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  • Writer's pictureDarrin Card

Quick Home Fixes to Make Before You Sell

Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home or just a homeowner with some extra time, knocking out a few quick fixes to your house is always a great investment of time and money. From a visual inspection of your plumbing systems to some TLC on your gutters and other exterior features, these fixes can ensure that your home maintains its value and while mitigating the risk for long-term damages. To help you spot the quick fixes ready for attention in your home, we’ve rounded up seasoned home inspection experts from Sacramento to Philadelphia. Read on and start creating your quick-fix to-do list today!

Sweat the small stuff

When facing a home inspection as a seller, angst is most often a commonplace emotion. Although you personally may not be able to address larger issues with the home if present, fixing the smaller things will make for less "recommendations" in the home inspection report. This will put the buyers more at ease due to fewer deficiencies. Replace any burned-out light bulbs, make sure your gutter's downspouts terminate at least five feet away from the home, check the operation of windows and doors and make repairs as necessary for proper operation, ensure smoke alarms are present and functional in each bedroom and outside of bedrooms, look for plumbing leaks under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, etc. These are the most common issues, but to learn of many more, consider a pre-listing inspection. This will allow you to learn of issues and make repairs on your own time frame and allows you to choose your own contractors, saving you money. Instead of learning of defects under the time constraints of a purchase contract where buyers may negotiate a lower price than the repairs would have cost in the first place. – Professional Home Inspections

Outlet and receptacle covers. Often when “freshening" up the paint we forget to put these back on. Unfortunately, this simple oversight shows up as a safety/fire hazard on your home inspection report. – 4U Inspection Services

The repair I see sellers frequently overlook also has the easiest fix: burned-out light bulbs. The issue is that a burned-out light bulb can be marked as "inoperable light" on the buyer's inspection report, which may suggest an electrical problem when in reality just a simple bulb swap is needed. - Worthy Inspection Services

Visually check your plumbing

Homeowners can visually check general plumbing in the kitchen (Take all the supplies out from under all sinks), bathrooms, laundry areas, rooms that share walls with these spaces to look for signs of leaks, water stains, water damage, and the smell of musty odors commonly related to mold. – Green Home Solutions

Don't forget the attic

If the house has a crawlspace, then a complete inspection of the crawlspace to look for moisture issues and damage is strongly recommended. If the house has a slab foundation filling all cracks in the foundation with crack filler is recommended – S&J Home Inspections

Fix your fixtures

Many times homeowners can overlook even simple things when listing their houses such as missing cover plates on outlets and switches, dirty furnace filters, burned-out light bulbs, and loose or broken doorknobs. Replacing these inexpensive and relatively easy repairs can really cut down on the number of deficiencies in your home inspection report. – Card Inspection Services

Electrical safety

One of the biggest concerns homebuyer's have is the state of a home's electrical system and whether or not it is a safety concern. Having a home inspector or licensed electrician inspect your home's electrical panel and diagnose issues such as double taps, wrong breaker types, and oversized breakers will let you know where your system stands and could be cheaper to fix than you think. Even investing in replacing an older breaker panel with a brand new one may not be as expensive as you think and can be used as a selling point when you list your home. – Home Inspection Geeks

Radon Testing

Test for radon. The purchaser’s home inspector will. Getting in front of this potential issue will help the deal close. – CSL Radon Mitigation

Air conditioning

Any home with an air conditioning unit can experience a build-up of debris in the condensation drain line. When this happens, the condensation can back up and overflow, which can cause serious damage. To eliminate this issue, simply pour a quarter-cup of regular household vinegar into the drain line every couple of months during the summertime. This is an easy solution to head off what could be a complex and expensive problem! – House Check

Invest in proper door stops

Missing or defective door stops are oft-overlooked, usually cause wall damage, and take just minutes to add or replace. And don't forget to patch the wall when necessary. It may be a little thing, but multiple little things help to convey your pride of ownership which is important to buyers. – Signet Home Inspections


This is not so much of a repair, but a tip to make the inspection process smoother for all involved. The tip involves accessibility. I don’t know how many times I have gone to inspect a home and some of the sellers’ belongings block access to important inspection Items such as electrical distribution panels, furnaces or water heaters. These things are imperative to the home inspection but are often blocked from access, causing the inspection report to be delayed and/or additional charges to be added. Inspectors cannot always move items because of liability issues. – Best One Inspection Services

GFCI Receptacles

The ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles should be used near any source of water, such as kitchen or bathroom sinks, toilets, bathtubs, exterior, and inside the garage. Homes that have GFCI outlets should be tested and if they fail they should be replaced by a qualified electrician. I find a high failure rate on the exterior outlets, because of exposure to the outside elements. - Top Notch Home Inspection

Originally published on Redfin

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