However, it’s a lot like going to the dentist. If you put off checkups and maintenance, because you want to save time, money and pain, you’re taking the chance of lettings small problems grow out of hand.
Is it better to find that small cavity and pay for getting it filled right now? Or, wait until an achy tooth requires you to get a root canal and a crown?
It works the same way with home maintenance — even though you would rather have your home sell before it needs expensive repair, in this slow housing market, you can’t tell which is going to happen first.
That’s why it pays to keep an eye on those things that will cause you the most trouble and expense to fix. The number one item on this list is anything that involves water intrusion into your home.
Make sure your roof is inspected regularly to check for leaks that can cause major expense and lower your home’s value. Catch the problem early and you can save yourself the equivalent of having to give your home a root canal and a crown.
Don’t wait until you see a large stain on your ceiling — just as you shouldn’t wait until your teeth hurt — before getting a regular checkup.
You should also look for any drainage problems around your house, which can result in major foundation issues later on. Keep vegetation a few feet away from your walls so you aren’t accidentally watering your home. Make sure your roof gutters and downspouts are clear, especially now — when the rain is starting to pour down and fall leaves can clog up the works.
Perform maintenance measures that are the equivalent of dental flossing: Repaint your home’s siding and trim to keep moisture, mildew and dry rot out. Seal cracks in exterior stucco. Recaulk showers, bathtubs, sinks and windows.
And remember to service your heating and air conditioning units regularly. Poor maintenance can cost you much more down the line — from needing to replace your current units, to potentially creating a major fire hazard.
Also, change your air filters regularly. Dirty air filters can cause larger issues — the least serious is watching your walls slowly darken over time to the point where you ask yourself, “Why are my walls grey? I thought I painted them white.”
For many more home selling tips and advice to cheer you on if you’re having trouble selling your house, read Home Seller’s Blues and How To Beat Them. Available in paperback and as an ebook through Amazon.com and at http://www.homesellersblues.com.