How to Sell Your House Fast!: Finish Projects and Repairs

Over the next 2 months we will have a weekly series called ‘How to Sell Your House Fast!’   My husband and I received two, above asking price, offers for our house the day it was listed.  The key was to put in the time and effort to get everything ready before the For Sale sign went up.  Today we will detail Part 1: Finish Projects and Repairs.

How to Sell Your House Fast! Part 1 by The Sweet Spot Blog

Finish Projects:

Approximately 8 weeks before you plan to list your house, you will want to complete all projects that are partially finished.  You do not want potential buyers to walk through your house and see work-in-progress.  They will either tally up the cost to complete the projects (and reduce it from their offer) or will not put an offer on a house that will require work.  Either way, you are losing out.

One of the most common unfinished projects is painting.  I am guilty of this one!  As you can see in the photo below, I started to paint the walk-in closet in our master bedroom, but stopped when I got to the corner where the built-in drawers are located.  So I spent a Saturday afternoon painting, then removed the painting supplies from the closet.  If your projects will take more than 2 weeks, consider hiring someone to do the work.

How to Sell House Fast!: Finish Projects & Repairs by The Sweet Spot Blog

Repairs:

Now comes the hard part.  You need to take an (honest) walk around your house and make a list of all necessary repairs.  Potential buyers do not want to see anything in disrepair.  If they see one item that is broken, they will assume that there are many broken items throughout the house.  If they decide to make an offer, they will reduce the amount to accommodate for repairs.  Here is a list of standard repairs you will want to make:

1. HVAC: Replace filter and clean all vents (especially the return register).  Dirty vents and registers tell buyers that you have not properly maintained your filter.  If the filter is not replaced on schedule, it can damage your HVAC system.  This would be a red flag to anyone looking at purchasing your house.
2. Refrigerator Water Filter: Remove and replace the filter for your refrigerator water system.  You will be surprised how quickly the water comes out with a new filter!
3. Caulk: Caulk becomes cracked and brittle over time.  Even if you think your caulk is fine, it is a good idea to remove and replace all caulk in your kitchen and bathrooms.

How to Sell House Fast!: Finish Projects & Repairs by The Sweet Spot Blog
4. Grout: If you have tile with a light colored grout (like I do in the photo up above) you will want to clean and reseal it.  This is a bit time-consuming, but worth it.
5. Toilets: Consider replacing your toilet seats and toilet flappers (flushing mechanism).  Potential buyers want to see perfect bathrooms and kitchens.  Replacing these items is economical and will go a long way towards impressing buyers.
6. Bathroom Sink Stoppers: Over time, sink stoppers get just plain gross.  Take yours to Home Depot to find a comparable replacement.  This is a cheap and easy repair that should not be skipped.
7. Walls and Doors: Over time, walls and doors are scratched, scuffed, or just become dirty.  This often happens on doors, near light switches, and around the thermostat.  First try to clean with a damp sponge.  If that does not work, gently use a magic eraser to remove the residue.  If that is not successful, you will need to use touch-up paint.
8. Wall Cracks: Check walls for minor cracks.  They tend to show up around windows and doors.  Patch and repaint any minor cracks.  Major cracks should be repaired by a professional.

Do not take more than a few weeks to knock out these projects.  Dedicate yourself to completing them on a timeline so you can move on to the next step!  Next week we will discuss Part 2: Declutter and Staging.

Don’t forget to ‘Pin’ this post so you can access it when you are ready to put your house on the market!

[nrelate-related]


58 Responses to How to Sell Your House Fast!: Finish Projects and Repairs

  1. Brett Dupree January 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    wow, lots of awesome information. Thanks for sharing. Step one seems like a pretty big undertaking.

    • Corinna January 31, 2013 at 12:14 am #

      It’s the hardest of all the steps!

  2. Suzi Shumaker January 31, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    Hey – great blog! Love the look and all the great resources and tips.

  3. Corinna January 31, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Suzi!

  4. Chasing Joy February 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks! These are really great tips. I need to make some improvements and repairs in my house. This is a good place to start.

    Stopping by from SITS

  5. Christina February 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    This is too funny. I actually had pinned this post last week to take a look at later and low and behold, you happen to be in my #SITSblogging Comment Love group. Small world isn’t it?

    My husband and I are actually in the process of getting our house ready to sell. Currently I am in the “Get rid of junk” stage but I can already see all the little repairs that we never got around to doing. So I will defiantly be coming back to take a look at some of your other posts. I could use all the help I can get. :)

  6. goldi February 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Oh you ladies are pinned, saved and added to all of my social media outlets! I love these kinds of blogs about everything and nothing! My husband wants to start getting into the buying/flipping houses business, so this article will be very helpful for us!

    I love Pinterest, too, so I’ll be sure to follow you there, and see what kinds of things you have to share for the coming holidays!

