4 Repairs It Pays to Make Before Selling a Home

A person sanding down a fence in their backyard.

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Gearing up to sell? Make these key fixes first.

Key points

  • It's important to make a good impression on buyers when you're selling your home.
  • Low-cost fixes like repairing a torn window screen are worth doing before putting your property on the market.

Your goal in selling your home should be to command the highest asking price possible. But to do that, your home will need to appeal to buyers. That means it pays to address certain issues that could really end up being a turnoff.

Here are four specific repairs worth taking on prior to listing your home. And the good news? None of these should cause you to deplete your savings in the process.

1. Replace permanently stained carpet

If you have pets at home, or small kids who have spilled their share of fruit punch and paint through the years, then your carpets may look like they've seen better days. If that's the case, and steam cleaning won't get those stains out, then you may want to rip out those carpets and put in new ones.

Dingy carpet gives a really bad impression. It could send the message that your home hasn't been well cared for. Seeing as how you can buy new carpet for $2 to $7 per square foot, it's especially worth replacing worn or stained carpet in smaller bedrooms or average-sized rooms.

2. Replace torn window screens

Chances are, when potential buyers come to look at your home, they'll want to check out the view from various rooms. And one thing that could ruin that view is torn or damaged window screens. Since these screens can cost well under $20 apiece and you can replace them yourself, it's worth putting in the money and making that effort.

3. Fix or replace leaky faucets

Prospective home buyers who are seasoned at house hunting will know that it's important to check your various bathroom fixtures to make sure they work properly. And if buyers come across a faucet that's leaky, it could raise a red flag that there's a bigger issue at hand.

If your plumbing is fine and it's your faucet itself that's the problem, fixing it is a move worth making. You may even be able to tackle a simple leak yourself. Even in a worst-case scenario, you can buy a new faucet for under $100 and avoid buyers' questions altogether.

4. Fix a busted fence

Your home's exterior is the first thing buyers will see when they arrive to scope out your property. A fence that's worn or missing panels could really send them running the other way.

The cost to repair a fence will depend on how badly it's damaged. If all you need is a fresh coat of paint, you could get away with spending $50 or less. But if you need to replace a few panels, that could be a more expensive job. Still, it's worth doing to give buyers a good first impression.

Sometimes, you have to spend a little money to be successful when selling a home. If you make these repairs, there's a good chance they'll more than pay for themselves in the form of a higher offer on your home.

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