HomeHome Sellers October 1, 2023

Thinking of Selling? Home Maintenance You Shouldn’t Put Off

If you’re thinking of selling, there are certain home maintenance projects that shouldn’t be put on the back burner. By keeping up with a year-round home maintenance schedule, you reduce the likelihood of unexpected, expensive home repair projects before selling. From roof damage to problems with home appliances, no one wants to deal with a long list right before putting your home on the market. So, we’ve compiled this handy list to help you take a preventative, proactive approach.

Where to Begin with Home Maintenance

A great place to start is this comprehensive annual home maintenance schedule released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Many home maintenance tasks should be completed in the fall and spring.  Therefore, now is the perfect time to prepare if you want to sell soon. If you’re looking to sell next year, the spring checklist will also be helpful.

Additionally, a comprehensive pre-listing inspection is very valuable. It can identify any home repairs you should do before listing. By doing so, you’ll avoid unwanted surprises during the final inspection.

As a homeowner, your pre-listing inspection and home maintenance needs may vary. However, do not skip these essential home maintenance projects before selling.

Repair the Roof and Clean the Gutters

It is essential to keep up with your roof’s maintenance so it lasts its full lifespan. A roof replacement is a costly home project. Regular maintenance can ensure it doesn’t become a major project too soon. First and foremost, check for any signs of leaks in your ceiling or attic. These are the first signs that something is amiss with the roof. Also, check for missing shingles periodically or after a storm to make sure water and moisture cannot get into the home.

While you’re on the ladder inspecting the roof, clean out those gutters. Clear out any debris such as leaves or pine needles that may inhibit proper water flow off the roof onto the ground. Your local hardware store has downspout extensions so water doesn’t pool around your home’s foundation. This is particularly important in our rainy, Pacific Northwest climate.

Ensure Plumbing is Functioning Properly

Check and maintain all plumbing fixtures in the home before putting it on the market. Examine all of the spaces where water damage can occur. Look under sinks, around bathroom tubs and showers, under the washer, and around the dishwasher and refrigerator. Signs of water damage include peeling paint, water stains, and damaged flooring. It’s best to catch any signs of water damage early and repair them quickly to reduce the risk of further damage to the home.

Additionally, examine your water heater and make sure it’s in good condition. If you’re unsure, pay attention to these signs that your water heater is failing: inconsistent water temperature, insufficient hot water, weird sounds, leaks, and water discoloration.

Check Foundation for Signs of Wear and Tear

Monitor all signs of a potential issue with a home’s foundation. If you have any concerns about the integrity of your home’s foundation, seek out a professional. It’s important to note there are different types of foundations. Homes that are in areas that receive more precipitation (such as the Pacific Northwest) may be more susceptible to foundation damage. Before preparing to sell your home, check out this article to learn about common signs of foundation problems.

Eliminate Pests

Preventative pest maintenance is a must, especially going into the winter season. Rodents often look for warm spaces as the weather cools. So, do your best to seal off potential entry points into your home. Prune back branches so they’re away from the sides of your home and not encroaching on the roof of your house. Don’t store anything in the crawl space since it might attract critters. Finally, monitor your attic for any signs of rodents and keep it as clean as possible. Should you hear scuttling noises or suspect rodents are inside the home, call a professional and take action as soon as possible.

Check and Service Appliances

A home is full of major appliances that need to be serviced and regularly checked. Some appliances can be cleaned and serviced by the homeowner, while others may require a professional to do an annual inspection. Cleaning and replacing filters around the home is also important. Smaller items such as carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors need to be in good working order. Review this comprehensive checklist from Better Homes and Gardens to see which appliances you may need to get serviced or have replaced.

Year-round home maintenance is a must. However, it can be difficult to make time for every project and item on your to-do list. So, try focusing on home maintenance projects that impact the integrity of your home, prevent costly issues, and matter most to prospective buyers. As a future home seller, investing in your home in small ways now will lead to financial rewards later. With thoughtful planning and a great real estate agent, you will be able to sell your home faster and for a higher price point.