Selling a home can be difficult for a lot of reasons and it’s important to make it easier on yourself and your family. Before listing your home, make sure it is in the best condition to be sold. image of house in san angelo texas

Create a checklist of areas of the home to analyze and improve, if needed. Any potential buyer may have a professional investigate the home to see if there are any red flags. Most buyers will want to move into a home with little to no repairs required.

Here are some things to keep an eye out for when looking to sell your home.

1. Paint

Paint is the simplest and cheapest way to improve on your home. While this is a mostly cosmetic change, it can make a world of difference. Cover chips in paint, update the colors to modern colors that fit the home and make the inside look larger.

If your room has wallpaper, it’s a good idea to remove it and replace it with paint. Wallpaper tends to age a home, as most houses no longer use it and potential buyers won’t want to do the work themselves.

2. Fix Up the Outside

The front yard, fence, mailbox and roof are some of the first things a potential buyer will notice when they arrive. Make sure the yard is mowed and maintained, trees and bushes trimmed, and that there are no shingles missing from the roof. Issues with the roof can cause great concern, as repairing or replacing a roof can be expensive.

3. Update Appliances

Throughout the home, there are certain built-in appliances that can either draw in buyers or turn them away. Old, mismatching stovetops are a sure turnoff, as are unappealing countertops. Both of these can be expensive to replace and buyers will likely hesitate to buy a home that needs a lot of updates or repairs when it comes to important features.

This applies to dishwashers, driers, ovens, toilets, sinks and more. All amenities should be evaluated and replaced or updated if needed. Keep in mind that the value of certain items goes down over time, so the expensive dishwasher you purchased a few years ago may not still be worth that amount. Updating areas of the home (especially the kitchen and the bathroom) can add value to the home, which both allows you to raise the price of the home and encourage buyers who don’t want to bother with repairs.

4. Flooring

Trends change over time when it comes to homes, and flooring is no different. Hardwood floors have grown to be one of the most popular type of floors, along with tiled flooring. Carpet isn’t desirable beyond bedrooms, and even then many homeowners opt to replace their carpeted bedroom for smooth hardwood floors. This is because wood is easier to clean and maintain than carpet.

If your home has carpeted rooms outside of the bedroom, it may be a sign that the interior is outdated. Consider refinishing your floors and replacing carpet with hardwood. Be careful with the hardwood you choose, as well. It should be smooth, refinished and match the room it’s in. It’s recommended that the same hardwood is used for every room in the house as applicable.

5. Change Up the Lighting

Lighting can quickly change the dynamics of a room. Replace old light fixtures with newer models and go for bulbs that make the room look bigger. Also be conscious of the windows in the home and use light curtains to allow natural sunlight to come in.

6. Hire a Professional for an Inspection

As thorough as homeowners tend to be, it’s possible to miss some things if you’re not a professional. Hiring a contractor or home inspector can help you find areas of concern that you might have otherwise missed, and many contractors will give you an idea or estimate on how to fix it.

It’s important that they (and you as the homeowner) investigate the functionality of each area of the home. Make sure the garage door works, batteries are fresh in both the garage door button and the fire alarms, the doorframes are reinforced, the doorknobs are updated, and anything else that could cause concern for a potential buyer.

Of course, making these types of updates isn’t always possible. Some updates are expensive and when moving from one home to another, money can be tight. Just keep in mind the potential issues you could face selling your home, whether it be wallpaper or outdated countertops, so that you can track how much money you’ll be able to make on your home.