Before you list your home for sale, you must be aware of all its potential problems. Major and minor issues inevitably crop up on inspection reports, and fixing the big ones (and some of the small ones) will help you get your money’s worth on a home.

So, what exactly constitutes a major problem? Any concern tied to health or safety falls squarely into this category. The health and safety issues such as roof repairs, water leaks, HVAC cleaning and maintenance can’t be ignored; these are serious and costly items to replace and definitely worth addressing before listing


1. Water Damage and Mold

Water damage and any resulting signs of water damage, including mold, are a must-fix when listing a home.

Not only is water damage a significant problem for a home, but it can also trigger a series of doubts for potential buyers about the property's overall condition.

2. Faulty Smoke Detectors

The health and safety of all occupants is paramount whether you’re selling or buying, and making sure smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and radon systems are working is crucial.

3. Busted Plumbing

Plumbing is an essential component of a safe home, and ensuring that everything from your toilet to your sink and septic tank works is essential for potential buyers.

4. Malfunctioning HVAC Systems

You can’t live safely in a home without heat or cool air. Having an HVAC system that’s in working order is a must when you sell.

Common system breakdowns are a result of dirty HVAC filters, thermostat settings, a pilot light being out, or a faulty thermocouple.

Preventative maintenance is key to avoiding major repairs. Changing your HVAC filter once every 30 to 90 days is ideal. You can also schedule a biannual tuneup to ensure you’re never without heat.

5. Structural Issues

Any essential repair that implies a structural issue and compromises the integrity of the structure could deter potential buyers

Structural issues include leaning walls, sagging roofs, and cracks in the walls, ceilings, and fireplaces.

6. Foundation Problems

The seriousness of a foundation problem is self-evident in the word itself: A solid foundation is vital for a good home.

Foundation problems spell danger on an inspection report, so addressing them before you sell will ensure a clean bill of health from your buyer’s inspector.

7. Roof Damage

A bad roof can lead to major problems for your entire home. If you can spot these problems before selling, it’s wise to address them.

To spot a damaged roof, look for missing, worn, or damaged shingles while inspecting the roof from the ground

8. Broken Light Fixtures

Light fixtures are easy fixes that go a long way when it comes to staging your home and selling it.

You should also address other, more serious lighting issues that have major implications on safety and meeting code.

9. Broken Appliances

Like signs of water damage, nonworking appliances could make a buyer wonder whether other systems in the home have been neglected. If you have a broken washing machine or oven, some agents say it gives a buyer pause that your home’s appliances aren’t working.


Source: Better Homes and Gardens