When you list your home for sale, it not only needs to be clean and free of all clutter, it needs to be in good repair. No one wants to walk in and see holes in the drywall or a closet door off its hinges and leaning up against the wall. In fact, the first thing most people think when they see a home in disrepair is "fixer-upper," which often leads to thoughts of "low-ball offer." To avoid this, make sure every inch of your home is in tip-top shape, including the items below.
1. Carpet Stretched: When wall-to-wall carpeting is first installed, it is stretched taut. Over time, however, it naturally loosens. This is not only a trip hazard, but it is also very unattractive. Your carpet can look old and worn out, simply because it is loose. Think of carpet stretching as a face lift for your floors. It gets all the wrinkles out when you need to look your best. Likewise, you should also have any holes or stains repaired at this time to ensure your carpet looks good for the potential buyers.
2. Appliances: The very first thing an inspector does when examining a house is turn on the dishwasher. The inspector then tours the entire home while the dishwasher runs through its cycles. If yours doesn't work, it will be on the report. Take care of any and all appliance repairs before you list your home for sale. If you only have three out of four working burners on your stove, talk to Authorized Appliance Repair to get it fixed. If your ice maker isn't producing, have a refrigerator repair person take a look.
3. Leaks: Did you know that household water leaks can account for up to 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year, or 1 trillion gallons nationally? Not only is that incredibly wasteful of a finite natural resource, but it is not good for sales. Hire a plumber to fix that leaky faucet or running toilet before you sell. Buyers get nervous about the unknown and may wonder about the longevity of your home's entire plumbing system, even though it's just a simple fix. Call your plumber and get the repair done now.
4. Burnt-Out Light Bulbs: While the fact that three of the bulbs in your chandelier are burnt-out may not bother you, it should. Buyers notice little details like this. In fact, they begin to wonder what else in your home you neglect if you can't even be bothered to change a light bulb. Buying boxes of new light bulbs can be expensive when you have to do it all at once, but it is your expense, not the next homeowner's.
5. Furnace Filter: Your home's furnace filter needs to be replaced once a month when in use. Doing so is an incredibly easy process; they simply pop in and out of your furnace in seconds. During your home inspection, the inspector will show the potential buyers how to do this. If he pulls out a dirty, fuzz-covered filter, it won't look good for your home. While a dirty filter is not going to prevent a sale, there is certainly no need to give anyone a reason to wonder about your home maintenance skills,
6. Drywall Holes: Door stoppers are designed to prevent holes in drywall, but there are always accidents over the years. Moving furniture, errant door knobs, and even aggressive vacuuming can all result in dents and holes in your drywall. Unless the damage is excessive, you probably won't be able to get a drywall contractor out to your home to do the repairs. You can call a handyman service, or try it yourself. Small repairs are perfect for the do-it-yourselfer.
7. Doorbell: Don't laugh. Potential buyers and their Realtor often ring the doorbell before entering a house. How embarrassing would it be if yours didn't work? It is not a deal breaker, but it certainly doesn't set the right tone when the very first thing the buyer touches is broken.
If you make the above repairs before listing your home for sale, you will not only sell faster, but for more money because you put your very best foot forward.