The Day – Get ready to sell your house!


In this fast-moving market if you are planning to sell your home and want to make the most profit, you’ll want your home in tip-top shape. Focusing on the most important repairs to make before selling a house will ensure every dollar you spend supports a higher asking price.

“Small, smart, and cost-effective updates in combination with good staging will have a great return,” said ECAR President, Bonnie Nault. But how do you know what things to do before putting your house on the market? Here are the updates we think will get the highest return on investment.

#1 Fix Damaged Flooring

Scratched-up wood flooring; ratty, outdated carpeting; and tired linoleum make your home feel sad. Buyers might take one step inside and scratch the property from their list. Want to know how to increase the value of your home? Install new flooring.

“Buyers don’t want to deal with replacing carpet, and giving an allowance is generally not attractive enough. New, neutral carpeting or flooring is the most eye-catching improvement”, said Nault.

If your home already has hardwood floors, refinishing does the job. Expect to spend about $3,000 on the project—and recoup 100% of the cost, according to the “National Association of REALTORS® Remodeling Impact Report.”

Consider swapping any old flooring for new hardwood. This project costs more at around $5,500, but you could recoup more than 90% of that at resale. If that’s not in the budget, any flooring update makes an enormous difference.

#2 Fix Water Stains

For buyers, a water stain suggests there could be bigger problems hidden beneath the surface. That’s why this is one of the things to do before putting your house on the market.

“No buyer wants to buy a headache with unknown expenses,” said Nault. First, make sure the problem is fixed. Bring in a professional plumber. As an example, diverting rainwater from the foundation may cost as little as $800, and repairing a leaking pipe is around $300. Choose to repair and paint a water-stained ceiling. In the end, you’ll be glad you did with repairs being cheaper than a lost sale.

#3 Repair Torn Window Screens

So super inexpensive—and even DIY-able. You can purchase a window screen frame repair kit from a home improvement store for $10 to $15.

Considering the simplicity of this repair, making the fix is always worth it—and so are other small but highly visible issues. When you’re debating how to increase the value of your home, fix any small problems, snags, or ugly spots that might make buyers scrunch up their brows.

#4 Update Grout

As stated earlier, buyers notice flooring and new grout can make old floors look like they came straight from the showroom. “The best return-on-investment projects before selling a home necessitate making a home look like new as best you can,” says Nault. This is a small fix with a big impact: If you’re handy, you can save even more DIY-ing it.

#5 Resuscitate a Dying Lawn

Fixing a brown, patchy, weedy lawn doesn’t cost a ton of money and you’ll get it all back (and then some!) once you sell. Hiring a lawn care service to apply fertilizer and weed control will cost about $375. Once you sell the home, that comparatively cheap fix could recoup $1,000. That’s an unbeatable 267% return on investment.

#6 Erase Pet Damage

While there are many pet owners looking to buy right now, if your home has pet damage these smart buyers will look for other problems caused by pets. Refinishing a door or replacing pet-damaged carpeting or hardwood is worth the expense, says Nault.

#7 Revive an Outdated Kitchen

“Kitchens are still one of the most alluring features for buyers,” says Nault. That said, a full kitchen renovation is rarely worth it when it comes time to sell.

The problem is that a $65,000 upgrade isn’t something that buyers will pay for in the purchase price. Sellers recoup about 62% of a full-on kitchen renovation. If the upgrade is just for your sale, then focus on low-cost, high-impact projects instead. Painting wood cabinets, updating hardware, or installing new countertops or appliances could be enough.

The Eastern CT Association of Realtors® has revolving live virtual Saturday classes and an upcoming accelerated class beginning May 12. Please go to or call 860-892-2595 to learn more.

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