What to Fix Up When Selling a House: The Top Repairs to Make


5.34 million existing homes sold in 2018 alone. Is it time for you to sell your home but you’re not sure which repairs you should make first?

If so, you’re not alone. Many homeowners aren’t sure where to start with repairs. But neglecting to repair an old home can impact the current home value, resulting in a lower resale value.

Find out what to fix up when selling a house so you can attract more buyers and get the most bang for your buck.

Repairs vs Upgrades

Before we go into the most important repairs to make before selling a house, it’s important to understand the difference between repairs and upgrades.

Repairs improve the functionality and efficiency of your home. They prevent your current home value from going down. Repairing holes or replacing a broken window screen are examples of home repairs.

Upgrades improve the value of your home by offering something extra or appealing to new home buyers. For instance, upgrading laminate floors to hardwood floors is an upgrade. Upgrades are nice, but they aren’t necessary when selling your home.

Patch the Drywall

Dents and holes in your wall make your home look run-down and unappealing. Thankfully, it’s easy to repair most of these holes yourself.

For small dents and dings, all you need is spackle, sandpaper, and touch-up paint. This is great for covering up nail holes and can help breathe new life into your room. For larger holes, you can fix them with a mesh repair patch.

Hole repairs often leave patches behind. But by painting over those marks, it’s as if the patchwork was never there. Along with holes in walls, also check for chips in your sinks that can be eyesores – these can usually be quickly patched up with a porcelain sink repair kit.


Even a simple upgrade like a new coat of paint in a neutral color can raise your home value by 1 to 2 percent.

Neutral colors appeal to the most buyers regardless of age. Neutral paint allows buyers to envision themselves in the space and makes it easier to sell the home. Colors like white also make a room look bigger and brighter.

You can appeal to families with children by choosing a high-durability paint that’s easy to wash.

Replace Broken Blinds

Most blinds are flimsy and tend to break or bend over time. Taking down the old blinds and replacing them doesn’t cost much and improves the look of your home.

If you don’t want to buy a new set of blinds, replace the broken pieces. Most blinds come with a few spare slats.

This is also a good time to replace weather-worn or broken window screens.

Check the Lighting

Look at your light fixtures, switchplates, and outlets to make sure everything works. Replace burnt-out light bulbs or broken light covers on your ceiling fans.

These are simple and inexpensive repairs that make a huge difference when it’s time to list your home.

Fix Broken Appliances

You don’t need to upgrade to a smart dishwasher to appeal to home buyers, but you do need to make sure your home is functional.

Broken appliances often deter buyers from considering your home. Repair or replace any broken appliances in your kitchen to make your home move-in ready.

Refinish or Replace Old Flooring

Ratty carpet and scratched wood floors make your home look dated and tired. Installing new flooring is a somewhat expensive but important repair to make before listing your home.

If you’re lucky enough to have hardwood floors, refinish them to remove scuffs and scratches. But what if you don’t have hardwood and it’s not in the budget?

Even replacing an old carpet or installing new vinyl flooring can make a huge impact in your home. Updating the floors helps to make your home look cleaner and more modern.

Repair Water Damage

Ugly water stains on the ceiling tend to scare off most buyers because they’re envisioning a major money pit. If you’re selling a house that needs repairs, make sure to budget for any plumbing issues.

First, call a plumber to fix the underlying issue. Repairing leaky pipes or poor yard drainage is usually inexpensive and also prevents your home value from dropping.

Before you list the home, make sure to replace the water-stained ceiling as well.

Make Foundation Repairs

Another structural problem that scares off buyers is a cracked or damaged foundation. Your foundation is the base of your home and needs to be structurally sound to put a buyer’s mind at ease.

A cracked block is often an easy and inexpensive fix but what about more serious concerns?

For water damage or bowed walls, you may need professional repairs. Consult with a foundation repair company to see what needs repair and what you can skip.

Update the HVAC System

Making sure that your HVAC system is in working order is one of the first things to do before selling a house. Test your thermostat to make sure it’s working right and check for leaks or issues.

If you have an older system, call an HVAC technician to take a look and perform a tune-up. Replacing older systems gives you a competitive advantage when selling your home, so it may be worth the added cost.

Improve the Curb Appeal

The outside of your house is the first thing that buyers see, so you want to make a positive impression.

4 in 10 buyers begin the process online, meaning pictures are more important than ever. If the outside of your home needs work, this could be the best place to spend time and money on repairs.

Cut back overgrown trees and shrubs or replace them. Add color with plants and flowers to freshen up the outside and replace old planters or window boxes.

If your address is hard to spot or the numbers look old and dingy, replace them. This is a simple fix that can have a huge impact on your curb appeal.

Knowing What to Fix Up When Selling a House Increases Your Resale Value

Knowing what to fix up when selling a house can increase your resale value and may even put you ahead of the competition.

And you don’t have to spend a fortune on upgrades to see a decent return on investment. Spend money on repairs that improve the look and functionality of your home so buyers can envision themselves living there.

Looking for more home and lifestyle tips like this? Check out the rest of our website for articles perfect for moms, families, and more.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Steve @Redi-Exit.com
4 years ago

Hi LaDonna,

Your List about Repairs we need to do before selling our house are amazing but “Update the HVAC System” is on the top which i never heard off.

Really like these suggestions!

What about mentioning to repair Egress Windows also.


4 years ago

You’re right, a good renovation can raise the cost of your home. Also, if you want to make an investment in real estate, you should pay attention to the condition of the house before buying. My real estate attorney in Dallas often recommends that I also check all documents before purchasing.

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