December 17, 2021
Do you know what repairs to do before selling a house? If you’re planning to sell within the next 6-months, this article is for you; from deferred home maintenance to items that will stop a mortgage from going through, read on to learn what to fix before listing your home.
#1 Faulty Wiring
Are you experiencing any flickering lights, ceiling fans that either don’t work or work sporadically? Do you know for a fact that your electrical panel and circuit breakers are old and not up to code? What about faulting light switches, plugs, or exposed wires.
These are just a few signs that you need to have an electrician do an inspection and repairs. Repairing these items before you put your house on the market will save you time and stress because if there are electrical problems, they will be called out.
#2 Roof Issues
In addition to making sure your electrical is safe and up-to-code, it’s essential to know the condition of your roof. Most lenders require that the roof has at least two to three years of remaining life. Even if your roof is relatively new, it’s not a bad idea to have it inspected. The roof inspector might find loose shingles, damaged weather stripping or flashing, clogged downspouts, or areas that leak.
Fix anything that comes up. You can also ask your roofer to give you a roof certification that states how much life it has left. Doing that will help move the sales process along once you put your home on the market.
#3 HVAC Problems
Having a dependable heating and air system is vital, especially if you’re selling your home to buyers that require financing. A lender will only lend on a habitable residence. If the property is in Texas or Florida and doesn’t have a working air conditioner, that could be an issue.
And in colder climates, you’ll need a dependable heater or furnace. Government loans like FHA and VA have minimum property standards, which include that the HVAC system heats and cools well. Also, make sure the thermostat is working correctly.
#4 Faulty Plumbing
If you have any plumbing problems, even if it’s a pesky dripping faucet — have them repaired. Look under all of the sinks for signs of dripping water. If you find damage, it will need fixing, and you might also have to replace the wood under the cabinet.
The other thing to check is your water heater. If it’s leaking or the bottom is rusting out, you’ll probably need a new one. A plumber can do the installation. Lastly, check the seal around the toilets. If there are any signs of leaks, you’ll need to have a plumber install a new wax ring.
#5 Dry Rot & Pests
Two enemies of a home’s structure are dry rot and pests. Wood dry rot is caused by fungus. The fungus eats away at the wood and causes decay. Dry rot can happen inside or outside, especially around moist, or wet areas. Check around windows, at the end of exterior rafters, and where wood is joined together.
Dry rot happens when wood gets soaked with water and fungus grows. That’s why joints and window sills are caulked – it keeps water out. Check your attic and under the house for signs of pests — especially in the insulation If you find pests, you’ll need an exterminator and you’ll have to replace the insulation.
#6 Water-Spotted Ceilings
Ceilings with water stains are a dead giveaway for a leaking roof. If a buyer sees them, it could lose the deal. Even if you’ve replaced the roof, it’s vital to repair the ceiling. It might just take paint, or if there’s extensive damage, you’ll need to have the drywall replaced.
Water stains on the ceiling should be investigated if they’re new. If you have a roofer, come out, show them where the stains are. That can give them an idea of where to check.
#7 Flooring Problems
Hardwood floors should be in good repair. If necessary, have a professional refinish them. If there are any damaged wooden slats, have them replaced. Also, check the thresholds going from room to room. Ensure they’re tightly fastened and are in good repair.
Carpets need to be clean and free of spots. If there are pet stains on the carpet or wood, you’ll need to replace the flooring. Tile and linoleum should be in good repair and without damage. Having your flooring throughout your home looking nice makes your home show its very best.
#8 Interior Deferred Maintenance
Besides everything we’ve listed above, when it comes to the interior of your home, if the walls or woodwork look dull or dirty — repaint. It’s not costly and makes a big difference. Also, take a look at the bathroom and kitchen cabinets. If they’re in good shape but have chips or the paint looks dull or dated, have them repainted.
Inspect all the faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen to make sure they look good and aren’t leaking. If you need to, replace them. Lastly, check caulking around the tub and sinks if it’s stained or cracked, re-caulk.
#9 Exterior Deferred Maintenance
Walk around your home and look for any drainage problems. Standing water around the foundation or under the house is an issue you’ll need to fix before putting it on the market. Also, look for any large cracks in the foundation.
The other things to check for are rotted decks, planks, and nail pop-ups. See if there are any dead tree limbs hanging over the structure, if so get them removed. Now check all the doors. Do they latch securely? How about the garage door? If it’s seen better days, replacing it could add to your curb appeal.
#10 Worn or Dirty Surfaces — Deep Cleaning
Although this is considered a deferred maintenance issue, making sure your home is spotless will help it show better and get you top dollar. Walk through the interior of your house with a decerning eye. Make a note of anything that’s smudged, stained, or dirty.
Either deep clean the house yourself or hire a house cleaner. If you have a large to – do list, it’s worth the price of having a professional come in.
The same goes for the exterior. Power washing the exterior, including the walkway and driveway, can make things look new. While you’re at it, clean the BBQ and any lawn furniture.
If you’re wondering how to pay for home repairs before selling, consider getting a HELOC. You can fund your repairs and upgrades and then pay off the loan with the proceeds of the sale.
To learn more about PenFed loans or what loan is right for you: