Top 10 Repairs this House Flipper Recommends to Sell Your Old House
Are you thinking about selling an older house that hasn’t been updated in the last 10 years? Maybe you have inherited a property, going through a divorce, or have a house that was ruined by bad tenants. Whatever the case, the property is not in a condition to list with a realtor. What do you do? Check out the “Top 10 Repairs this House Flipper Recommends to Sell Your Old House”.
There are two common ways to sell your old house. 1.) Sell my house using a real estate agent. 2.) Sell my house fast to an investor. An investor will buy your property as-is, but you will get less money. A real estate agent will want your house in top shape so that it shows well on the market and sells. This means you need to do a few things to fix your house up in order to get top dollar for the sale.
I flip houses for a living and I have put together a list of the top 10 repairs I make when rehabbing a property. The suggestions below are a good way of getting a head start on selling your house if it is out of date. Make these updates and your house will sale quickly for market value.
Click here for our infographic of the Top 10 Repairs.
#1 and #2 – Painting Exterior and Painting Interior
Giving the whole house a new coat of paint is an easy and effective way of making it look and smell new. It removes stains and watermarks that make your house look old. Choose light colors and neutral tones since these are eye-catching. Quick tip: Gray colors are very popular right now. A job paint job will attract potential buyers at first sight as it creates a feeling of a clean, blank canvas.
The most important step in painting is proper preparation of the paint surface. Don’t be lazy and skip this step. Clean the surface, repair nail holes, caulk gaps, etc before you begin painting. Nothing looks worse than a sloppy paint job.
#3 Landscaping and Exterior of House
The interior of the home might be beautiful and stunning. However, the exterior is equally important. The outside of the house is going to be the first impression a buyer gets when they drive up to your house. You want it to be a positive impression or it won’t matter what you’ve done to the inside of the house.
Along with painting the exterior of the house I recommend spending $500 to $1000 updating the landscaping. New shrubs, trees, and mulch can make a big difference in the curb appeal of your old house.
Inspect the outside of the house and re-surface any cracks on the sidewalk or driveway. Ensure that the fence is also in the good condition. Consider pressure washing and staining if it is weathered.
#4 Kitchen Updates
The kitchen is the most important room in the house to a new buyer. Therefore, you need to spend time and money to make this area look great. It is the room where family members gather to prepare their meals, chat or prepare drinks. Therefore, it should be clean, organized, spacious, and should appear comfortable to work in.
I recommend replacing old cabinets and countertops with basic cabinets from Lowe’s or Home Depot. If the cabinets are in good condition, consider painting them white and replacing the countertops with a gray laminate that looks like granite. I have done this on multiple homes and the buyers love the look. I almost always replace the kitchen appliances. Refrigerators, dishwashers, and ranges are very affordable and Lowe’s will deliver these to your house for free.
#5 Bathroom Updates
The bathroom is another area that should stand out for your house to sell. Family members spend some of their freshening-up moments here. The bathroom faces a high content of moisture hence making it prone to wear. As such, pay attention to leakages on faucets and if necessary, install new grouting.
Replace damaged floors and tiles and any other surface so that the bathroom appears comfortable and safe for the next owner. You could also consider upgrading the shower curtain, toilet and toilet seat.
You can also add value to the home by installing modern fixtures in any room.
New flooring can really clean up a house and also make it smell fresh and clean. If you have old carpets or linoleum in your house it is a good idea to tear them out and replace with new carpets. If your house is a higher value house I recommend adding hardwood floors. Hardwood is very popular right now and will help bring top dollar for a house. Oftentimes I will find hardwood floors hidden under carpet of houses I have remodeled. I almost always remove the carpet and have the hardwoods restored. In the Chattanooga TN market it costs about $2 to $2.50 per square foot to have hardwood floors restored.
Do you have old, metal, single pane windows in your house? If so, I strongly recommend hiring someone to replace these windows with a basic double pane window. You don’t have to buy high end windows. Just a basic “builder model” window from a Home Depot will really make a difference in energy efficiency and they look much better. New home buyers expect double pane windows in a remodeled house.
#8 Light Fixtures
Replacing old light fixtures is a must-do when renovating a house. Old, dirty, yellow fixtures have a depressing look for new home buyers. Purchase some basic light fixtures, ceiling fans, and switch plates from Lowe’s and have your handyman install them for you if you don’t have electrical experience. The new clean fixtures will pay off in selling price.
If your roof is over 15 years old I recommend replacing it. This is a job that is left to a professional roofer. The standard 3-tab shingles are cheaper, but don’t look as nice as architectural shingles. If your roof can be seen from the road I recommend spending an extra $100 or $200 for architectural shingles.
Old patio doors, front doors, and screen doors can date a house and bring down the cosmetic appeal of a house. I recommend a fresh coat of paint to entrance doors if they are in good physical shape. Screen doors and patio doors need to be replaced by a skilled handyman. I don’t recommend a homeowner try these repairs on their own.
Making the above 10 repairs will help your house stand out from other homes in the market and sell for top dollar. If you aren’t up to making these repairs yourself or don’t like the idea of managing sub-contractors consider selling your house to an investor such as Michael at www.sellmichaelyourhouse.com.