Which Repairs Should I Prioritize Before Selling My Houston Home?


Certain areas of the Houston, Texas real estate market are in extremely high demand, and as a seller, you want to raise the fewest possible red flags while getting as good a sale price as you can. At the same time, you don’t want to pour a bunch of money and time into a home where you might have been able to get a similar selling price without making a lot of changes.

So what should you repair prior to selling, versus leaving and recognizing that plenty of house buyers know you are selling a home as-is for the most part? The key is to know what stands out a lot compared to how much time and money it takes to fix.

Fix Damaged Siding and Gutters

Exterior damage may seem like it’d get less notice, but anywhere that water could be damaging the home becomes a major red flag for buyers. These are the kinds of repairs that may cost something now, but it’s nothing compared to fixing the rot that comes when water gets inside your home and rots portions of the interior structure.

Repaint If Anything is Flaking or Damaged (Especially the Front Door!)

Your front door is like your handshake with a buyer: they stare at it while they wait for someone to answer the knock, and if it is giving off a really shabby vibe, your buyers are going to start forming an overall opinion before they’ve even stepped inside. Flaking or damaged paint can also be a disqualifying feature for certain kinds of loans like FHA loans, so you’ll need to repair it anyway if you end up with an FHA buyer; much better to avoid the red flag in the first place and budget for some paint touchups or redo’s if you need them before listing the home.

Fix Sticking Windows and Doors and Add Weatherstripping

It may not seem like a big deal, but when someone goes to open a window and it’s painted shut, that’s a memory that sticks with them. The same is the feeling that a room is drafty, or having a hard time getting a door handle to turn and a door to open. All of these things make a home feel older or in worse repair than it may actually be, and you don’t want those thoughts in your buyer’s heads. Instead, do a little “test showing” where you and a friend walk through the home and flag with post-it notes any windows, doors, or drafts so that you can take a weekend to do some fixes and add some WD40 where needed.

In General: If It’s a Fix and Not a Replacement, Consider Doing It

All of the above are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how many repairs you could do, but they have something in common: they involve fixing something unsightly or highly noticeable, not replacing or remodeling a whole portion of the home. Review the rest of your home with the same eyes: is there a way to fix your linoleum so that it’s a little nicer looking rather than replacing it? When you have to buy lots of new raw materials and have a professional install, your costs go up quickly, but making something fundamentally functional look nicer will add to the positive impression without costing you an arm and a leg.

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