Fixing your home before selling it is never a bad idea. Three weeks of time and $10,000 can raise a property value by twice that or more, spending on what gets done and what else needs to get done. Every property needs work, it doesn’t matter if it’s brand new or was built years ago. Homeowners are well aware that before they list their property they need to make it look its best. 

The challenge they are having with that is knowing where to begin and where they can smartly invest their money. It’s important to keep in mind, you may not be able to take out your entire kitchen because of time and budget. However, if you can make big improvements to it, that still helps your situation. Sometimes small improvements are still valuable. 

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

Before you list, you should walk around the property and make a list of things that need to be fixed. List everything and do not worry about difficulty or cost at this point. You want to get an idea of the overall cost and options before you start saying what will and what will not get done. Here are the top ten areas that usually need attention: 

  1. Roof: Your roof has skyrocketed on this list for one important reason, your insurance. If your roof is over 15 years old, the new owner may have a challenge getting the insurance for the property. If the roof is keeping you from getting the deal done, a new one may be the solution. 
  2. Windows: Just like your roof, the windows are something insurance companies take a serious interest in. The quality of the windows impact safety as well as energy use. Improving them can help improve the value of the property as well as cut back on energy costs throughout the year. 
  3. Bathrooms: Remodeling an entire bathroom can be done for less than $1,000 or cost more than $10,000. This depends on if you can do the work yourself and what you plan to put into it as well as what it needs. 
  4. Kitchen: Yes, the kitchen may be extremely expensive to remodel, as well as take some time. However, this is one of the areas where a little creativity can go a long way. You can replace a sink, refrigerator, dishwasher and oven for less than $2,000 within the same day and add an affordable new flooring and a coat of paint to the cabinets and transform your kitchen to this century. 
  5. Air conditioning: It’s going to be difficult to try and sell your house to someone if your air conditioning unit is going to need to be replaced within a year or two. While this is not only expensive, buyers are worried that they will have to wait weeks or longer to get the new unit installed. 
  6. Appliances: Again, people care about their appliances and if they are not working properly, that just adds to their reasons for not buying from you. A new homeowner may not be able to afford your house and new appliances but if you cover those costs, they can afford the inflated asking price on the property. 
  7. Lawn: How does your lawn look? Because if it’s not that great, the potential buyers are going to notice and it will be an immediate $10,000 or more off their offer. Buyers take yards very seriously in most transactions because it’s the first impression they get of the property and something they do not want to have to do themselves. 
  8. Porches: You’re selling a house and one of the appeals a house offers over condos and apartments is that you can sit on your porch and admire your yard. Again, your use of the house is going to be different than the new owners. What you can do is give your property more appeal and value by making sure that these things are taken care of whether it’s a complete remodel or just a new coat of paint. 
  9. Doors: Along with the quality of the door, how well it closes, locks, and if it seals the entrance and minimizes air loss are all things that are reviewed. Why? The buyer is thinking about buying your property for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are going to inspect and criticize every inch of the property including your doors. 
  10. Driveway: The good news with older driveways is that you may not have to completely replace them. Many can be fixed with temporary options that will help improve the look and minimize any damage not only to the driveway, but to the cars that are using it. 

Working with a realtor is the best way to learn what your house needs in order to gain value and get sold quicker. That’s the other aspect that homeowners commonly overlook. It’s not just about raising value. Buyers have more inventory to go through and they are paying higher interest rates than you did. That means they have to be more selective and if you want them to offer you fair value you need to meet them halfway.