While we all like to think our homes are in tip-top shape and near pristine condition, potential home buyers are the first to notice small repairs that need attention within minutes of walking into your Ridgewood, NJ home. Here are our suggestions for a few common quick fixes that you, as a seller, can do yourself with just a few tools, very little money and a little elbow grease.
One of the first things a potential buyer sees when entering your home is the flooring. If you have old, stained or worn out carpet, you might want to consider replacing it. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have hardwood flooring below, remove the carpet altogether and expose the floors. Many Ridgewood homes have existing hardwood floors that could use a bit of a cleaning and repair. Remove squeaks in hardwood floors by working talcum or graphite powder in between the floorboards. Simply sprinkle the powder over the area that’s squeaking and work the powder in using an old tea towel or cloth by rubbing along the cracks. If that doesn’t work, carefully hammer a small finishing nail between boards to act as a shim; just don’t put a dent in that beautiful wood!
Walls and Halls
Paint touch-ups are always a great idea and make the interior of a home look new and fresh. If you’re repainting, make sure that you repair any cracks in the wall and fill in the holes first, especially if pictures or art have been removed. Use filling compound and a putty knife to fill in larger cracks and holes, and sand smooth before painting. For small nail or screw holes, use the same compound, or in a pinch, fill the hole with a dab of toothpaste and let it dry before painting… works like a charm!
Bathroom and Kitchen Faucets
There’s nothing more annoying than a dripping faucet, shower head or running toilet. Most drips and leaks can be fixed easily by replacing washers or tightening faucet handles, and typically only require a screw driver, wrench and a bit of elbow grease. Running toilet? Lift the lid at the back and adjust the float arm and see if slightly moving it stops the water flow. If it does, gently bend the float arm until the running stops. For anything more than that, you may want to hire the services of a plumber.
Doors and Entryways
Like squeaky floors and dripping faucets, nothing is more annoying than a creaky door. Just ask any teenager that’s trying to sneak in after curfew! Adding a bit of lubrication to door hinges should remove any squeaks. Simply apply oil to all the hinges and work the door back and forth until the oil seeps in and the noise goes away. Don’t have lubricating oil on hand? Use a bit of cooking oil as a temporary substitute. While you're at it, replace any broken or worn door hardware, including knobs and locks, and mend or replace any torn or damaged screens.
Heating, Cooling and Vents
While you should be doing this every six months anyway, replace any furnace filters and clean out the vents throughout the house. Have a professional come out to take a look at hot water tanks and your heating and cooling systems to make sure everything is operating safely and efficiently. Most potential buyers will be hiring a professional home inspector and one of the first things they’ll look at is the furnace, so you might as well beat them to it!
Last, but in a way first (as it’s the first thing a potential buyer sees) is the outdoor space of your home. While we’ve already made recommendations on how to generate curb appeal on a budget, it’s still worth mentioning that a few minor outdoor repairs can mean a huge difference in how fast your house sells. Repair any broken or hanging shutters, fence pickets and railings. Give the entire outside a good inspection. Make any small repairs to siding and gutters, and don't forget to replace any shingles that might have gone missing. Patch any holes in the driveway or replace broken pavers in walkways.
Tell us about any quick fixes you use around the house in the comments below! If you'd like to hear more tips or are ready to sell your Ridgewood, NJ home, contact us today!