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Small fixes that optimize selling price

March 17, 2009

I ran across this post by Mr. Handyman. He is so right, in a tough market these are a must, not an option!

Paint chips and paint brush

Via Glenn Berkwitt (Mr. Handyman of Seattle):

We keep hearing how tough it is to sell a house in these tough economic times but a few simple improvements and repairs to a house can make a great initial impression when it first goes on the market. Oftentimes these improvements are inexpensive but they inevitably boost the aesthetic appeal of the property and its asking price.

At Mr. Handyman of Seattle, we are frequently asked to help with lists of such tasks, both by homeowners and realtors.  I thought it might be helpful to list some of them here.  Common improvements include (in no particular order):

  • Replace door hardware
  • Patch holes and cracks in walls and ceilings
  • Pressure wash the front walk
  • Paint the front steps
  • Put down fresh vinyl flooring
  • Put up new house numbers
  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam
  • Paint walls neutral colors
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs
  • Replace chipped or cracked tiles.
  • Clean or replace the grout and caulk in bathrooms and kitchens 
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Paint over wood paneling
  • Remove ceiling texture (test it first for asbestos)
  • Reface the kitchen cabinets
  • Relaminate kitchen counters
  • Replace existing faucets
  • Patch cracks in sidewalks
  • Resurface asphalt driveways
  • Plant flowers
  • Caulk windows and doors
  • Fix or paint fences 

There are dozens of other minor improvements you can do.  At some point, however, a long list of improvements may cease to boost the resale value of a house.  It’s important to prioritize your list and focus on the those things which will have the greatest visual impact on a prospective customer.

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