Have you ever visited a friend’s or relative’s house, and in giving the grand tour they explain some quirky shortcoming you didn’t expect? Perhaps the light switch in the guest bedroom flips down for on, up for off (the opposite of what you’d expect). Maybe the toilet handle needs to be jiggled a few times for a successful flush. These things might not seem like a big deal, and have probably become second-nature to the homeowner, but they could become a very big deal indeed if you're trying to sell your house.
You can’t predict which switch a buyer will choose to turn on or what door a buyer will attempt to open. If they happen to find the switch that is “not operating exactly right”, they will likely start wondering what bigger problems are being hidden from them.
What are some of the most common quirks that may turn off your potential buyers? Below are some common flaws that you should consider repairing for a quick and smooth sale of your home.
1. Difficult garage door
Be sure your garage door opens smoothly and without making too much noise. Needing “a little trick” to get it fully open may have become second nature to you, but the agent showing your home is probably going to have to wrestle with it in front of the potential buyer. Don’t leave your chances of a home sale out in the driveway.
2. Noisy, leaky toilet
A noisy toilet often just needs a new toilet flapper, something you can probably easily install yourself. For under $10, it makes sense to ensure your toilet flushes well, because someone will undoubtedly use the restroom during your open house. Tighten down the toilet seat bolts while you’re already working on it.
3. Missing or burned-out lightbulbs
Is your home as brightly-lit as it could be? Often with a large overhead lamp, we’ll barely notice the slight dimming from a single dead bulb since we don’t read in that corner anyway. Maybe the bulb in the freezer went out long ago but the kitchen is bright enough to read the ice cream container anyway. Your potential customer, however, may see this as a sign that you have not been responsibly maintaining your appliances.
4. Wobbly ceiling fan
It’s easy to forget about that wobbly ceiling fan if it’s not in an often-used room...until the potential buyer tests it out. Tighten or replace ceiling fans that look like they are about to launch themselves from the ceiling, so they don’t send buyers running for cover.
5. Front door gets stuck
Entering the front door is one of the first impressions your buyer gets of your home. If the agent has to push hard into the front door to open it, you’re starting with an ominous sign. A properly-working (and freshly-painted) front door that swings open and closes smoothly makes for a welcoming start to the tour of your house. A carpenter can usually make the necessary adjustments to the frame of a sticky door.
6. Shaky banister
Over years of use, your stair railing can become increasingly shaky. Make sure those screws are tightened down so your potential homebuyer does not worry about tumbling down the stairs! Check all banisters, stair supports, and any railings - including outside on the deck or balcony - to make sure they are secured properly.
7. Overstuffed closets
You may believe you’ve successfully hidden the clutter in your home, but once the interested buyer checks out the closet space, they know the truth about your mountainous fleece blanket collection. Plus, now your home looks like there isn’t enough storage space! Clean them out and get everything unnecessary into offsite storage. This is also the right time to oil any squeaky hinges and make sure all track-rollers are operating smoothly.
8. Propped-open windows
Repair or replace older windows that need to be propped open because their internal springs are shot. It may be convenient to shove a shampoo bottle into that old bathroom window to keep it propped open, but many buyers will notice you took a shortcut instead of fixing the problem.
9. Backyard gate that drags on the ground
When someone opens the gate to your backyard or your garden, does it scrape noisily on the pavers, concrete, or ground? Over time, frost heaves can move the balance of how your gate hangs. Gates should be adjusted so they continue to open smoothly at about 2 inches above the ground.
10. Broken mailbox
The life of a roadside mailbox can be a rough one. Between daily use by the postal carrier, wear-and-tear from standing close to traffic, and the occasional abuse from a passing vandal, a patched post or cracked door hinge can be a common sight in residential area. Remember, your home’s “curb appeal” truly starts right there at the curb.
Have you checked for these “small quirks” that may be holding you back from selling your home? The experts at Cisneros Realty Group can show you how to prepare your home for its maximum selling price as well as help with any other questions you may have about the home selling process.