Repairs and Upgrades to Consider Before Listing

Written by Dale Griffiths

November 25, 2020

Selling or renting a home is a tough business and success is based on many factors.

If you are renting, the modern world allows people to post a review of you and your properties, as we outlined in our article How to Market Your Rental Part 1. If you are looking to list your home for sale, potential buyers do not have that luxury and may rely even more on visual impacts and the quality of your home.

In both cases, it’s important to increase curb appeal, make a great first impression, and ensure your home is at the top of the list after a prospective tenant’s busy day with their realtor. But how do you do that? By tackling these repairs and upgrades before you think of listing your home.

Paint

Successfully marketing your home is all about creating the right impression and that starts with the paint. A tired, peeling paint job on your home will immediately give the prospective tenants the image that the home has not been adequately cared for, even if that is not the case. Even if your paintwork is good, Reality Biz News suggests painting the front door a contrasting color to the rest of the house. This will make your property stand out from the rest and hopefully, more memorable to anyone who views it.

Flooring

Repairing tired and worn flooring may set the right example when a possible tenant first enters your home. It is important to strike the right balance though. Whilst you may want to spend a lot of money making the floor look great, if you are renting the house out, it might be wiser to consider your budget as well as the initial appeal. Obviously, a tenant won’t want to be carrying out their own flooring jobs without your say so, which means you may have to be comprehensive about the work you do.

If bare boards are showing signs of damage or wear, then replace individual ones to give the house a more stable appeal. Wood is a natural product, so if there is some mismatch it might add to the aesthetic and impress anyone looking around. It is also possible to not have to replace tired wooden flooring under the right circumstances. Using a vinyl floor covering would mask the tired and worn flooring with something new and hard-wearing. It comes in a range of styles and colors to suit every design and decor and is certainly cheaper than replacing whole sections of wooden flooring. Do remember this though – covering worn flooring is acceptable and maybe even encouraged, but do not cover over rotten flooring, rather than solve the underlying issue.

Proper plumbing

Plumbing and heating are areas that can make or break a house sale, or lure in a new tenant. In some of the more changeable climates, homeowners rely on a working boiler, and installing a new one can be costly. Consider whether you need to change your boiler to attract a new tenant. Even though in the US most new homes don’t use the old boiler system, approximately 12% of all homes in the country still use them. And there are many reasons a boiler can break down with a HomeServe Living article stating that they all generally result in the same outcomes: cost and a lack of heating.

If you are renting your property out, then a new boiler could well be the catalyst that a tenant needs to make a decision. It will give them peace of mind for the colder months and demonstrate a certain level of care from you as a landlord. You might also want to look at the faucets in the home. These are the end of the plumbing system, where user interaction occurs, and by replacing them you can create the illusion of fresh new plumbing. Changing a whole system would be time-consuming and utterly pointless if there is no problem, but shiny new faucets would create a great impression at a relatively low cost.

Ventilation and air-conditioning

Again, in changeable climates, a homeowner will come to rely on the air conditioning and ventilation in their home. PR Newswire reveals underperforming systems could be costing US homeowners $882 per year, which points to a good, clean system being a strong selling point. A basic service might be enough here; certainly, make sure your system looks good on inspection. Clean out the vents where possible and give the system a good run prior to someone coming in, especially if it has not been used in the last month or so. Check for basic repairs that might need doing, even something basic like vent covers. If they look damaged, they might suggest a lack of care for the rest of the system, even if that is not the case.

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