Top Home Repairs When Selling a House
What's My House Worth?
Find your home's current market value online with HouseValues.com.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the top home improvements that will return the most money upon resale.
Every year the National Association of Realtors, in conjunction with Remodeling Magazine, publishes the Cost vs. Value Report. Nationally, a
minor kitchen remodel, according to the 2005 report, returned 98.5% of its cost. In the western part of the United States, that return was 112.3%.
Other home repairs largely depend on a variety of factors such as:
•Time of year
•Location of the home
• Hardwood Floors
If your home has hardwood floors, that's what buyers want, and it would pay to have the carpeting removed and the floors refinished.
If your sub-floor is plywood, then replace the carpeting with light tan. Neutral carpeting is your best bet for resale.
Replace chipped or cracked tiles. Clean or replace the grout. But don't install ceramic (it's too expensive) unless it's for aesthetic reasons in
an entry way.
• Replace any damaged vinyl flooring
Inspect the vinyl flooring in your bathrooms. If it has discolored spots or is loose, moisture may be damaging the floor.
• Renew dinged baseboards
Paint Ceilings & Walls
Buyers spend more time than you would think staring at ceilings. They are looking for signs of a leaky roof, but what you don't want them to see
are stains from grease or smoke and ceiling cracks. Ditto for walls. Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it's the most cost effective
improvement. Use fiberglass tape on large cracks, cover with joint compound and sand. Paint a neutral color such as off white.
• WallpaperKitchen Improvements
It's not that all buyers hate wallpaper. They hate your wallpaper - because it's your personal choice, not theirs. And they hate all
dated wallpaper. Get rid of it. The easiest way is to steam it off by using an inexpensive wallpaper remover steamer.
• Wood paneling
Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling must go. Older wood paneling such
as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, it's all gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.
• Textured ceilings
Older popcorn ceilings with the "sparkles" often contain asbestos and if disturbed are health hazards. Say goodbye to it. But
even recently sprayed ceilings turn off buyers. It's not expensive but it is time consuming to remove. Lay down drop cloths and scrape it off.
You will need to repaint.
Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don't have to replace them, you'll save a ton of
money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets aren't replaced.
Kitchen remodels return nearly 100%. According to Remodeling Magazine, the high-end kitchens don't return as much as the mid-range or minor
kitchen remodels. Most buyers won't pay extra for a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator, professional 8-burner stove, undermount sink or travertine
floors. If you live in the Midwest, your return will be less than for those who live in other parts of the country.
Resurfacing is your best option. This involves attaching a thin veneer to the surface of the cabinets and replacing the doors and hardware .
If your cabinets are painted, add a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.
• Counter tops, sinks & faucets
Granite counters are not necessary. Simple laminates, newer faucets and sparkling sinks sell. Buyers don't want leaky faucets or stained
• Renew dinged baseboards
The national average of recouped cost is more than 100% for bathrooms. New floors, fixtures and lights payoff.
Adding an additional bathroom is also a great way to improve the value of a home. This is particularly true if the existing home has only one
bathroom. Many potential buyers will not consider a home with only a single bathroom. Alternatively, you can make inexpensive improvement to
your existing bathroom to make it more 'spa like'.
• Reseal the toilet. • Clean or replace the grout
Not all flooring installers will remove and reinstall the toilet, something that must be done to replace the floor.
Even if you aren't replacing flooring, the seals may need replacing. How to tell? If the toilet rocks when someone sits down, or if the floor at
the base is moist or discolored, the seal could be broken. Corroded nuts that hold the toilet to the floor are another sign that the toilet
needs to be reinstalled.
• New floors, fixtures & lights
Roofs & Exterior
As first impression greatly influences most home buyer's decision on home purchase, it is imperative to give them high level of satisfaction even
before they enter your house.
If your home needs a new roof, bite the bullet and do it. Even though most roofing tear-off jobs take one to two days, buyers shy away from buying
a home if the roof needs to be replaced. Check for any missing shingles or hanging gutters.Also, moss growing on the roof signals neglect, so it's
important to get it cleaned off. Ask a roofing expert to remove moss or to recommend someone who can. Roofing professionals may suggest
treating the surface of your roof with a chemical to kill moss or they may recommend installing zinc strips on the roof ridge. Water running over the
zinc washes minute amounts of zinc carbonate over the roof, killing algae and moss, according to Z-Stop, which manufactures the strips. When
hiring someone to work on your roof, it's crucial to check their recommendations. Amateurs can damage your roof with the careless use of a high-
pressure power washer.
• Patch cement cracks in sidewalks
• Resurface asphalt driveways
• Plant flowers
• Caulk windows and doors
• Replace doorknobs and locks
• Fix or paint fences
• Fix or paint/stain porches
• Landscape and trimming your lawn. Simply replace old shrubs with new ones without reworking your entire landscaping plan will achieve
significant results with vastly less money
• Repair or replace sagging screen doors and other entry red flags
• Re-paint or replace front door
• Clean out gutters & re-calk gutter end caps
• Replace indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures with a brighter ones can have great impact on the look of your house.
• Replace old and leaky windows with energy efficient vinyl windows will help to save on cooling bills all year long.
Overall, buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance, newer appliances, updated plumbing, electrical and heating (including
a/c), modern conveniences and is ready to occupy.
top best home repairs when selling a house