Home Improvement Tasks to Tackle Before Selling (And Tasks to Ignore)

by Nina Sable 09/29/2019

Photo by Christian Heitz via Pexels

When you’re prepping your home to sell, your “to do” list can get quite long, quite quickly. Which projects do you really need to tackle before listing, and which are best left undone? Talking to your real estate agent is a good first step, but this guide will also give you the lowdown on what to do, and what to ignore.

Fix Windows and Doors

People do notice if doors aren’t opening properly or windows look a little drafty, and it can be enough to turn them away from the property. These issues are also highly visible. If you ignore them, they can make buyers wonder what other maintenance you’ve put off.

Paint the Walls

A fresh coat of neutral paint does much to freshen and clean the look of your home. It helps buyers picture themselves in the property, and doesn’t cost a lot to do. While painting, repair any drywall problems you see to give the home a ready-to-move-in look.

Electrical Panel Repairs

Your electrical panel and circuit breakers need to meet current building codes. Electrical problems will show up on inspection and can delay the sale of your home, so you might as well fix them before listing instead of after. If you have an older home, call an electrician to see if you need any updates.

Fix Damaged Flooring

Floors in poor condition are a major turn-off to buyers. Install new flooring, even if it’s a cheap type, and your home will look much more inviting. If you are lucky enough to have hardwoods, have them refinished so the home will shine.

Address Water Stains

Water stains are a huge red flag, because buyers will assume you have a water problem or mold is hiding behind the stains. Even if you addressed the water problem successfully, be sure to clear the stains, too.

Skip These Repairs

You may have heard that remodeling the kitchen or bath is an important thing to do before selling, but it is less important than you might think. Research has found that the return on a bathroom remodel in an average home is only 67.2 percent. Kitchens return only 62.1 percent. Make your kitchen and bath look as good as you can, repair anything that is actually broken, but don’t tackle a major remodel.

Another project to skip is adding a sunroom. Sunrooms are difficult to maintain, and many buyers don’t want one.

Prepping your home to sell takes time, effort, and thought. With these tips, you can spend that energy where it will make the most difference, and skip those tasks that will take up too much money or have minimal impact on your home’s value.

About the Author
Author

Nina Sable

Specialties:Sellers agency, Buyers Agency, Senior Real Estate, Distressed properties

Nina Sable is a member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Massachusetts Association of Realtors She has completed the certification for Senior Real Estate Specialist. This designation is awarded to real estate professionals by the National Association of Realtors SRES council. Other specialties include town special permitting, small commercial properties, helping families navigate senior services statewide.

Prior to becoming a realtor Nina Sable worked as a Senior Care professional for the Federally funded Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. In this capacity she worked as the Assistant Director of the program for 4 1/2 years and as a volunteer for 10 years. She also worked as the director, of the federally funded family caregiver program. In addition Nina is the chair for the local ambassador team for the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce. Raised in Port Washington, New York. Introduced to real estate early, by her father a commercial shopping center developer and grandfather a local investor of real estate properties. Nina is a graduate of the school of education at Boston University, and holds a bachelor's of science. Nina's Community service has extended to the lives of her husband and four children.Also leading a team for the Alzheimer's Association Walk in memory of her mother Adele, Team "Adele's Closet."