How Much Work Should I Do to My Home Before Selling?

Repairs Prior Selling Home

You’ve made the decision to sell your home and starting to see it in a critical light. What didn’t bother you before is suddenly looking outdated, and now you’re wondering how much work needs to get done before selling your home.

It isn’t easy knowing exactly how much work you need to do before selling a house. You could spend more than is necessary to attract a buyer, or too little and risk bad photos and disappointing showings.

What’s important to know is that you’re trying to sell your home, so you don’t need to renovate the entire house. Your goal is to renovate and repair the parts of your home that aren’t costly but will make a difference aesthetically.

Before You Start Repairing and Renovating Your Home

Before you start with any renovations and repairs, get a pre-sale home inspection done. A pre-sale home inspection will assist you in identifying what issues you need to pay attention to before you place your house on the market.

A home inspection will also need to get done before a lender will loan the buyer money to purchase a home, so finding the problems now means you get to deal with the problems sooner rather than later and help speed up the sale.

Home Repairs and Renovations that will Make a Difference

1. Kitchen and Bathrooms

Your kitchen and bathrooms are the most significant rooms in your home, especially your kitchen. Often, buyers will base their decision on the state of the kitchen. In the kitchen, ensure your appliances are in good working order. Fix any leaks and check that the drains operate free and clear.

Cabinets in both the kitchen and bathrooms should be in good condition, free of rot and water damage. Cabinet drawers and doors should open and close smoothly. Replace broken handles or knobs and fix loose hinges. If your cabinets are outdated, consider repainting them a neutral color to give the area a modern look.

2. Walls and Ceilings

Inspect the drywall and repair visible nail holes and dents. If you have wallpaper, consider removing it, as buyers will likely not have the same style as you. If there’s any water damage discoloration on the walls or ceiling, repaint them. Painting gives the highest rate of return with the lowest cost. Stick to neutral colors to give your house a new facelift.

3. Flooring

Replace any cracked or chipped tiles, or refinish any dented or scratched hardwood. If you have carpets, you may want to consider getting them removed, as buyers prefer wood or tile flooring. If you can’t afford to upgrade to wood, replace the torn parts and get it steam-cleaned (especially if you have pets).

4. Update Lighting Fixtures

A simple update is replacing the lighting throughout your home. Colors should be kept consistent with your home’s hardware. Make sure that whatever you choose gives an actual update.


Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) must be working correctly, clean, and free of leaks. Check to see whether your thermostat is in good working order. If you’re unsure of anything, hire an HVAC technician who can assess your system’s condition and perform a tune-up.

Your water heater should also not leak and be in good working order. Check that all the pipes are insulated.

6. Roof

The roof should have no missing or broken tiles, ridge caps, or shingles, as these protect your home from water damage. If you have interior water damage, you will need to contact a professional, as this can mean you have a roof leak.

7. Foundation

You should have a structurally sound foundation, retaining wall, and stem wall. An unstable foundation will include horizontal cracks in the foundation, interior or exterior walls, or sagging floors. If there’s any sign of an unstable foundation, get a professional opinion.

8. Landscaping

The outside is the first thing that a prospective buyer will look at when they come to view your home. First impressions are everything, and an overgrown or patchy yard can be a turn-off. Remove anything dead and cut back anything overgrown.

Trim back any branches of trees that are touching the roof, as it can cause damage. Ensure that no trees or shrubbery are touching your home.

9. Decks

If you have a deck or patio, the support columns should be structurally sound. There should be no termite or water damage. To prevent any further water damage, consider applying a coat of polyurethane over the deck.

10. Fencing

There should be no rotten or water-damaged boards on wooden fences. If your fence has a gate, make sure it can open and close smoothly. Paint the fence if it’s rusted or has chipped paint. For rusted fences, scrub the fence with a wire brush and rust converter, prime, and then paint over the affected areas.

Overwhelmed by all the Repairs?

A home is an investment that needs regular maintenance, but there are times that homeowners neglect the care of their living space. If this is your situation, you could be left with a long list of repairs or renovations needing to get done.

Try to focus on repairing what’s important before selling your home by choosing projects that justify a higher asking price.

If this is too overwhelming for you, have you considered selling your home as-is? If you’re in Massachusetts and want to sell your home but sitting with a long list of repairs, we will buy your house for cash, as-is. You won’t need to worry about fixing your home as we buy houses in any condition!

Don’t waste your time or money renovating and repairing your home. Contact us today to get an obligation-free cash offer.

To receive a free cash offer, give us a call or text us on 781-309-7085.

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