If you’ve been following along, you will have done a thorough cleaning of your home already, and you’ll now have a clearer idea of any repairs that are needed.
The best way to tackle repairs is to make a list first – room-by-room – of supplies you’ll need. Lightbulbs, touch-up paint, putty for nail holes, new switch plates, door knobs, and other items for both the interior and exterior of your home. If you have more extensive repairs than you can tackle on your own, you may need to hire a handyman to take care of some items.
Look for things like loose or missing hardware on cabinets, doors and light fixtures. In bathrooms, make sure towel racks, paper holders, mirrors, soap holders and shower doors are all fastened tightly and installed properly. Check faucets and sinks, tubs and toilets to make sure they fill and drain, and all hardware is functional. Under sinks, if you have visible pipes, make sure they aren’t rust covered. If so, you’ll need to touch them up with metallic paint to match their original shine. In the kitchen, make sure all items that stay with the house are clean and in working order. Repairing or replacing anything that is likely to come up in a buyers’ inspection report will make the house show better now.
If there are holes in the walls from doorknobs or other items, patch and paint them. Install doorstops where necessary to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Repair or replace quarter round where necessary, since dirty, missing or broken woodwork is likely to be obvious to a buyer. Ceiling fans and light fixtures should be checked; make sure they are clean and functional. If you have rooms that need fresh paint, get paint supplies and stick to neutral colors. Ask for assistance at the paint store or from your real estate agent if you’re not sure what colors to choose.
If you have a mailbox, make sure it is freshly painted and not leaning or broken. House numbers, if you have them, should also be fresh, bright and clean. Replace them if you need to. Gutters, windows and the roof should be cleaned and repaired as needed. Look for wasp nests and other unsightly items that need to be removed. No buyer will want to purchase delayed maintenance along with your house. They need to walk in and get the sense that “There is no work to be done here!”.
For bigger ticket items like a roof replacement or heating and cooling system, speak to your Realtor® and ask them if you need to address those now, or if you might be able to offer a price adjustment or similar incentive to cover them.
While this is not an exhaustive list, I hope it gives you an idea of the sort of things to look for when preparing your house for sale. You can always request that your listing agent walk through and make a list of items she notices to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Prior to the sale of one of my homes, I went room-by-room with my notebook, carefully writing down everything I could think of. After I was all finished with cleaning, decluttering and repairs, I had a friend walk through and take a look. I had completely forgotten to clean out my fireplace – and it was badly in need!
Take your time, do the work now and you’ll soon find that a clean, uncluttered and well-maintained home will be much easier to keep “show ready”!