Repairs That Can Help Sell your Home

by : Craig Smith

So, you have decided to sell the house. You've found a real estate agency to work with and your price is set. You already have a new home and payments. You want to sell your old home quickly. So, what sort of repairs will help move that house quicker?

Making repairs to a home can increase the sale price and help you sell the
property faster. The repairs do not have to be extravagant or expensive.
Some of the best repairs are simple cosmetic improvements. The current condition and age of the home, and its appliances, will also dictate some of the repair plans. Some of the more expensive repairs may be necessary to convince a buyer to shell out the kind of money you are looking for. The important thing is to remember that the buyer is looking for the best value for their money. Any repairs that improve, or can be perceived to improve, the value of the house will result in a quicker sale.

One of the quickest and easiest repairs that can be made to a home to help sell it is a fresh coat of paint. Paint fades over time and as the wood beneath the paint dries and cracks the paint begins to peel. This is especially true on trim areas. Scraping and painting the trim can add a fresh look to the house. If the house has vinyl siding, washing it along with the new trim paint will make the house look new. With the paint products available today, almost any color can be matched. This is a repair that can be done in a weekend, depending on the size of the house.

Another area that often gets worn and tired over time is the entry door. A new door, along with the fresh paint, can improve the look and feel of the house as guests enter. Door prices range from the very inexpensive to the extravagantly priced. A simple door with a frosted glass design can be purchased for under $200 and can add an air of elegance to the entrance of a home.

To round out the outside repairs, it is important to make sure the yard is clean and well manicured. It is also important to replace any missing shingles or clapboards. Getting rid of hornets, wasps or birds nests in the eaves will also improve the look. Most people want a clean house to start. Filling in holes in the lawn or driveway will provide a quick fix that can add perceived value. Adding vinyl or wood shutters, decorative trim to the peak or small landscaping items also dresses up the home.

Inside the house there are several quick fixes that can help. Changing old light fixtures and covering any open electrical outlets or junction boxes will give it a cleaner, safer appearance. Replacing worn or broken molding, hiding phone wires and electrical wires, and painting walls and trim will increase the home's value. Replacing worn or broken tiles and bad spots in the carpeting are a little more expensive, but can really change the look of a room.

There are some more expensive fixes that you may opt for inside, if needed. The replacement, or major overhaul, of an oil-burning furnace can instill confidence in a buyer. Nothing is more disheartening to a homebuyer than having to replace the furnace right after moving in. This is a major repair and will depend largely on the age and functioning of the furnace. Repairing leaks in basement walls is another expensive fix. The return is the increase in selling price and faster sale. Damp basements are invitations for trouble. Replacing any cracked or rotting structural support beams, while expensive, will ensure the homebuyer that the house is solid.

Another area often neglected by home sellers is the annual maintenance. Simply having the furnace and chimney cleaned when selling in late summer or fall takes away one burden from the homebuyer. They can step into the home, ready for a winter heating season, with no worries. Banking the home if needed before the winter also improves the efficiency of the heating system and saves the new homeowner money. Taking off any banking around the home, and any plastic on windows, in the spring will improve the look of the home. It also saves the buyer a step in preparing the house. Cleaning the gutters and downspouts improves their function and beautifies the house, as well.

Repairs, whether simple, inexpensive ones or larger, more costly fixes, will help improve the value of a home. Homebuyers look for value and want to feel safe when purchasing a home. The last thing a buyer wants is to be hit with costly repairs right after making a large down payment. Any repairs that improve the look and feel of a home will attract potential buyers, and their banks. Repairs that improve the efficiency and safety of a home will put a buyer at ease and make them more confident in making the investment. A little money spent on repairs could result in a higher selling price or faster sale, or both.