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Planning to sell our house in the near future? There are 9 issues you must absolutely fix before you put it on the market. Some problems can be left as is, but experts say these key things need addressing first.

Why is this important? Buyers tend to mentally chip away at the sale price when they see more defects in the home. According to experts, homes in better condition sell 20% more quickly than homes in worse condition.

One way of determining major and minor issues is a pre-listing home inspection by a licensed home inspector. It can serve as an early warning to issues that may have gone unnoticed and maybe even revealing potential issues that might not be uncovered until a buyer raises them in the negotiations.

In any event, fixing major problems up front before you put your house on the market is the best thing to do. Here are those issues that can’t be ignored:

  • Water Damage and mold – both of these are significant problems but can also trigger doubts for potential buyers about the property’s overall condition.
  • Faulty smoke detectors – This one is a safety concern that should not be ignored.
  • Plumbing problems – left unchecked, these will cause more damage as time goes on and again a signal to a buyer about the overall condition.
  • Malfunctioning HVAC system – having this working well can be a selling point to a buyer.
  • Structural issues – repairs that imply a structural problem can compromise the integrity of structure and confidence of a buyer in a property. Signs such as leaning walls, sagging roof, and cracks in the walls/ceiling can signal these issues.
  • Foundation problems – those words are serious enough. Any issues of this type need to be addressed.
  • Roof damage – issues here can lead to other problems so it’s best to take care of them up front.
  • Broken light fixtures – broken or blown lights can indicate to a buyer potential other problems. Good lighting also helps while staging your home. Best to address it now.
  • Broken appliances – just like signs of water damage, appliance that do not work could make a buyer wonder about other issues/systems being neglected. This fix is a more affordable one to deal with or at least be prepared to offer an allowance to a prospective buyer.

In this market when inventory is low, fixing major and some minor issues, will help you get your money’s worth in the sale of your home. Buyers will have confidence in their choice and negotiations could go much smoother when your home is in good condition.

Better Homes and Gardens, Dec. 24, 2023