What Improvements Should You Make Before Selling Your Home?


Before even putting their home on the market some sellers realize that their home “needs work”. Other sellers soon find this out as they start to receive feedback from buyers who see their home. Interested in selling their home as quickly as possible and at the highest possible price they inevitably start to wonder if they should do this work themselves. But is this the best course of action? As you might expect the answer depends on your individual circumstances and who you ask but let me share my perspective. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts on the matter.

Simple Repairs

Things like broken cabinet hinges, cracked electric covers, burned out light bulbs, cracked windows and leaking faucets create a really bad impression about how you take care of the home. It raises the question of what else needs attention that can’t be seen. This stuff is a no-brainer. Get it fixed.

Paint, Carpeting, and Floors

Get an independent opinion on this one because you are oblivious to what impression these items create when someone walks into your home for the first time. If these items don’t create a strong negative impression I would leave them alone because there is always a risk in these matters that the buyer won’t like your choices and discounts the value of what you just did. On the other hand if the paint is severely scuffed or the carpet is worn and dirty (can’t be effectively cleaned) or your hardwood floors have been scratched to the raw wood by your 75 pound dog then by all means do something about it. And I would be more inclined to freshen up a vacant home than a furnished home simply because furniture hides a lot of sins. But if you are going to do this work then please stick with neutral colors and styles since this runs the least risk of turning a buyer off. Oh…and if you’re going to paint please use a professional. I have seen so many amateur paint jobs that look…well….amateurish:

  • Feathered edges where two different colors meet
  • Paint splotches where they don’t belong – on the floor or on the adjoining ceiling or wall
  • Semi-gloss paint used on walls
  • Wall paint used on doors
  • Roller gaps
  • Visible roller marks
  • Drip marks
  • Bleed through

Now maybe you’re a really good painter. You’ve done it before and it looked just fine. Here’s the problem. All the people that did these horrible paint jobs thought they were good painters too.


The plane is about to land so I’m going to cover this next time. Besides, it deserves it’s own post.

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