When people say homeowning is a huge responsibility, it’s because homes need maintenance before, during, and after your owning it.
The good news is—since homeowning consumes 65.3% of the population—it’s easy to prevent house maintenance mistakes.
The main difference between maintaining your home and selling it is a shift in mindset. While your own standard of living may look one way, prepping your house for another owner requires tip-top shape. Why?
Easy. The better your home’s condition, the more likely it’ll sell.
Read on to learn how to improve your home’s value and attract buyers immediately.
House Maintenance Mistakes
It’s true that hindsight’s 20/20. Ironically, selling your home is a ripe time to learn about being a great homeowner.
If you want to sell your attached house, treat it like a reset. If you were to buy this house again, what repairs would it need?
It’s time to think big picture. No more, I’ll leave that for the next owner, or, That can wait. Now’s when you do what you always said you’d do—just, for somebody else.
Divide and Conquer
Avoiding the top seven maintenance mistakes requires strategy. Splitting the house into two parts—inside and outside—can combat these issues.
1. Delayed Appliance Replacement
Take a scan of the house. When it comes to household basics, issues with the following can be dealbreakers for buyers.
- Washing machine and dryer
- Refrigerator coil
- HVAC systems
While you may have been okay repairing these once every blue moon, it’ll be evident to the newcomers. Old grease stains, dust, and rust are not appealing to prospective buyers. Cue your, Yeah, I should’ve done this a while ago, moment.
There’s no time like the present! If there’s any time to invest in the best house cleaning tools, it’s now.
If there’s one thing that can immediately change a home’s energy, it’s the lights.
Can any rooms use more or less light? How might you maximize the home’s natural light in a way you haven’t before? Would a minor feng shui complement the light better?
What brings out this home’s best angles? Replacing living room lights especially can create a whole new ambiance.
It’s like preparing your home’s photo shoot, just as you would for a person. Feel free to dress it up!
3. Dirt in the Air
When’s the last time you changed your air filters? Dusted? Vacuumed?
Thinking about the home’s basic functioning—air, water, light, and structure—will help you cover your bases. Imagine someone with allergies coming in to look at the home. They’d likely want somewhere that’s easy on the lungs.
4. Electric Overload
So you replaced your bulbs, but how’s the electrical system? Are there exposed wires or crowded power strips? Does your room’s layout not work for the outlets?
Are fuses constantly blown from your hairdryer? While you may have come to love your kitschy, creative ways, it’s hard to justify them to other people as a healthy way of living.
Remember—change is a good thing.
5. Gunky Gutters
When people shop for homes, remember they’re looking for the nooks and crannies that people avoid cleaning. Leaf-laden gutters are a tell-tale sign that home operations are awry.
A well-kept home will inspire others to care for it the same.
6. Rickety Roof
While you’re up there, it’s important to check on your roof—and maybe for the first time (yikes!). Treat your roof issues as clues; finding one can reveal the next thing to recover.
If your roof has any of the following symptoms, it’s time for a repair.
- Broken shingles
- Drooping spots
- Mold or mildew
- Tree or storm damage
- No insulation in the attic
7. Throwing Windows to the Wayside
Windows are one of the main aesthetic features of a home, and they’re the last thing new homeowners want to replace. Having new windows is a huge draw for buyers, and it improves the home’s value for sellers.
If you’ve experienced the following window issues, upgrades await you.
- Leaks and drafts
- Broken seals, locks or panes
- Warped or rotting frames
- Discolored furniture from UV rays
- Difficulty opening or closing
- Not soundproof
As you avoid these house maintenance mistakes, it becomes obvious how everything’s interconnected. Fixing an HVAC system only goes so far if you have drafts coming through your windows.
For example, you may find signs of water damage from either inside the home, outside or both. While you may not have been looking for it, inspecting the home critically will show you what you need to see.
Having a home at the top of its game requires a thorough assessment of all its systems, from the inside, out.
Benefits of Smart Maintenance
Doing maintenance methodically means learning about your house and from it. Instead of band-aiding symptoms, investing in effective repairs and replacements makes it easier to back your home to others—and mean it.
When finding house symptoms, make sure to ask yourself if it’s a singular issue or connected to another one. Like the body, symptoms are messengers to the greater vehicle. A carpet stain from food, for example, is not the same as a carpet stain that hid water damaged floors.
Be Your Home’s Hero
Consider this your HGTV moment. House maintenance allows for the ultimate blend of DIY and professional help to leave your home better than when you found it.
House maintenance mistakes can be made at any point in your homeowning role, but like human relationships, with rupture comes repair.
Instead of choosing between loving it or listing it, your home’s turnover process can let you do both.
For more home and lifestyle tips, check out our other blog posts!