The top question we get asked as realtors: What should we not fix when selling our house? First, if you hire J+J Team Homes as your realtors, we do a walk-through of your house and provide you a customized list of what to and what not to fix.
As a seller, you probably have a never-ending to-do list when it comes to your home; things you never got around to fixing. But most of those items on your list, we probably wouldn’t recommend fixing. We want to focus on the items that will give you the most bang for your buck to sell your house quickly and for the most money possible.
What Not To Fix When Selling
- Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels – Both kitchen and bathroom remodels take so much time to do – it really doesn’t make sense. Honestly, timing the market to sell your home is way more important than remodeling. Instead, we can recommend cosmetic fixes such as painting cabinets or changing hardware to neutralize the space.
- Flooring – Flooring is such a personal choice it doesn’t make sense to redo your floors before listing your home. Instead, focus on making sure the floors are clean and move-in ready. The only exception might be if the flooring is old linoleum or really damaged and worn carpet. Ask us: refinishing existing hardwood floors might be worth it depending on the home.
- Major Systems – Here we’re talking about the furnace, HVAC, and the roof. These are items that won’t get you your money back. It is important that these items are in working order but a full replacement is usually not recommended. Buyers do not calculate the cost of a new roof into the value of the house, so these are definitely top of our what not to fix list. The buyer might also want to put solar panels on the roof or add a second story.
What to Fix Before Selling
- Landscaping – Unless the home is an estate property in disrepair or has major drainage issues, it won’t need a major landscape overhaul. The easiest thing to fix before listing is to prune and weed the garden. Then put down a new layer of mulch to give the yard a finished look. Remember: the front yard is the first impression buyers have.
- Lighting – Lighting is one of the easiest and most affordable things to fix before selling. We can replace lightbulbs for softer and more strategic lighting. We also recommend landscape lighting and outdoor string lights on patios or pergolas to create ambiance for early evening showings.
- Latches, Hinges and Door Jams – Let’s be honest, most of the homes along the Peninsula are older and have their own little quirks. You don’t want a potential buyer to not be able to open a door or gate because they don’t know how to shimmy the handle just the right way. With our concierge services, we can have a handyman help fix faulty hinges, latches and door handles before listing.
- Cosmetic Fixes – As we mentioned above in our what not to fix before selling, cosmetic updates will not only be quicker but more cost-efficient. Painting is our go-to fix. A new coat of paint feels newer and fresh and can neutralize the space. In terms of shower tile, some old tile is really cool right now (we’ll let you know). If it’s a tile that needs to be neutralized, you can also glaze it white.
Our Top Recommendations
Home Smiles 18-Point Inspection
We recommend our concierge service follow the 18-point home inspection for easy updates. These quick fixes help show that the house has been maintained and gives a cleaner inspection report. The Home Smiles 18-point inspection includes:
- Gutter Cleaning with Before & After Photos
- Downspout Cleaning
- Minor Tree Branch Removal at Roofline
- Exterior Window Washing
- Driveway Power Washing up to 400 sq ft
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Water Heater Flush
- Furnace Filter Replacement
- Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Test & Battery Replacement
- Garage Door Sensor/Safety Inspection
- Garage Door Lubrication
- Garage Door Light & Battery Replacement
- Range Hood Filter Cleaning
- Refrigerator Coil Cleaning
- Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning
- Deodorize Garbage Disposal
- Clean and deodorize bathroom sinks and tub/shower P-Traps
Staging provides the best return on your investment when selling your home. The sellers have lived in the house a long time so they may not have the vision or expertise to show how they can utilize each room to the fullest. Staging presents the house in a way that is more polished, decluttered and with furniture that appeals to most buyers. It helps the buyer envision a space that’s better than what they currently are moving on from.
Seller’s Journey and Services J+J Team Homes Provides
When preparing your house to sell, instead of focusing on what you should and should not fix, the goal should be to create a blank, neutral canvas so buyers can envision how they might live in the home. We love bringing out the charm and showcasing each unique home’s characteristics when selling properties. Check out our seller’s journey and our list of services on our website. For more, we focus on the Home Inspection in this J+J Team Homes blog.
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If you have any questions on what not to fix when selling or a topic you’d be interested in learning more about – leave us a comment below or on our social media. Or even better, reach out to us directly. Even if you aren’t in the market, we’d love it if you’d pass along our information to those on the lookout.