7 Repairs to Consider Before Selling Your Brooklyn Home

By Elizabeth Kohen | August 17, 2021

Considering a Brooklyn home sale? Before putting your property on the market, you might want to make some small improvements that will attract Brooklyn buyers and increase your home’s value.

Start by testing your smoke detectors, electrical outlets and HVAC units. Replace any cool white bulbs with warm bulbs for a soft yellow glow, and change out any broken fixtures. Next, do a deep cleaning that includes removing any stains on your walls or floors. If you have pets, do all that you can to remove lingering odors. And don’t forget that a little bit of decluttering can go a long way.

Take note of any big-ticket items a new buyer should know about, such as an old Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel (common, yet recalled in 2002), asbestos insulation on basement pipes, a lead water-main, the age of the roof and mechanicals, boiler and windows—these are not items you need to address to help facilitate a sale, but important to be aware of and convey.

1. Faucets, Leaks & Water Stains

Run all faucets to be sure that your hot and cold water are both working. Ensure there are no leaks under the sink or at the base of the faucets, in tubs, toilets, washing machines or dishwashers. If there are leaks, get them fixed. Slow drains or clogs are also worth handling. Need plumber or handyman recommendations? Your Brooklyn broker can advise you.

2. Appliances Properly Installed & Functioning

Are your appliances properly installed and functioning the way they should be? Test them all out—especially if you haven’t run them in a while. This includes any ice makers, water dispensers and built-in microwaves. You might consider upgrading some or all of them to stainless steel models which appeal to Brooklyn buyers and can help increase the value of your home. A seller’s agent can help advise on this.

3. Refacing Cabinets

Breathe new life into your cabinets by adding a new face or upgrading your hardware. Aside from the obvious kitchen cabinets, don’t forget those in your bathrooms, home office or any other places you have them installed. Reform and Semihandmade are our top picks for Ikea cabinet fronts with a custom finish.

Foyer with dark gray wall and large center round mirror above a wooden chese with orange and green pillow flanked by green hunter boots with yellow umbrella and green planter

Photo by Spacejoy

4. Paint Touch-Up

A fresh coat of paint helps to brighten up your room even if you don’t plan on updating any fixtures or changing too much else. If you don’t have the means or time to repaint all walls, at least consider patching up any chips or holes. We tend to favor a white or neutral paint palette throughout.

5. Floors in Prime Condition

If you have carpeting—especially if it’s not brand new, has any stains or has any pet odor or pet hair—considering removing it. Though it feels nice on those frigid Brooklyn winter days, carpet is easier to stain and requires a bit more maintenance than hardwood or tile flooring. If you do decide to keep your carpet, give it a good cleaning. And if you have hardwood or tile floors, polish them. Consider replacing any laminate flooring with wood or tile to elevate your home’s appeal.

6. Windows Functioning

Can your windows all stay up or open on their own? If there’s a risk that a window could shut on its own, this could be a safety concern. Examine your window fixtures as well and consider giving any cracked or outdated fixtures an upgrade. If screens are torn, consider replacement.

7. Sparkling Bathroom

There’s something about a shiny, clean bathroom that’s very satisfying. Whether you re-grout and reglaze your tub, retile, replace a toilet seat, remove water spots, add some modern fixtures or give your current ones a nice polish, there are many ways to brighten up your bathroom.

Some of these repairs can be part of home staging, which also typically includes rearranging, adding or swapping out furniture to frame your room in its best light. But you can always consult with your Brooklyn real estate specialist to discuss which options are right for you.

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