Selling an old house? Maintenance for older homes.

ByKeith May

Selling an old house? Maintenance for older homes.

Older houses have lots of charm but also have lots of things that sometimes have to be done to them to get them sold.  Focus on the smart things that will reap the most reward.


• Fire Extinguisher: Check that it’s fully charged; recharge or replace if needed.

• Sink/Tub Stoppers and Drain Holes: Clean out debris.

• Garbage Disposal: Flush with hot water and baking soda.

• Water Softener: Check water softener salt drum and replenish salt if necessary.

• Forced-Air Heating System: Change filters once a month if user’s manual recommends fiberglass filters.

Every 2 months

• Wall Furnace: Clean grills.

• Range Hood: Clean grease filter.

Every 3 months

• Faucet: Clean aerator.

• Tub Drain Assembly: Clean out debris; inspect rubber seal and replace if needed.

• Floor and Outdoor Drain Grates: Clean out debris.

Every 6 months

• Smoke Detector: Test batteries and replace if needed.

• Toilet: Check for leaks and water run-on.

• Interior Caulking: Inspect caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks; replace any if it is deteriorating.

• Forced-Air Heating System: Change semi-annually if user’s mannual recommends high efficiency pleated or HEPA-style filters.

• Garbage Disposal: Tighten drain connections and fasteners.

• Clothes Washer: Clean water inlet filters; check hoses and replace them if they are leaking.

• Clothes Dryer: Vacuum lint from ducts and surrounding areas.

• Wiring: Check for frayed cords and wires; repair or replace them as needed.

• Range Hood: Wash fan blades and housing.

Every spring

• Roof: Inspect roof surface, flashing, eaves, and soffits; repair if needed.

• Gutters and Downspouts: Clean them out or install no-clean version. Inspect and repair weak areas; check for proper drainage and make repairs if needed.

• Siding: Inspect and clean siding and repair if needed.

• Exterior Caulking: Inspect caulking and replace any that is deteriorating.

• Windowsills, Door sills, Thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint; replace if needed.

• Window and Door Screens: Clean screening and repair or replace if needed; tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint if needed; replace broken, worn, or missing hardware; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

Every fall

• Roof: Inspect roof surface, flashing, eaves, and soffits; repair if needed.

• Gutters and Downspouts: Clean out. Inspect and repair weak points; check for proper slope.• Chimney or Stovepipe: Clean flue (more frequently if needed); repair any cracks in flue or any loose or crumbling mortar.

• Siding: Inspect and clean siding and repair if needed.

• Exterior Caulking: Inspect caulking and replace any that is deteriorating.

• Storm Windows and Doors: Replace any cracked or broken glass; tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint if needed. Replace damaged hardware; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

• Window and Door Weather Stripping: Inspect and repair or replace if it is deteriorating or if it does not seal.

• Thermostat: Clean heat sensor, contact points, and contacts; check accuracy and replace thermostat if it is not functioning properly.

• Outdoor Faucets: If you live in an area with freezing winters, shut off valves to outdoor faucets. Open spigots and drain, store hoses.


• Septic Tank: Have a professional check the tank (watch for backup throughout the year). In many areas, it is recommended that the tank be pumped every year.

• Main Cleanout Drain: Have a “rooter” professional clean out the main line, particularly if there are mature trees in your yard whose roots could have cracked the pipe in their search for moisture.

• Water Heater: Drain water until it is clear of sediment; test temperature pressure relief valve; clean burner and ports (gas heater).

• HVAC System: Have a professional tune up your heat/air conditioning system.


Watch the YouTube video here!



Keith May, Keller Williams, 405-330-2626

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