We've already covered the first four priorities of what you need to fix before listing your Northern Virginia home for sale, but there are four more key things you need to address—and they're no less important for coming second!

5. A front door that sticks

This is a common problem, especially in places with high humidity… like Northern Virginia in the summer. It can become an all-seasons issue, too. You may be used to shoulder-checking the door to get it open, since it sticks, but if a prospective buyer is greeted by a front door that won’t open to them, then that’s quite literally an unwelcoming sign. The front door - and all other doors too, really - should open and close smoothly, without much effort. If this isn’t the case in your home, call up that same carpenter who fixed your bathroom window and get them to do something about the door. It may require a new frame if there is warping in the wood, or it could be a matter of “shaving” the door a few millimeters to fit better. 

6. Ugly closets

Buyers, especially the ladies, love the look of a spacious closet. Ideally, they should be able to look at yours and envision all their dresses, shoes (and even more shoes), and handbag collection in the space. The first sign that something is off is a door that’s off the track or hinges, or otherwise does not hang right. Even if the doors, sliding, folding, or otherwise are in great shape, your buyers will have second thoughts if your closet is absolutely packed to the gills. Ideally, all the house’s storage space - closets and cabinets - should be at least twenty percent empty when buyers come courting. This gives the impression of ample space, as opposed to clutter that screams “THERE’S NOT ENOUGH ROOM HERE!”

7. A garden gate that’s a drag

When buyers are done looking over the inside of your house with a fine-toothed comb, they’ll want to peer around the outside of the property, imagining room for a small-patch veggie garden or the future location of some prize-winning roses. Or maybe you’ve done the work already, and you have a pristine backyard ready to show off! Here’s the reality: if your gate drags and screeches against the ground when you go to open it, it will distract everybody from anything else good going on. Over time, gates need trimming and adjustment so that they swing smoothly. An ideal distance is two inches off the ground. 

8. A faucet that lies to you

Have you become used to the faucet in your kitchen or shower running hot on the cold tap and cold on the hot tap? This is another super-common quirk in a lot of homes, but the fact is that it’s inconvenient and a nuisance. Whether it’s your pipes or faucets that are set incorrectly, fix it yourself or hire a plumber to get the job done. 

9 Wobbly railings or bannisters

Do your staircase railings rattle in their mounts when you run up or down the stairs? Is your bannister so wobbly that you can’t lean on it? This goes beyond simply an unsightly “quirk;” it’s downright (like you falling right down the stairs) dangerous. Imagine visitors coming for an open house and taking a tumble on your watch… it’s a horrible thought. Promptly hire a carpenter (you should have one on retainer by now) to adjust, tighten, and possibly replace hardware as necessary to make sure that all railings are tight and safe.