The Guide to Making Home Repairs Before Selling

And Which to Prioritize Before Listing Your Home

Can you relate?

Every homeowner feels the weight of the never ending To-Do List. There seems to always be a project that we’ve been meaning to get to.

I know I’m guilty of the “I’ll get to it next week” that usually turns into months… oops!

And as soon as that project is finished, another one pops up in its place. Never ending, right?

As overwhelming as home projects can be, the value of keeping up with the maintenance of our homes is incredibly important, especially when it comes time to sell your home. Keep reading to find out why!

What problems do deferred maintenance cause for seniors?

There are three key reasons why putting off making those repairs is problematic:

  • Safety Concerns
    Neglected repairs, such as loose floorboards or handrails, can lead to safety hazards. This increases the risk of accidents and injuries, which can force seniors out of their homes instead of leaving on their own terms.

  • Health Implications
    Issues like mold, water leaks, or poor air quality resulting from deferred maintenance can negatively impact seniors’ health, especially those with pre-existing conditions.

  • Lower Profit
    When homeowners trust me to sell their home, one of my main goals is to maximize their net proceeds. Homes that come with lots of long to-do lists are less appealing to buyers, resulting in a lower sale price.

What are the most common repairs put off by seniors?

Seniors commonly put off maintenance tasks that involve physical effort or significant expenses:

  1. Roof Repairs
    Homeowners often neglect leaky roofs, fearing the perceived high repair costs and physical challenges. However, delaying fixes can lead to more extensive damage and increased expenses over time.

    My client and I found an attic full of mold spores during their home inspection… yuck!

  2. Plumbing Issues
    Seniors may defer fixing leaks or addressing plumbing problems to avoid the headache of finding an honest plumber and the cost of the repairs.

    Another inspection horror story… A leaking kitchen sink led to the cabinet floor disintegrating and more mold.

  3. HVAC Maintenance
    While pet hair and dander can be annoying to find on clothes, it’s worse to find it accumulated in your air ducts. Think about its impact on your air quality and energy efficiency!

    One inspection revealed a gaping hole in an air duct in wet basement. The result? A furnace spewing dirt, dust and moisture all throughout the home.

  4. Exterior Paint
    The siding of your home bears the brunt of all the elements. When the paint wears thin, your home is susceptible to rot, leaks, and pests.

    Many homes in West Michigan were built before 1978 prior to the ban on the use of lead-based paint in homes. It can be encapsulated with a fresh coat of paint.

  5. Landscaping
    Outdoor maintenance tasks, including yard work and tree trimming, may be deferred due to physical limitations.

    I know of many buyers who have passed on homes due to their sub-standard curb appeal.

What projects should be prioritized before selling a home?

Before selling a home, seniors should prioritize projects that enhance the property’s appeal and address potential issues:

  1. Curb Appeal
    Improve your home’s exterior with a fresh coat of paint, updated landscaping, and a clean appearance. This will peak potential buyers’ interest when they see the cover photo of your home.


  2. Kitchen and Bathroom Updates
    The saying goes “Kitchens and Bathrooms Sell Homes!” Investing into these spaces can significantly increase a home’s market value, and topped a recent list of buyer’s biggest turn-ons.


  3. Basic Repairs
    Fill holes, dings and dents in the walls and ceiling. Paint any stains from the leak that was repaired years ago. Swap out lightbulbs for cohesive lighting (warm vs cool). Anything else on your “I’ll get to it next week” list.


  4. Health and Safety Issues
    Address problems could be detrimental to a person’s health, such as fixing leaky plumbing and cleaning any mold, replacing rotted deck boards, and updating smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


  5. Decluttering
    Remove personal items and declutter living spaces to make the home more visually appealing. This one can be very challenging for many people – including yours truly! Check out this guide to decluttering for some help.

Are you worried about the hassle of selling your home?

While there are many hurdles to clear when selling a home, I have a proven process to make it as smooth as possible.

Contact me to take a step towards moving with confidence. 

Guide to Making Home Repairs Before Selling