Repair for the Sale

By: Doug Jones

Of course regular home maintenance is the right way to go, but it's so easy to fall behind on the little things. I mean, obviously you fixed the leak in the roof before it caused any real damage (did you have a choice?), but what about those cracked tiles around the bathtub and the leaky faucet in the laundry room? You can't hear it, but you know it's out there, dripping away.

When it comes time to sell, you want to take action on the little projects. These are the kinds of things a buyer might pick up on. At best, they act as a small reminder that the new house will need some minor work; at worst they're a glaring indictment of a neglectful owner, leaving the seller to wonder what else you've let slide. Well, neglectful may be a bit strong, but potential buyers can get pretty suspicious especially if they've bought a lemon in the past.

So about the faucet in the laundry room: you may be able to fix it with a new washer or you may have to call a plumber, but you should do something. And the ceiling below the now-repaired leak should show no evidence of ever meeting moisture of any kind. But don't just conceal your short-comings - that will only paint you as dishonest if a buyer notices your hidden tricks. Simple repairs will help your home show better and sell faster.

You may want to ask a friend with fresh eyes to walk through your house and note the little things they notice: doors that don't close, chipped paint, drawers that stick, etc. Then get busy patching holes, replacing damaged tiles and replacing worn flooring.

Speaking of paint, if it peels, it's a no-no. A fresh coat of paint can give your home a new lease on life. Although you may hear that using color will evoke emotions, neutrals are less personal and generally safer. Paired with white ceilings, they also make your rooms look larger.

Before you show your house, replace all burned out light bulbs. Although low-energy LED lights are generally preferable for everyday use, if they take a while to warm (and brighten) up they might not be the best choice for selling. The other option is to leave all the lights on prior to the showing so that the house is warm and bright when your buyers arrive.

In a buyer's market it's especially important to make a good first impression: a little effort will put your home's best foot forward. And you'll sleep easier without thoughts of the leaky faucets haunting your dreams.

Home Improvement
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