6 Surprising Items to Fix Before Selling Your House
Real Estate

6 Surprising Items to Fix Before Selling Your House

Feb 21, 2024

Are you selling your house and trying to decide what to fix before starting the process? Well, you’ve probably heard the usual advice: declutter, paint the walls a neutral shade, and fix any glaring issues. Those repairs are obvious to many home sellers preparing to hit the market. What about the surprising items that could throw a potential buyer off? The ones that you might overlook but could make or break a sale.

Let’s dive into six unexpected things you should definitely tackle before sticking that “For Sale” sign in your front yard.

1. Front Door

Believe it or not, your front door says a lot about your house. It’s the first thing buyers see, and a worn-out door might make them think there’s more neglect inside. Even small issues like a creaky hinge, faded paint, or outdated hardware can detract from that all-important first impression. A quick fix? A fresh coat of paint in a welcoming color (think reds, blues, or even a sleek black) and some modern hardware. Bonus: It’s an affordable upgrade with a big impact.

Additionally, the psychology behind the front door is fascinating. It acts as a transitional space, bridging the outside world with the intimate inside of a home. A well-maintained door can evoke feelings of warmth, safety, and security, inviting potential buyers to envision themselves walking through it every day. A sturdy door can even attract a company that purchases homes using cash because it’s a signal of the home’s overall security and soundness.

If you have a squeaky door or one that doesn’t close properly, it’s not just an auditory annoyance but a silent whisper questioning the home’s integrity. While it might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of home repairs and upgrades, prioritizing your front door can create ripples of positive impressions throughout the entire home viewing experience.

2. Mysterious Odors

You’ve lived in your home for years, so there’s a good chance you’ve become ‘nose-blind’ to its unique scent. However, new visitors might pick up on musty odors or lingering pet smells. Before listing, ask a friend (preferably with a very honest nose) to walk through and give you feedback. If they detect anything off-putting, consider deep cleaning carpets, using an odor neutralizer, or hiring professionals to give your home a fresh start.

3. Outdated Light Fixtures

We all get used to our surroundings, and that pendant light from the 90s might feel like a part of the family. But outdated fixtures can quickly age your home in the eyes of potential buyers. The good news? Switching out light fixtures is relatively straightforward and can transform the entire vibe of a room. Consider a modern, classic design that appeal to a broad audience.

Additionally, lighting plays a pivotal role in setting the mood of a space. Contemporary fixtures not only modernize the aesthetic but also often offer better brightness. This can make rooms feel brighter, larger, and more inviting. Remember, potential buyers aren’t just looking for a house—they’re seeking a home that resonates with their lifestyle and preferences. By updating those fixtures, you’re effectively shedding new light on your home’s potential, making it a radiant beacon for those on the hunt.

4. Grout and Caulk Crimes

Dingy grout or cracked caulk in bathrooms and kitchens might seem minor, but to a discerning buyer, they can scream neglect. These areas suffer a lot from moisture and frequent use, leading to wear and tear that’s hard to hide. The solution is simple: re-caulking and re-grouting. These are DIY-friendly tasks that breathe new life into tired spaces, ensuring your bathroom and kitchen shine during open houses.

5. Simple Landscaping

No, you don’t need to transform your yard into a magnificent garden. A wildly overgrown garden can make buyers anxious about maintenance. Trim overzealous shrubs, weed flower beds, and consider adding a few colorful plants. If your thumb isn’t the greenest, local nurseries often provide consultation services to help pick plants that are low-maintenance but high-impact.

6. The Forgotten Gutters

When was the last time you checked your gutters? Overflowing or clogged gutters can lead to water damage – a massive red flag for house hunters. A quick clean can prevent this, ensuring rainwater flows away from your home, not into it. While you’re up there, make sure your downspouts direct water away from the foundation, and all brackets and fastenings are secure.


In conclusion, while the grand renovations and major repairs certainly play their part, it’s often the small details that can turn a “maybe” into a “yes” from potential buyers. Spend time fixing what you think could scare buyers off. Be proactive vs reactive when preparing to sell your home. Before you hang that sale sign, take a moment to consider these surprising fixes. Your bank account might just thank you.

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