Home Maintenance Before You Sell

Simply listing your home for sale doesn’t mean it’ll sell. You know it’s a great place to live, but buyers might not be able to see through some of its quirks. With that in mind, it’s important that you make sure your home is in tip-top shape before you put it on the market.

You might be surprised how much little things can impact a sale. In fact, a lot of buyers won’t see past the work that needs to be done on a home — they’ll just move on to the next listing. So, if you want to get top dollar for your home, here are a few things you might want to consider updating, upgrading or maintaining.

Major changes

Roof: If it’s time for your roof to be repaired, buyers, appraisers and inspectors will take notice. This is a major upgrade that can cost you up to $10,000 or more. But it’ll make it more attractive, and ensure you don’t have to lower your price to cover the cost.

HVAC: No homeowner wants to have to fix the HVAC system right off the bat, they want it to work like its supposed to. If your HVAC system is on its last legs, replace it before putting your home up for sale.

Plumbing: Leaks, clogs, and other pluming issues often indicate larger problems in the home to prospective buyers. It’s a good choice to do some plumbing maintenance, but be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars or more on a professional to get the job done (skip the DIY repairs on this one!).

Electrical system: Electrical issues are a big turn-off for prospective buyers. Check for outdated wiring, which can be a fire hazard, and make sure everything is up to code. Prepare to spend good money on a quality electrician to make sure the job is done right — it’ll be worth it in the end.

Other big changes you can consider:

  • Replace broken or dated appliances
  • Upgrade your flooring (it’s one of the first things buyers notice!)
  • Fix water stains — while they might be cosmetic, they can make buyers squeamish!

Esthetic fixes

Repaint in neutrals: While funky colours can show off your personality, they’re not ideal for sales. Consider painting in more calming and mainstream colours like white, cream or even greige (a mix of grey and beige).

Replace old hardware: If your cabinets and doors have seen better days, replace the handles and knobs. It’s a small change that can make a big difference.

Fresh light fixtures: Old and outdated light fixtures can make your home feel dated. Swap them out for something more modern to brighten up the space.

Update grout: If your tile is looking a little worse for wear, give it new life by re-grouting.

Other quick changes you can make:

  • Give your house a thorough cleaning (its worth considering a professional!)
  • Declutter shelves, tables, and counters
  • Boost your curb appeal by painting your door, making over your mailbox, changing the outdoor lights, replacing numbers or even updating the trim
  • Invest (time or money) in some light landscaping like adding some fresh flowers or shrubs

How do I know what needs to be changed?

We’re not all home experts, and it might not be clear to you what changes you need to make prior to listing. That’s where a pre-inspection report comes in. While it costs a few hundred dollars, it’ll give you an honest look at your home and where improvements should be made.

Download the GarbageDay app today!​

There’s more to caring for your home than taking out the trash. We give you seasonal reminders about things like when to change your air filter, check and seal your driveway, turn off your hoses, and anything else that needs adjusting through the seasons. We even give you step-by-step instructions on how to get these things done.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.

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