The longer we live in our homes, the harder it is to see their flaws. We simply get used to the scuff marks, chipped paint and squeaky floorboards. It all adds to that lived-in feeling, right?
But during the holidays, we want to present our home in its best light, and that means taking care of some routine home maintenance. If you’re planning to put your home on the market anytime soon, those year-end maintenance projects will do double duty when it comes to attracting buyers.
When you make your list of areas that need your attention, don’t forget these easily overlooked items:
Roof and Gutters
As you put up your outdoor lights and decorations, look for any loose shingles or sagging gutters. Prospective buyers who notice them will instantly wonder about leaks and water damage on the roof. Replace the loose or missing shingles and get the gutters and downspouts back where they belong. Then clear out leaves and debris that accumulated during fall so they work properly.
Patch Before You Paint
Most homeowners know the magic a fresh coat of paint has on a home. But don’t forget that years of holiday decorations, photos and artwork will leave your walls peppered with nail holes. Always patch those holes before you paint for a more polished and professional result.
Next, take a look at your floors. Scratched, stained or discolored flooring are a distraction for prospective buyers. Even though these don’t usually indicate a problem with the home, it does suggest that you haven’t maintained your home very well. Eliminate that concern by repairing or replacing flooring before you put a for-sale sign in the yard.
While You’re Down There . . .
Don’t forget to clean up your baseboards. They take a beating from holiday traffic and everyday wear, but it doesn’t take much to get them looking fresh again. Usually soap and water will do the trick—but a new coat of paint will really set them off.
Cabinetry Takes Center Stage
During the holidays, the kitchen is celebration-central. Since your cabinets are the most dominant feature in this room, they need to look great for both Christmas company and potential buyers. Start by wiping them down to remove splatters and water marks. If they’re looking especially tired, a new paint or stain job will work wonders.
And in the Bathroom . . .
The number-one priority for the bathroom is to look and smell clean. Repair any eyesores like chipped or missing tiles. Fix leaky faucets and reseal the toilet to prevent surprise leaks.
Find Out Exactly What Your Home Needs
If you’d like professional advice about specific repairs you need to prepare your home for sale, a real estate agent with experience in your market is a great source of advice. Your agent will know what buyers in your area pay the most attention to and which things they ignore. That way you can concentrate on repairs that will truly add value to your home.
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