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Putting Your Home on the Market? Make These 5 Fixes First

Want top dollar when selling your home? It's a good idea to make these changes before the photographer—and home inspector—show up.


Important Fixes to Entice Prospective Buyers

Selling a home can seem like a difficult process, but there are many fixes you can handle in order to make your home appealing to potential buyers and avoid problems during a home inspection. Some fixes are relatively simple, like patching holes and cracks in the wall or replacing leaking faucets, but other repairs may require an experienced professional to complete the job properly. Don’t let these 10 defects deter potential buyers when you can make the necessary changes before putting your home on the market.


Patching Holes and Cracks

Holes can be caused by a variety of wall hangings, like pictures, posters, and television mounts. When these decorations are taken down your walls might be riddled with holes, and these holes will really stand out to a prospective buyer. DIYers can typically patch these holes on their own with some drywall compound and a putty knife. Larger cracks in the ceiling, walls, window frames, or door frames are more difficult to fix, but experienced DIYers should still be able to manage this repair on their own. If there is too much damage or you don’t have the time to fix these holes and cracks, hire a professional carpenter or drywaller to make the repairs.


Repairing or Updating Appliances

Large appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, washers, and dryers are often sold along with a home; however, if you currently have old or damaged appliances, your property may not fetch as high a price as it could. It’s a good idea to get the appliances in good working condition and clean them up so that they look appealing before putting your home on the market. If your appliances are old or are not functioning, it may be better to replace them. While replacing the appliances is typically more expensive than getting them fixed, updating the refrigerator, stove, or any other large appliances will add to the appeal of your home and can be highlighted by your real estate agent as a main selling feature.


Door Handle Replacement

Most homes are equipped with door handles or doorknobs to open the doors around the house. When they work well, they go almost completely unnoticed. However, there are few things more frustrating than not being able to get into or out of a room. So when door handles stick in the doorframe or don’t open the door with the first, second, or even the third turn, they can become detrimental to the sale of a home.

Replacing a door knob or handle is a relatively simple repair. Upgrading bathrooms and bedrooms with locking door handles, and installing heavy-duty door handles on the front and back doors can make a positive impact on potential buyers, as does ensuring that your interior door knobs all match.


Faucet Repair or Replacement

DIYers with some plumbing experience will find it relatively easy to replace bathroom and kitchen faucets. Some faucets can have one handle that balances hot and cold water, while other products will have two handles. To make the kitchen more appealing, consider installing a faucet with a separate pull-out sprayer that can be used for rinsing the dishes.


Faucets can last for years without any problems, but slight leaks at the handle create water spots and places for mold to grow, spread, and develop on the handle, faucet, and sink. Leaks from the faucet into the sink may be less damaging to the surrounding area but can cause unnecessary increases on the water bill, and the constant drip, drip, drip is noticeable to potential buyers.


Fix Any Existing Water Damage or Mold Problems

Certified home inspector Hubert Miles notes that “when water gets into a home's foundation and has no real way of draining out, it can cause a wide range of issues. Most of these problems are significant red flags when buying a property.” Water damage can be caused by leaks inside the home, through the foundation, walls, or roof. It can also be a result of improperly vented plumbing, air ducts, or bathroom fans. High humidity levels can also contribute to water damage due to increased condensation on cooler surfaces, like windows, doors, and pipes. Find and fix the source of the water damage, then make repairs to the damaged area, ensuring that small patches of mold are carefully removed (be sure to use proper respiratory protection). For removing larger patches of mold, hire a restoration company that specializes in water damage.


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