Effective Repairs to Make Before Selling Your Home

Selling a home involves more than just listing it on the market. Strategic repairs and improvements can significantly increase your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers. It’s all part of preparing to sell.

I will provide detailed guidance on minor cosmetic fixes, major structural repairs and insights into DIY versus professional maintenance. You’ll also get a complete analysis with cost estimates and potential returns on investment.

I will cover the following essential information:

  • Essential minor repairs that enhance buyer appeal
  • Major repairs that significantly increase home value
  • DIY vs. professional repairs: when to hire a pro

I have learned numerous things from selling real estate for the past thirty-eight years. One of the most essential is knowing how to sell a house in less-than-ideal condition. Houses in lousy condition do sell, but it often takes longer.

Pricing correctly becomes crucial in this circumstance.

Selling a property as-is isn’t the way to maximize your profits. Even if you sell a condo, it’s wise to prepare it for the real estate market. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has excellent tips on preparing a condo for sale.

The following is guidance to help make the best decisions when deciding what to fix.

Minor cosmetic repairs

1. Painting

  • Cost: $200 – $3,000
  • Potential return: Up to 107% ROI
  • Details: Fresh paint can transform the look of your home, making it feel clean and updated. To appeal to a broader audience, I recommend neutral colors like beige, gray, or off-white for interiors. For exteriors, ensure the color matches the neighborhood aesthetic. DIY painting can save money but requires time and effort. Professional painters guarantee a flawless finish but come at a higher cost. Painting is one of my favorite recommendations because it can have such a significant impact. If you’re selling a home now, this should be one of the first things on your improvement list.

2. Landscaping

  • Cost: $300 – $5,000
  • Potential return: Up to 100% ROI
  • Details: First impressions matter; a well-maintained yard can significantly boost curb appeal. Basic tasks like lawn mowing, trimming hedges and planting flowers can make a big difference. Consider adding mulch, edging flower beds and power washing walkways. For more extensive landscaping, such as installing new sod or creating a garden, hiring a professional landscaper ensures the job is done correctly.

3. Fixing fixtures

  • Cost: $100 – $1,000
  • Potential return: Up to 75% ROI
  • Details: Outdated or broken fixtures can detract from your home’s appeal. Replace old light fixtures, door handles and faucets with modern, stylish options. I recommend that all fixtures are functional and match the home’s overall design. Simple upgrades can be done DIY, but hiring a professional for electrical or plumbing fixtures ensures safety and code compliance.

4. Updating flooring

  • Cost: $500 – $10,000
  • Potential return: Up to 80% ROI
  • Details: Flooring significantly impacts a home’s look and feel. Replace worn-out carpets with new ones or opt for highly desirable hardwood floors. If you have hardwood floors, consider refinishing them to restore their original beauty. DIY installation can save costs, but professional installation guarantees precision and durability.

5. Kitchen backsplash

  • Cost: $600 – $1,500
  • Potential return: Up to 85% ROI
  • Details: A new backsplash can give your kitchen a fresh, modern look without a complete remodel. Choose materials like ceramic, glass, or subway tiles for a clean and contemporary appearance. DIY installation is possible with the right tools and skills, but professional installation ensures a perfect finish, especially for intricate designs. I recommend my clients change out laminate counters with granite.

Major structural repairs

There are pros and cons to making significant improvements. Sellers should know them.

1. Roof repairs

  • Cost: $5,000 – $10,000 (repair) / $10,000 – $20,000 (replacement)
  • Potential return: Up to 105% ROI (repair), 70% ROI (replacement)
  • Details: The roof is a critical component of your home’s structure. Address any leaks, missing shingles, or damage immediately. Minor repairs can often be done DIY, but significant issues typically require professional help. If the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, consider a seller’s concession. While installing a new roof can be a strong selling point, it does not provide good ROI.

2. HVAC system

  • Cost: $3,000 – $8,000 (repair) / $5,000 – $15,000 (replacement)
  • Potential return: Up to 85% ROI
  • Details: A functional and efficient HVAC system is crucial for home comfort. Ensure your system is in good working order by servicing and repairing it regularly. If the system is old or inefficient, replacing it with a modern, energy-efficient unit can attract buyers who value lower energy bills. Professional installation is essential for compliance and efficiency.

3. Foundation repairs

  • Cost: $2,000 – $10,000
  • Potential return: Up to 90% ROI
  • Details: Foundation issues can be a significant red flag for buyers. Address cracks, settling, or water damage promptly. While minor cracks can sometimes be sealed with DIY methods, significant foundation problems require professional evaluation and repair. Hiring a reputable foundation repair specialist ensures the stability and safety of your home. This is crucial for securing a sale.

4. Plumbing and electrical

  • Cost: $500 – $10,000
  • Potential return: Up to 75% ROI
  • Details: Functional plumbing and electrical systems are essential for any home. Fix leaks, update old wiring and ensure all systems are up to code. Replacing outdated plumbing fixtures and installing new electrical outlets can modernize your home and improve safety. While minor fixes can be DIY, licensed professionals should handle significant repairs or updates to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.

5. Kitchen and bathroom remodels

  • Cost: $10,000 – $50,000
  • Potential return: Up to 80% ROI
  • Details: Kitchens and bathrooms are key selling points. Updating these spaces can significantly boost your home’s value. Consider new cabinets, countertops and appliances for the kitchen. In bathrooms, replace old fixtures, add modern vanities and update tiling. While DIY can be an option for smaller tasks, full remodels often require professional contractors to ensure high-quality results and adherence to building codes.

DIY vs. professional repairs

I recommend hiring a pro in most circumstances. Unless you are very handy and have the time, it pays off in the long run. When you want to sell a home quickly, contact your subcontractors months in advance.

DIY repairs

  • Cost savings: Up to 50%
  • Pros: Saves money, flexible scheduling, personal satisfaction
  • Cons: Time-consuming, requires skill, potential for mistakes
  • When to DIY: Minor cosmetic fixes like painting, simple landscaping tasks and small updates like changing fixtures or minor floor repairs.

Professional repairs

  • Cost: Higher initial expense
  • Pros: High-quality work, warranty, reduced personal effort
  • Cons: Higher costs, dependent on professional schedules
  • When to hire professionals: Structural repairs like roofing and foundation, major electrical and plumbing updates and complex remodels of kitchens and bathrooms.


When selling your home, understanding the value of major and minor repairs is essential. Addressing these critical repairs will attract more buyers, increase your home’s value and ultimately secure a better sale.

Happy selling!

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