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Basic Home Maintenance Pays Off

While house-hunting with a friend yesterday, I realized that an updated top-of-the-line bathroom with double sinks, a soak bath, and all-new granite counters meant nothing if the kitchen floors were still originals with scars, the home’s exterior was molded and peeling, and air conditioning units were sticking out of the windows. And all the houses around this particular one had decks, which would only serve to remind my friend that she had none if she bought the place. Which, of course, she didn’t.

It begs the question: if you’re planning to sell, and you know you have to put a little money into the house to make it more appealing, what should you fix first? While an amazing kitchen and bathroom are top selling points on a buyer’s list, the dread, and cost, of fixing everything else up might be more of a deterrent.

With that in mind, consider making sure that everything works properly (inside and out), repairing and preventing water damage and other concerns that will come to light during inspection, and then tackling the obvious cosmetic problems. And before even bothering with trendy updates, banish unsightly linoleum, faded, dirty, or throwback carpet, an unappealing entranceway, an uncared-for landscape, and anything else whose ugliness would only be highlighted by modern accoutrements. It will likely mean a lot more to potential buyers in the long run – moving into a working house means they can spend their money on making it their dream house.

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