    I can’t believe you downsized to such a small place! It must be a huge difference for you, but like you said, it has so many positives to it. I know exactly what you mean by “mindless buying.” We have a guest room and nobody uses it, yet I find myself obsessed with trying to make it ready for NOBODY! haha After all is said and done, do I want to say that I spent $200 on sheets and accent pieces for a room that nobody ever goes in? MMMM, no thanks!

    Thanks for sharing your spirit, voice and advice! I love the look of your blog, too, by the way!

  7. Quick Home Buyers March 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    You went through some good tips. It’s the details that count. Great article Corrina!

  8. mikeotranto April 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Thanks for sharing the information about how to sell my house fast.Definitely,I will use these tips to improve my home improvements as well ..

  9. Davyd Ramirez December 20, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    I spent $6 on Magic Erasers because the walls were so dirty from everyone missing the garbage and we were getting ready to paint in the kitchen. They disappear so fast when you need them!! Anyway … A must have for the home selling project. Great advice!!

  10. Amanda R March 16, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    I will put my house for sell but before that I will take your advice and make an honest walk around it and fix what need to be fixed first

  11. floridasellmyhomefast March 25, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    Thanks for Share this Blog !!!

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    Add up some more value to your home by some custom renovations.

  13. floridasellmyhomefast April 22, 2015 at 9:38 am #

    Very infomative Blog Thanks for share this !!!

  14. Mayron May 12, 2015 at 12:18 am #

    thanks for the tips. MY HOUSE IS FULL OF UNFINISHED ROOMS. I am one of these people who start something and never finish it’s. Any ideas on how to start
    Thanks again

  15. John Klok July 16, 2015 at 3:33 am #

    There is wonderful information! This post will many people to know about
    How To Sell Your Home Fast

  16. brick work Northern NJ August 16, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

    Improving the layout of your home can make your home more usable and enjoyable.

  17. San Diego real estate market September 1, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    Hi Corina! Nice blog, as I am planning to sell my house this blog will be a great help to repair the house. Now, I will definitely put my time and efforts to sell my house fast and at a higher price. Thanks for sharing. Also, do you have any idea about setting the home price?

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    Add up some more value to your home by some custom renovations.
    Improving the layout of your home can make your home more usable and enjoyable.
    By hiring a certified chimney repairmen, you are ensuring that the chimney inspector can be trusted in the dark. Chimney repairmen work very hard to become certified, and lose all credibility if they do not properly perform chimney repairing.

  19. Jenn December 7, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    You definitely want to finish all of your projects before you put your home on the market. We walked through so many houses that didn’t have finished paint, or patched holes in the walls, or 15 year old caulking around the windows that was peeling and flaking. These things seem tedious to the seller, but make a huge difference to the buyer!

  20. Rob Benton December 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    I agree that it’s important to repair the water filter in your refrigerator. This is something that gets neglected because people think they could just use the faucet water. The problem with this is that when people are looking to move into your house, one of the things they want to know is whether your refrigerator has a working water filter. Sometimes housing deals are not made partly because of this seemingly small thing.

  21. deck building Brookside December 22, 2015 at 12:27 am #

    Renovating or remodeling your home is a sure way to increase the value of your home and property.

  22. Innovative Estates December 28, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    Well if you want to sell your house, then may be you don’t need to repair it first. you can sell your house without any repairs and expenses. just visit our website and get a offer within 24 Hours!

  23. stonework Northern NJ January 18, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Home renovation is really nice specially when adding some stoneworks to make it more appealing.

  24. Westly Smith January 19, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    I agree with you that when selling your house, you need to make sure everything is repaired. I like how you mention replacing filters and cleaning all vents. This may seem like a large task, but it will help your home’s value increase. I’ve done it before!

  25. DJ April 23, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

    I commented on #2 but I wanted to let you know that the wood is very important too. If your woodwork and cabinets look dirty and scratched up or the baseboards and window sills are faded the Victorian House Wood Finish Rejuvenator will make it look like new and what I really liked was it wasn’t greasy and stayed looking good. Its really a repair instead of a coverup like lemons and oranges or murphys stuff. I really can’t explain it but its an old product made for antiques and its online now. Its also made in Oklahoma USA. Heres the address. http://www.thevictorianhouseproducts.com

    • Okie gal September 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

      DJ I went to their website and enjoyed the information very much. I too am from Oklahoma and had never heard of this 30 year old company so I was curious. The instructions seemed easy enough and I was at my wits end with the products I was trying on my NEW–to me–home. My problem was with grease and nicotene from who knows how many years of buildup on some Real wood cabinets. I didn’t have money to replace them and refinishing seemed way over my ability. I finally pulled the trigger- I ordered 2 bottles and the steel wool applicators and got free shipping. I am totally amazed. Thank you for your advice. Some of the cabinets are going to need a little stain where the finish had worn off but there were areas that were nearly white and the color reappeared. I got the idea that the oil made the finish Clear again. Its magic whatever it does. I had to share. The web address is long but it got me there. http://www.thevictorianhouseproducts.com pooterma even wrote a review on their site.

