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10 Common Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for Home Sellers

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10 Common Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for Home Sellers


On average, homeowners in the U.S. will spend more than $400 billion a year remodeling and repairing their homes. Spending this amount of money may seem justifiable if you are planning on staying in your home, but you may be wondering if renovating your house before selling it will get you a return on your investment.

Whether or not paying for renovations before selling a house is worth it will depend on a lot of different factors. However, it may be possible to avoid this step altogether.

One of the factors many sellers commonly overlook is keeping their house maintained. Buyers aren’t always looking for the most up-to-date homes, but they want something that has been well taken care of and is move-in ready.

Instead of thinking about remodeling, it's best for sellers to avoid common maintenance mistakes. Read on to find out what these are.

1. Ignoring Water Damage

Ignoring water damage can have long-term consequences. Whether the issue was caused by a broken pipe or natural flooding, if you don’t dry and clean your house properly, it can lead to an increased risk of mold growth.

The mold that grows after a home has been damaged by water has been found to negatively impact people’s health. You may not have experienced any adverse impacts while living in the home, but you can’t say the same for the person who might want to buy your house.

Not only does water damage increase the chances of mold growth, but it also damages drywall, carpeting, and other surfaces in your home. You may be fine living with the rippling in your basement paneling, but signs of damage could impact whether a person is interested in buying your home.

Removing and replacing damaged drywall or paneling takes time and effort. Most buyers are looking for a move-in ready home. If they see damage that has to be fixed beforehand, they may decide your house isn’t right for them and look for one that is.

Neglecting to take care of water damage properly after it occurs could wind up costing you the ability to sell your home in the future. It’s in your best interest to pay the expenses to have water damage repairs done properly so that you can make the space appealing to potential buyers.

2. Maintaining Appliances

Many house sellers think that homebuyers are looking for the most up-to-date appliances in the kitchen. While they may help you sell your home quickly, keeping your appliances maintained and in good working order could be beneficial as well.

If you take the time to clean the dishwasher, stove, and fridge regularly, this will ensure that they look good and last for a long time. Buyers aren’t necessarily looking for the newest models, but they want to know that the appliances are clean and in good working order.

Not only should the appliances be maintained and working optimally, but they should also be energy efficient.

Getting smart appliances for homes doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a lot of money. However, they should be able to save the buyers money in the long run.

3. Not Changing the HVAC Filter

To ensure that your HVAC system is running the way it should, you need to change the air filter on a regular basis.

How often that's needed depends on how you use your system and your home life. If you have pets and/or you run your air conditioner or heater every day, then you might need to change the filter every 1 or 2 months.

If you don’t have pets and you don’t use your HVAC system on a daily basis, then you may be able to change the filter every 3 months.

These filters are in place to trap dust and other debris. Over time, this will build up on the surface and put stress on the system. When your system is working overly hard to heat or cool the air in your home other problems can occur, including a complete breakdown of your system.

Changing the filter in your HVAC system only takes a few minutes, and it can ensure that your system lasts for as long as possible. Having a well-maintained system that effectively heats and cools your home will make it appealing to buyers.

4. Avoiding the Deep Clean

You may have become accustomed to the build-up of dirt and grime in certain areas of your home, but buyers won’t be impressed.

When people walk through your home, they want to imagine themselves living in it. That can be hard to do if all they see is how much they have to clean when they move in. If it seems overwhelming, they’ll move on and look for a house that doesn’t require as much work.

You probably clean on a regular basis, but every once in a while, you need to go beyond your regular cleaning duties and dive into a deep clean.

This means wiping down walls and baseboards, removing grime and mildew from the grout in your bathroom, organizing closets, and removing stains from the floor in your garage.

Trying to tackle all of these cleaning duties at one time will be daunting and stressful. So consider spreading them out throughout the time you own your house.

Then, when you’re ready to put your house on the market, it will be quick and easy to make it sparkle and shine for potential buyers.

5. Making DIY Repairs

Doing DIY repairs can save you money. However, before deciding to fix things that are broken in your home, you need to know what you’re getting into.

Doing DIY repairs for plumbing or electrical issues without proper knowledge or skills can create more problems. Your fixes may even violate the current building codes. Getting these updated and fixed by a professional could cost a lot of money.

Instead, before making any repairs on your own, look at it from a potential buyer’s perspective. If it makes you feel uncomfortable or looks terrible, then consider calling in a professional to take care of the issue.

6. Forgetting About the Roof

If you’re like most people, then you probably don’t think about your roof until something goes wrong. However, taking the time to have your roof inspected while you live in the home will ensure that it’s in good shape when you’re ready to sell.

Replacing a roof can be expensive, and since buyers are already spending a lot of money to purchase the house, they don’t want to pay for any extras.

In some cases, depending on the age and condition of the roof, they may not be able to get insurance on the house. Without insurance, they won’t be able to get a loan.

Making your house appealing to buyers means spending the time and money to maintain your roof.

7. Ignoring Cracks in the Foundation

Any crack that occurs in your foundation could be an indication of a serious problem. You might think that a small crack is no big deal, but you could be wrong.

Ignoring cracks could mean that your house sits on the market longer than you expect. If you’re uncertain whether the crack is serious or not, call in a professional. They can let you know exactly what’s going on and repair any issue that might arise.

8. Not Taking Care of Small Plumbing Problems

Does your faucet drip?

Does your toilet seem to run for a long time before shutting off?

Does it take a long time for your hot water to reach the desired temperature?

You may have gotten used to the quirks in your plumbing, but putting these off for too long could result in costly repairs. They’ll also make your home less than desirable for a potential buyer.

Stay up with any and all plumbing issues that arise in your house—no matter how small they may seem. Getting them repaired as soon as possible will save you in the long run.

9. Neglecting Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Many states have laws in place that require homes to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Maintenance tasks that you need to undertake to keep these in good working condition include changing the batteries twice a year.

This is an inexpensive and easy task to undertake, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing this.

10. Putting off Repairs

There are a lot of things that can go wrong around your home, and if something gets broken, getting it repaired as soon as possible is in your best interest. If you leave all of the repairs and fixes to when you are putting your house on the market, you may find that it is incredibly expensive to get all of these taken care of.

To spread out your home maintenance cost, take care of repairs as soon as they happen. It may seem expensive at the time, but it will save you in the long run.

Making Your Home Appealing by Avoiding Common Maintenance Mistakes

When putting your home on the market, you may be trying to decide if doing indoor and outdoor renovations is worth the investment. They could be, but avoiding common maintenance mistakes could also make your home appealing to potential buyers.

At Hommati, we want to help you sell your house as quickly as possible. Visit our site today to find agents in your area and other advice to get as much as you can from the sale of your home.