Leave These 9 Things Broken When Selling a Home

If you’re planning to sell your house, you can skip some fixes and upgrades while still impressing buyers and getting top dollar.

By Rachel Brougham | Updated Sep 7, 2022 12:47 PM

selling a home

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If you’re planning to sell your house, you need to make it attractive to buyers, while also weighing what makes the most sense to repair before it hits the market. When it comes to fixes and improvements, you’ll need to determine if you’ll recoup your costs and if the upgrades will be worth it in the eyes of potential buyers. Plus let’s face it: Sometimes these fixes take time, money, and DIY know-how we just don’t have.

When it comes time to sell your home, take these nine tasks off your to-do list.

RELATED: Will That Renovation Really Increase Your Home’s Value?

1. Let some wear and tear go.

selling a home

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Many real estate experts will encourage sellers to give a tired room a fresh coat of paint or fix scratches on trim and doors before putting your home on the market. With that said, buyers are generally looking at kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, and walls when they tour a house. So if you don’t have the time to repaint all the trim in the master bedroom or replace that one piece of tile in the corner of the kitchen behind the garbage can, go ahead and skip it. Instead, focus on fixes that are more of a noticeable eye sore.

2. Remove, don’t replace window coverings.

selling a home

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Are your blinds or curtains outdated, ripped, or broken? It may be easier to just remove them altogether than replace them when selling your home. Did you know the average homeowner pays up to $403 per window to install window treatments in their home, according to HomeAdvisor? That’s some big savings right there. Plus, many buyers will replace them anyway with their own style once they get settled.

3. How far do you go with flooring?

selling a home

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Most buyers may expect hardwood floors when they look at homes these days, and the average return on investment for installing hardwood floors is 70-80 percent, according to realtor.com. However, that doesn’t mean you need to rush to replace your flooring. What type of flooring you have all depends on personal taste, and many buyers plan to replace it before moving into a new home anyway. If you have carpet, you can have it steamed cleaned so it looks fresh before putting your home on the market.

RELATED: The Best Flooring Companies of 2022

4. What about that unfinished space?

selling a home

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If there’s a room in your home where you started an upgrade but didn’t have time to finish, you might be best off leaving it alone. For example: If you replaced the sink and vanity in a bathroom but left the old flooring, medicine cabinet, and tile, you can either leave it or replace the whole thing. Leaving it can help potential buyers visualize how they would finish the space, instead of your rushing to complete it with finishes they wouldn’t choose themselves.

5. Is it a major or minor electrical issue?

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If your home has one light switch that does nothing, save time and just disclose it when selling your home. Buyers look at the big picture, and often skip over small issues they can easily fix later.

However, faulty electrical issues throughout your home, bad wiring, and outdated systems are fixes that you may need to address immediately, before putting your home on the market, as they may scare off potential buyers and will likely have to be repaired after inspection anyway.

RELATED: 8 Warning Signs of Dangerously Outdated Electrical Wiring

6. Should you replace old appliances?

selling a home

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Unless they are broken or unsafe, there’s no need to replace old, outdated appliances. Most buyers don’t expect brand new, top-of-the-line appliances, and they may have specific preferences when it comes to styles and brands. Some people buy new when they move into a new house. However, if they need to be replaced because they are broken or unsafe, look for gently used appliances and save some money.

RELATED: Solved! The Best Time to Buy New Appliances at a Discount

7. Weigh the cost of windows.

selling a home

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By all means, wash your windows before selling your home. However, you don’t always have to replace old windows before putting your home on the market. Since windows are an expensive upgrade, the experts at Zillow suggest determining if it’s a necessary step or just a cosmetic fix you can remedy yourself. If your windows are inoperable, drafty or inefficient, consider replacing. However, if they are on the older side but still work and look like they’re in good shape, you can skip this task.

RELATED: The Best Window Brands of 2022

8. Focus on curb appeal not cracks.

selling a home

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Curb appeal goes a long way when selling your home. And while you’ll want the outside of your home to make a great first impression, that doesn’t mean you need to fix all the cracks in your walkways or driveway. Instead, focus on the look of your lawn and landscaping, and then repaint your front door so it stands out. Buyers aren’t going to be scared away by a few cracks in the driveway.

RELATED: 14 Insanely Easy Curb Appeal Projects You Can Do in a Day

9. Don’t get too trendy.

selling a home

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When replacing damaged fixtures or updating a room with a fresh coat of paint before selling your home, don’t get too trendy with the upgrades. When it comes to painting, think neutrals such as whites, beiges, and light grays. When replacing things like light fixtures, cabinet hardware, and faucets, stick with traditional options that already work with your home. This makes the upgrades appeal to almost all buyers and allows for them to choose trendy options once the home belongs to them!