Before you consider listing your home, it’s a good use of your time to walk around the property and see what areas need work. A large percentage of the people interested in your home are going to look to move in and live there immediately. Because of that, you want to make sure that the property is as accommodating to them as possible. If they need to spend tens of thousands of dollars or more to make the property liveable, they may go somewhere else. 

Improving your property is not just about making sure that you have enough curb appeal for potential buyers. Your main goal is to also increase the value of your property. The less someone has to spend to make the property comfortable for their needs, the more valuable it is to them. 

Fixing Your House Before Listing 

If you are not sure what areas of your property need the most work, consider working with your realtor and a trusted contractor to break down everything that needs attention. Some options may cost too much or take too long but everything should be discussed before a final decision is made. 

  1. Roof: One of the biggest headaches for buyers is the roof. If it’s over 15 years old, it will need to be replaced and getting new insurance on an old roof is challenging and expensive. However, for you to add a new roof may be something that’s not only affordable, but quick. If this is causing a major hangup for buyers, consider addressing it yourself. 
  2. Kitchen: It can get pricey and time consuming to replace or remodel a kitchen. However, if yours is outdated and has issues, it’s worth investing the time and money into upgrades. Without a quality kitchen, most buyers will look at the property as a project and that means lower offers. 
  3. Windows: Quality windows will not only improve the protection of the home, but also make them more economical when it comes to keeping heat and cool air in. Replacing the windows is not a long task but it can cost you a bit. That’s why if you do it, make sure you add the cost to your asking price. 
  4. Driveway: What condition is your driveway? If it’s good but could be better, don’t worry about it. However, if it needs a lot of work you may want to address it. This plus the yard are going to be some of the first impressions people have of the house and if they are not impressed, it immediately lowers what they are willing to pay for it. 
  5. Bathrooms: Remodeling a bathroom can be expensive. However, putting in a new bathtub, flooring, walls, counters, sink and toilet is not as expensive as you think if you’re trying to manage it on a budget. How much needs to be replaced is the first question and that is something to ask your contractor. 
  6. Lawn: What condition is the lawn in right now? If it’s not in great shape then you need to work on it because regardless of the condition of your property, the lawn sets the tone and gives people an idea of the quality of the house. If you have invested money and time into the property to get it ready, make sure your lawn looks clean and beautiful. 
  7. Air conditioning: How old is the air conditioner in your house? Buyers are going to research this because they want to make sure that they will not have to replace an entire unit within the next couple of years. If you have a newer unit, make sure that you mention that when you list the property because it’s something buyers take very seriously now. 
  8. Appliances: Along with the air conditioner, how old are the other appliances, not just in the kitchen, but around the house? Upgrading these can improve the value of your home by thousands of dollars, especially if the appliances are under warranty. Take a look at the age and condition of your house and its appliances to see what upgrades make sense. 
  9. Floors: Do the floors look to be in good condition or do they look terrible? You want to give people a clean and open feeling when they step foot in your house and the floors can set that tone. Consider making improvements here as well because you can keep prices down and get a lot of area taken care of within a day or two. 

Some needs will not be addressed and others will. That happens with almost every house and it’s usually impacted by how quickly the homeowners want to list as well as what they are asking for. While you may not have the time or budget for these changes and upgrades, remember that buyers are going to notice the issues and deduct that from what they’re willing to pay for the property. 

If you want to maximize the value of your property and help it to sell faster, address these and other areas of need to ensure that your home meets the demands of most buyers. These buyers often cannot afford the cost of upgrades because they are maxing out their credit with the home mortgage and using all their cash for the down payment. If you can make up the expenses in getting what you want at asking, it’s a win-win.