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Must-Dos to Make a Home Move-in Ready Before it Hits the Market

Must-Dos to Make a Home Move-in Ready Before it Hits the Market

Move-in ready. No matter what interior and exterior features today’s home buyers are looking for, you can pretty much bet that those three little words appeal to every buyer out there. Who doesn’t want to walk into their future home and simply start making it their own?

As a seller, you want to do everything you can to assure buyers that your home is move-in ready. Even if you already feel that your home is the perfect sanctuary for every buyer, there are some things you can do to make it universally appealing before you put it on the market.

Here are 10 must-do home repairs sellers should complete before putting their homes on the market:

1. Paint

We all make personal color choices when it comes to our homes. Before you list your home, cover all signs of your personal choices. This includes fixing nail holes, removing wallpaper and repainting in light, neutral tones to give potential buyers their own blank palette to personalize. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders to give an older home an updated feel – plus, it will help remove any stains and scents that grease or smoke may have left behind.

2. Fix Flooring

Whether your home is covered with hardwood flooring, carpeting or ceramic tile, you can add to your home’s appeal by making sure the floors are scratch, stain and crack free. Refinish hardwood floors, update or steam all carpets and replace any cracked tile. They’re small tasks that make a big impact for buyers!

3. Enhance Lighting

If you’ve already spoken with a trusted real estate professional, you probably know how important it is to properly light your home before a buyer walks through. So, before listing your home, it is imperative that you ensure all light bulbs in your home are in working order. Not only should you test and replace any that aren’t working, you could even install brighter bulbs to better light your home and give it a more spacious feel.

4. Focus on Kitchens and Bathrooms

Buyers seem to fixate on these two home areas, so you should, too! Check and repair any leaky faucets and old sinks. It may even pay to resurface old cabinetry or, at the very least, apply a fresh coat of paint. And, we can’t stress enough the importance of pristine floors in kitchens and bathrooms (see our must-do #2).

5. Make All Systems Go

From your HVAC to your plumbing to your appliances, all home systems need to be in working order before a buyer steps into your home. Whether they require routine maintenance or a complete overhaul, these must-do repairs absolutely fall on the seller. Otherwise, buyers may see your home as a total turn-off and wonder what other home maintenance has been overlooked.

6. Caulk Windows and Doors

“Did you feel that draft?” is not a phrase you want buyers to utter when they’re walking through your home. Whether you’ve recently installed energy-efficient windows and doors or your home is still sporting its originals, do your own walk-through to identify any areas where air may be seeping in and out. Caulk around problem areas to prevent buyers from worrying about energy-efficiency in your home.

7. Secure Locks

You can bet that safety is at the top of every buyer’s list when it comes to home features. So, if they find themselves fumbling with your door knobs or locks, they may feel like your home is unsafe – in addition to seeing yet another task they’ll have to complete upon moving in. Do yourself (and the agent that shows your home) a favor by checking and securing all door knobs and locks before putting your home on the market.

8. Address Exterior Cracks

Once you turn those new door knobs and step outside of your home, take a look down. If you see cracks in your sidewalks and driveway, take care of them so your buyers don’t have to. Fill in cracks and resurface your driveway to give your home’s exterior a fresh face for buyers.

9. Update Fences

A fenced-in yard certainly adds to curb appeal, as long as that fence isn’t in need of repairs. If you’ve got a fence, inspect it for any flaws and fix them before listing. And, what if that white picket fence doesn’t look so white anymore? Fences are also another area where a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference to buyers.

10. Freshen Curb Appeal

From your front door to your fences to your front lawn, curb appeal can be everything when it comes to selling your home. After all, if a buyer doesn’t like what they see on the outside, why should they bother to step inside? Of course, keeping up with mowing and trimming go without saying, but you also can give your home that added appeal by strategically placing some fresh flowers around the perimeter!


If these ten must-do home repairs already have you feeling overwhelmed about selling your home, get some help! Check out our Home Selling Guide for advice on listing your home today!