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Selling Your Home This Spring? Here are Six Must Fixes Before Listing

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Associates RS - 0019092

When touring a home that is listed for sale, buyers and their agents tend to be attracted to things that show need of obvious repair or deferred maintenance. While not addressing these issues may not remove interest in your home, it will give a skilled negotiator additional leverage in the home purchase strategy.  To avoid having equity removed from your pocket, is an important to address these issues.  Whether you’re currently aware of any of the following issues or they’re discovered during a pre-listing inspection, it is usually much more financially wise to remove these items prior to listing. 


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1. Roof  issues

Missing or damaged shingles or gutter issues are normally apparent prior to entering the home.  A negative first impression is not the best way to get your home sold.  Even if not noticed prior to entering the home, there could be evidence of water penetration from the roof or gutters that can clearly dishearten an excited potential buyer.


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2. Exterior door (including garage) and window issues

Exterior doors and windows are the first line of protection for your family from unplanned visitors as well as escape paths should you need to evacuate the inside.  Also, no one wants to find a window that slams shut on the first unsuspecting person (child) that attempts to open it. Buyers need to expect that doors and windows work as intended all of the time.

Secondly windows and doors that are not correctly sealed cause untold waste of utilities. If you grew up when I did, the phrase "you're heating or cooling the outside" was a common complaint of parents.


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3. Kitchen repairs 

As one of the most important rooms visited on a home tour, it is imperative to show the kitchen at its best.  Having a leaky faucet, damaged counters or broken cabinets will probably turn off most buyers. Additionally, appliances that are not in working order can undermine a home appraisal and delay your closing.


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4. Heating and cooling issues

Replacing HVAC is one of the most expensive repairs that a new home buyer will need to undertake. With recent affordability reductions due to higher interest rates than 2 years ago and price increases, having to replace a heating and cooling system may be the tipping point of whether a buyer can afford this house or not.

Telltale signs during a tour would be an excessively warm or cold house especially  if someone is currently residing there. Portable heaters and room air conditioners can also lead buyers to believe that the central heat and air is not working well. 

Have your HVAC serviced and repaired (or replaced) before you need to do so to keep the buyers from exiting the contract. 


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5. Insect and rodent issues

Nothing will end a buyer's excitement faster than seeing a dead mouse or roach while touring (except maybe a live one or ten).  It is imperative that you find and treat any potential encroachments of insects or rodents to avoid the embarrassment of a stranger having to inform you. You are best advised to hire a professional who warranties their work.  




6. Deck  repairs 

With outdoor living space high in the world of buyer wants, having decks and porches in good shape is a must.  Buyers may mentally place their furniture in your family room first but rest assured that every buyer is looking at where to put the grill and chaise lounge out back.

Sagging decks, cracked or curling boards and missing spindles may indicate that the owners don't maintain the deck as you would wish and untold expenses may be in the near future. Remember, the first time someone walks on a deck barefoot, a long splinter will seek out and find your foot.



In Conclusion

These items listed may not all be evident from a walk through but a thorough inspector will normally find them.  If your goal is to sell in the least amount of time for the most amount of money, don't jeopardize those goals by hoping that issues will go unnoticed.  While you may be spending less up front to get your home ready for sale, the cost of fixing items later immeasurably rises in correlation to the amount of time left prior to closing - the less time before settlement, the more it is going to cost you.


Posted by


Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a good list to share with prospective home sellers.

We are having some painting done today.

Feb 27, 2024 07:55 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Christopher and great information to share with us here in the Rain.  Hope you are having a great week.

Feb 27, 2024 09:14 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

These are great ideas when getting ready to market your house ! Thx for sharing ……….

Feb 27, 2024 02:24 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Congratulations on your pending sale.  Nice house and nice job with your presentation.
Feb 28, 2024 03:13 AM
Christopher Pataki

thanks Richard.  sellers did a great job preparing for sale.....................chris 

Feb 28, 2024 04:15 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

While the repairs needed could mean the difference in selling or not selling, making the home look its best is the goal.

Mar 07, 2024 06:34 PM