How’s Your Honey-Do List?

July 11, 2012

Do you have a long list of honey-do jobs? If you’re like many homeowners, a lot of those won’t get addressed until  it’s time to sell the house, if at all. In hot real estate markets, you can sometimes ignore the fixes—remember bidding wars over properties that needed work? Well, today sellers are looking to make their home stand out. Even though housing inventory has been down this year, some homes just won’t sell without repairs.

Pretend you’re going to try to buy your own home; what do you see that you wouldn’t tolerate? Buyers don’t want to fix those problems any more than sellers do.

While fixing up a home to sell can be costly, you can find ways to minimize the pain in your wallet. Important repairs that shouldn’t be overlooked include changing your furnace air filters regularly, fixing leaky faucets/toilets, repairing caulking issues in the bathroom and replacing defective electrical outlets and wiring.

Experts in the HVAC industry say that 60 percent of all their service calls start because of dirty filter issues. If you have a dirty filter, it affects the efficiency of your furnace. It’s an easy repair that improves the air quality and saves you money. You can save about $100 a year if you just change those filters when you should.

The second important repair is easy to spot. A leaky faucet or running toilet is going to cost you—if you don’t get it fixed you’re going to be paying more and more. It can also lead to mold damage. It can lead to the flooring in your cabinetry rotting away, and that can affect your floor underneath and the walls.

If there are problems with your home when you start to show it, buyers will spot them. People who come to your house to check out whether they’re going to buy it or not are looking really closely and they’re listening really closely too. Most buyers are likely to move on if they feel the house needs a lot of repairs. You have to put forth your best impression. These small relatively inexpensive fixes are really important.

Dirty tiles and damaged caulking tell buyers that the house may be in need of even bigger repairs. Not only is it an aesthetic issue,it’s also an indication that you’ve got a problem that could lead to mold—and nobody wants mold in their house anywhere at all—it will grow if you don’t have proper seals in your bathroom. Sometimes we get so used to seeing the dirty tiles or missing grout that we forget about them—however, buyers don’t.

Who should do the job? Saving money is always key, but be sure that the level of the repair matches the expertise of the person you hire. You’re going to pay more in the end if you don’t check out the person you hire to help you. Make sure they have a good reputation, and if it’s required to be licensed in your area, use a licensed person, even if it’s more expensive.

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