your Home Fast with Pre-Sale Repairs and Upgrades

We’ve written about other ways your can get your home market ready… let’s face it, there is a lot to cover. But these five categories are mission critical, must-do’s if you’re serious about selling your home for top dollar.

Many buyers today are maxing out their budgets to buy a property. Most do not have the money to do costly home repairs or upgrade appliances and fixtures. It’s the reason they place such a premium on home that do have these upgrades.

If your home reads as updated and maintained a buyer is going to be more comfortable going to the high end of their budget to buy your home. Doing these repairs and upgrades to your home is a smart way to attract maximum interest, and it heads off potential issues that would have shown up in an inspection anyway. Good luck with your selling journey!


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