  26. jose ain April 26, 2016 at 6:30 am #

    The best thing is to sell your house for cash. Here there is a policy sell your house fast in Arizona without any complication. We take your house in any condition which will save your money for getting repaired your house

  27. jose ain April 26, 2016 at 6:32 am #

    The best thing to do is to sell your house for cash. Here one cansell your house fast in Arizona without any complication. We take your house in any condition which will save your money for getting repaired your house.

  28. Ruth month April 26, 2016 at 6:57 am #

    Loved the tips. The tips were very useful as I wanted to sell my house that was newly built. The above tips helped me in making some major changes before the buyers walk throughly house. If you want to sell your house fast in Arizona you can definitely refer the above mentioned tips. Keep posting!!

  29. Kenneth Gladman April 26, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    I like the tips you provided, especially repairs. I think that will be the biggest benefit. I would also look into agents and services to help you. There are a lot of options to help you get a good deal and prepare you to sell.

  30. Ruthmonth April 26, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    Loved the tips. The tips were very useful as I wanted to sell my house that was newly built. The above tips helped me in making some major changes before the buyers walk throughly house. If you want to sell your house fast in Arizonafor cash you can definitely refer the above mentioned tips. Keep posting!!

  31. John April 29, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    Amazing. If our house is well furnished and properly maintained, then we can sale our home fast. Thanks for sharing these tips with us. We can change various things in our home like window repair and replacement, door replacement etc.

  32. Silas Knight May 2, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks for the tips on how to sell a house fast. I had never thought about most of these little fixes and repairs to help the house be more appealing. I will have to look at my HVAC unit and make any needed repairs.

  33. Hazel Owens May 20, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    The grout looks so much better after you cleaned and resealed it! I have trouble making the grout look clean even when I’m not trying to sell my house. However, little fixes like that can make a big difference when trying to sell quickly, so putting in a bit of effort can go a long way. Thanks for the article!

  34. Michael Birov June 25, 2016 at 12:24 am #

    You are very generous enough to repair all necessary before selling your house. That is the right attitude, on the other side, you can benefited by charging all your expenses to the new buyer and for sure they don’t mind it because it’s ready to move-in. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  35. Lindsey Hill July 21, 2016 at 1:37 am #

    Yes I know there is no hard and fast rule. But there are some general guidelines that we can apply on our house. Most important thing is that it should attracts buyers. I am a roofer expert at Maryland roofing company and I have read a lot of tips before. I want to appreciate your work. I enjoyed your post.

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    Don’t forget to install some good fixtures for your bathroom design renovation.

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      You have to be extra careful, so ensure that you have hired the best contractor that can meet your expectations for your chosen renovation projects.

  37. Kaitlyn October 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    These are all great tips to prepare your home for a quick sale! Repairs are big task but will make all the difference. I like how you mention the small details, too – like toilet flappers.

  38. Allan Foglio October 30, 2016 at 7:07 am #

    It has been something new ideas that you share. I get lots of information that you share. I find out extra info that you share. Thanks for sharing this article.

  39. Allan Foglio November 13, 2016 at 3:21 am #

    You made different types of information that we need. In this blog, I learn extra information that we need. Thanks for sharing this article.

  40. Chrisitna December 12, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    You make a good point about replacing toilet parts. This is a cheaper way to about satisfying that desire for polish and brand new home accessories, as you shared.

  41. madam February 4, 2017 at 3:38 am #

    Yes a good refrigerator water filter is key for clean and healthy water

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    Thinking of remodeling your home? Then get your supplies on reputable sellers in the market.

  43. Kathreen Miller April 25, 2017 at 2:35 am #

    It’s true that potential buyers do not want to see anything in disrepair. If they see one item that is broken, they will assume that there are many broken items throughout the house. If they decide to make an offer, they will reduce the amount to accommodate for repairs. Very informative post.

  44. orlando handyman May 30, 2017 at 11:58 pm #

    All the tips are very important, specially tips for repairing. It may not look a big issue, but if we start searching then we will find out lots of things which needs to repair.It will be pretty much harder to sell a house without repairing all those things.Very helpful post.Thanks for sharing.

  45. Ron Pickle August 17, 2017 at 1:38 am #

    Completely agree with you, a damaged house would attract little or no inquiries from the buyers, Only inquires would come from the wholesalers who would seek to buy your home at throw away rates, some thing you would not like.

  46. Cristina Ortega September 3, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Lots Of excellent, action packed information here! As a home buyer myself, I know that all these items can make a huge difference to what our offer is, based off of what needs to be done. However, if making these repairs are outside of your means, then that isn’t a problem we can buy your house just the same. Great post!

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