Last Minute Fixes Before You Sell Your House

Posted by Brad Pauly on Thursday, November 12th, 2015 at 10:44am.

colorful bathroom with fixes caption


Prepare for open houses and real estate listings by making fixes to your home before it becomes visible. You can get ahead on items that will come up during your home's inspection. Make sure it looks good from the curb and revive old decorations and appliances. You can also try home staging to help raise the value of your home last-minute.


Repair Inspection Items

Fixing items that are on a home inspector's checklist before your inspection will save you the headache of making those fixes all at once. If you make repairs post-inspection, you'll end up paying more money for rushed work at a lower quality.

  • Leaky Faucets and Plumbing
    An empty toilet and a dripping faucet are signals to people looking to buy a house that their everyday appliances are unreliable. Make sure that hygienic items like the sinks and showers are ready to work on demand.
  • Cracked Floors or Tiles
    Broken or cracked floors and tiles give the impression of severe disuse. Some house buyers may think that your foundation is faulty. Potential home buyers aren't interested in broken floors or foundations. Fill cracks or retile floors where necessary. You shouldn't have to replace any whole floors.
  • Broken Appliances
    Anything from refrigerators to washing machines should be usable even if you aren't leaving them for the next homeowner. Keeping your appliances in working condition means that the connections also work. Your inspector and buyers will thank you.
  • Lighting Repairs
    Lighting will be an essential part of your home presentation as well as a demonstration that your electrical systems work. Functional lighting also boosts your buyers' sense of security. Make sure all your light switches turn on all your lights.


Fixable Items Outside the Home

Damaged Roofing

Moisture that penetrates your roof will cause severe structural damage to your house. It will compromise the safety of any family that lives underneath it. Quell the fears of those buying your house with an inspected and repaired roof.

Sidewalk and Driveway Damage

If a new buyer can't get his or her car into the driveway, there won't be a reason to live in the new house. Likewise, unusable sidewalks deter walkers, runners, hikers, and bikers. The city will often repair sidewalks with the road maintenance budget per request, but the wait to get the work done may be too long. Get permission to perform repairs in front of your property and hire a professional.

Overgrown or Neglected Lawn

Trimming and beautifying your lawn is an affordable do-it-yourself project. It doesn't stop at cutting tall grass. Add flourishes to your lawn that show off the potential of your green space. It's harder for homebuyers to imagine the potential of a lawn without a few examples. Cut grass, prune bushes, and plant flowers to make it shine.

Broken or Rotting Gences

Insects and decay cause wooden fences to rot. Severe weather can break the support systems of fences and blow them over. Both situations send up red flags for your potential buyers. Make some cheap repairs to restore charm to your fences and instill confidence in your buyers.


Refresh Old and Dingy Household Items

Remove rough, worn, or faded surfaces and refinish them to add youth to your home. These fixes are basic and don't need artistic finesse.

Sand and refinish

Using fine sand paper, strip the worn surfaces off of:

  • Baseboards
  • Stair rails
  • Countertops
  • Tabletops
  • Shelving

If you would like to preserve the natural wood, coat them with a strong finish to penetrate the pores in the wood. A deeper finish can prevent mold and keep moisture from causing damage.


Breathe life into faded, shabby surfaces by repainting. After you've sanded off superficial damage,

    1. Brush off sanded bits and dust with a hand broom
    2. Clean the surface of the remaining dust and dirt with a mild soap diluted in water
    3. Prime the wood with 2-3 layers of primer
    4. Paint with 2-3 layers of a neutral color
    5. Seal with a matte finish that will protect your new paint


For wood or metal items, polish supplements the feeling of comfort in a home. It's a reassurance that the home is clean and can be kept clean. You can polish things like:

  1. Furniture
  2. Appliances
  3. Faucets
  4. Showers
  5. Decorative Lights

The ability to shine takes effort on your part, and your potential buyers will notice the work you've put in.


Stage Your Home

Setting your home up to look like the perfect living space can raise your asking price. It may also reveal some trouble areas you may have overlooked. Run through the Home Staging Checklist to make sure that each part of your home is primed for selling. Some quick tips for staging include:

  1. For paint colors, go neutral or very unique, but not in-between
  2. Update as much of your decorations and furniture as possible
  3. Deep clean every corner of your home
  4. Make a purpose for each room to show examples of how they can be used

Almost everything in your home has a quick, last minute fix that you can apply to raise your home's value. Be prepared to put in some time and hard work

Leave a Comment

Format example:
Format example: