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When it comes to selling your home, you’ll attract more buyers if your home meets what the government calls minimum property standards. Why? Because otherwise your home will not meet the requirements of government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA and USDA, limiting the sale of your home to only those buyers who qualify for conventional financing or who can purchase with cash. In effect, you will be missing out on the large percentage of buyers who are using government-backed loans. 

Before placing your home on the market, conduct a review to see if any repairs will be needed to ensure your home will meet the following minimum property standards.

Peeling and chipping paint – interior and exterior painted surfaces must be in good condition. If you see areas that are peeling or chipping, scrape the loose paint off and repaint. 

Windows – if the windows in your home, especially in the bedrooms, are painted shut or just don’t open easily, that is considered a health and safety issue, and they will need to be repaired or replaced. Also, replace any panes that are cracked, broken or missing.

Handrails – all steps and stairs must have handrails that are in good condition. If handrails are missing or are loose, install them or repair them.


Heating system – your home’s heating system must be in good operating condition. Be sure to change the air filter regularly and have the system serviced, if needed.

Roof – check to see if any shingles are missing or damaged, or if there are any active leaks, and have a qualified roofer make repairs as needed.

Foundation – as long as your foundation is in good condition, nothing additional is needed. If you suspect the foundation is failing, call a foundation repair company for a free inspection.

Lot – if the lot slopes so that water flows toward the home and moisture is entering the foundation or basement, either regrade the slope or divert water flow with a trench. In some cases, installing gutters, gutter extensions or a French drain may be required.

In the majority of cases, the only repairs needed for the home to meet the minimum property standards are for the peeling paint and windows, which could cost just a few hundred dollars. Definitely worth the investment to open the door to all buyers, thereby increasing the odds of your home selling faster.

~ Audrey Moore is the owner and qualifying broker of TLC Real Estate LLC. She can be reached at 256-786-0465 or at audreymoore.TLC@gmail.com