The Worst Mistake You Can Make Before Selling Your Home




When it comes time to put your home on the market, getting the place in the best condition possible can help you bring in top dollar (especially in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and all of the red hot South Bay real estate market). However, that involves spending money on contractors, painters and other professionals. You can try to tackle some of the projects yourself, but unless your do-it-yourself skills are fairly advanced, most experts agree that this is one of the biggest mistakes a home seller can make. After all, you could wind up making things worse and have to shell out even more money down the road. Here, offers some DIYs to avoid when preparing to sell your home to help you separate the tasks you can tackle from those best left to the pros.




Drywall repair


Have rooms that need a fresh coat of paint? Go for it. But if you have cracks in the drywall from a shifting foundation or a little depression from years of doorknob slams, it’s worth it to hire a pro. It’s a good idea to hire someone to fix plaster or drywall. If you don’t get the texture just right when painting the wall, the repair will stick out like a sore thumb. You don’t want your “fix” to look worse than the original problem. Contract out the drywall repair, then DIY the paint job afterward.






Never mess with anything inside an HVAC. The heating and cooling systems in your house are complex, and often connected to both electrical and gas. Making a mistake could mean blowing out the entire system, setting you up for a much more expensive repair in the end. Potential buyers also will ask their inspector go over the HVAC as thoroughly as possible. Even something relatively simple, such as installing a smart thermostat, can destroy your wiring if done incorrectly. When it comes to your heating and AC, approach with caution.




Dishwasher installation


Installing a new dishwasher is complicated compared with putting in a refrigerator, stove, or washer and dryer (usually a simple DIY task). Complexities involved with setup include the installation of water and drainage lines under the kitchen sink cabinet, which is best handled by a professional. Doing the job wrong could mean flooding your kitchen, which will ruin the floors and more. Most big-box stores offer installation for a fairly reasonable price if you’re buying a new unit, or a plumber can handle it for $150 to $500.




Tree removal


Digging around the roots of a tree can be difficult. It also can be dangerous, especially if you don’t have the tools professionals would use to remove the upper part of the tree before taking out the stump. Don’t be that person who puts a tree through your own roof because you decided not to hire a tree-removal professional.




Siding and window fixes


Heed caution when considering DIY siding or window replacement. Water can seep into the walls if you don’t reseal the layers properly, and although it might not be noticeable at first, mold and water damage will start to appear down the line. That could wind up costing you a lawsuit.




Advanced electrical


While it could be fine to replace a light fixture or ceiling fan yourself, experts draw the line at any electrical work involving the breaker box. Not only could you hurt yourself, but you also could create a fire hazard, especially if your home isn’t new. Older homes usually don’t have safety devices, such as ground fault circuit interrupters, which makes it especially dangerous. If a task involves running new wires or repairing faulty wiring, it should be left to a professional. Aside from the risk of fire or injury, serious electrical work completed by an unlicensed electrician could have code problems, meaning you likely will get a thumbs-down from the inspector later anyway.




Roof repairs


Be cautious…even if it’s just a little fix that the average DIYer could easily handle (such as hammering down a shingle or two, or replacing chimney pipe roof flashing). It’s very easy to get disoriented, especially on a peaked roof. Even professional roofers always use a harness in case of falls.






Repairing a running toilet or snaking a slow drain are fairly easy to do. The problem with attempting bigger DIY plumbing tasks, however, is that you often don’t quite know what you’re getting into. For example, disassembling leaky or blocked pipes underneath the sink seems simple enough, but pipes are complex and tricky to reassemble. That’s especially the case when they’re close to other plumbing components and machinery, such as dishwashers or garbage disposals. Note: What might appear to be a straightforward problem, such as low water pressure or a fractured pipe, actually could be a symptom of a larger issue with your system. Plumbing has a way of getting out of hand with broken pipes and flooding, for instance.


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