Repairing and Renovating a Quick-Flip Opportunity - dummies

Repairing and Renovating a Quick-Flip Opportunity

By Ralph R. Roberts, Joseph Kraynak

As a first-time home flipper, look for quick-flip opportunities — cosmetically challenged houses that you can beautify and sell without a huge investment of time, effort, or repair and renovation costs. This strategy enables you to focus on the overall process and on finding good opportunities. When you buy a quick flip opportunity, your goal is to make the property impeccably clean and well-maintained, something all home buyers want.

Use the following checklists to ensure that you focus on the most important and most profitable repairs for your quick flip.

Exterior (curb appeal)

  • Trim tree limbs and shrubs.

  • Mow and edge the lawn.

  • Replace dead or dying shrubs and plant flowers, especially near the front.

  • Apply a fresh layer of mulch.

  • Remove clutter and eyesores.

  • Fill driveway and walkway cracks.

  • Power-wash the siding, tuck-point a brick home, or paint a wood-sided home.

  • Repair or replace windows and screens.

  • Add or replace shutters.

  • Paint the front door and trim.

  • Paint the garage to match the house.

  • Replace the gutters. Seamless gutters are best. Install splash blocks or gutter extensions.

  • Replace the front and rear storm doors.

  • Replace exterior light fixtures.

  • Replace the mailbox choosing a color and design that fits in with the neighborhood.


  • Give the place a good scrubbing.

  • Wash the windows.

  • Install new window blinds.

  • Clean or replace any drapes or curtains.

  • Remove hooks and nails from all walls and patch the holes.

  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to all rooms, using flat, neutral colors for the walls and semi-gloss white for the trim.

  • Check and repair all doors and doorknobs. Doors should open and close effortlessly.

  • Install new light switches and outlet cover plates.

  • Install new smoke detectors.

  • Replace the thermostat and doorbell.

  • Re-carpet, refinish, or replace damaged or worn flooring.

  • Swap out the register covers.

  • Replace exhaust fan covers and maybe the fans.


  • Install a new stainless steel sink.

  • Install a new faucet.

  • If the countertop looks old or crusty, have it replaced.

  • Refinish the cabinets, if needed, and add new hardware — knobs and handles.

  • Apply new shelf liner to all cabinet shelves and drawers.


  • Install a new vanity.

  • Install all new fixtures.

  • Replace the toilet seat.

  • Replace old towel hangers.

  • Replace shower curtains or install glass shower doors.

  • Apply a fresh bead of calk around the edges and base of the tub or shower, around the sink, and around the base of the toilet.

  • Scrub the grout between any tiles thoroughly.


  • Paint.

  • Re-carpet.

  • Replace light fixtures, cover plates, and register covers.

  • Install closet organizers, if needed.


  • Sweep the cobwebs out of the rafters.

  • Dust off any ductwork, pipes, or wiring.

  • Tack up any dangling cables.

  • Seal all cracks in the walls.

  • Whitewash concrete or cement-block walls with a sealing paint.

  • Paint the floor using gray enamel paint.

  • Install new glass block windows, if necessary.

  • Buy a roll of insulation and stuff pieces of it between the joists where the joists meet the outside wall.


  • Change the furnace filters.

  • Clean or replace the hot water tank.

  • Repair any leaky faucets.

  • Unclog any plugged or slow drains.