What Should You Repair Before You Try to Sell Your Home?

What to Fix Before You Sell?

Prospective home sellers tend to believe some myths about what they need to fix in their home before they can put it on the market. Certainly, any experienced real estate agent will advise clients to present their home in as positive as way as possible in order to sell them faster or get a higher price. However, it’s pretty understandable to find that many homeowners feel reluctant to invest a lot of cash in their old house just to sell it to somebody else.

Some people are so put off by the thought of investing in repairs to a home that they are just going to sell that they actually hold off on selling even if it would be a good financial decision for them. Here’s a secret. In order to sell your house, you actually don’t have to fix anything. You can sell a house on an as-is basis if you choose. You just have to accept the fact that the home might not be as attractive to buyers, so you may have to accept a lower sales price and/or wait longer to make a sale. You can also pick and choose what you plan to fix and negotiate with buyers.

What Should You Repair Before Trying to Market Your House?

It’s important to use some common sense when deciding what you really need to attend to before you try to market your home to prospective buyers. Even though real estate agents may love to advertise completely remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, it’s unlikely that you will recoup your investment back from a major project. Really, these kinds of things should usually be considered more for a home that you plan to live in because you want the upgrade.


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On the other hand, fixing holes in the drywall and other obvious eyesores might be considered a good investment. Typically, a coat of paint and a little attention to landscaping tends to provide a decent return on investment. Of course, every real estate market is different. For some ideas about what to fix, consider some projects that usually offer the greatest returns from this NOLO article.

What should you do if a home inspection turns up problems with your house? These days, lots of wary buyers are asking for an inspection before they commit to an offer on an older home. While you might allow this and be open to considering their list of requested repairs, you may not want to accept a copy of the inspector’s report. If you know about a problem and refuse to disclose it to another buyer, you could get in trouble. However, you are not usually compelled to fix the problem. After you see the list of buyer’s requests, it’s time to start negotiating.

Consider Credits or Discounts and Not Repairs

Here’s the thing that sellers need to know: Just about anything is negotiable. For some sellers, it might make more sense to offer buyers a discount on the sales price instead of trying to repair everything they ask. If the bathtub is pitted or the kitchen really needs new flooring, buyers may prefer to handle issues on their own and to their own taste. That way, the seller isn’t out any upfront cash for something that may not be to the next buyer’s taste just in case the sale doesn’t go through for another reason.

Problems with the existing roof, mold, or other big problems may present a larger obstacle. If buyers plan to live in the home, they usually want a house that’s basically in good shape. They may not be excited about having to wait for repairs even if they get a good deal on the home price. If these repairs cannot be completed because of cash, but it’s important to sell, it might be a good time to consider looking for an investor. Investors expect to get a good deal, but they are more open to fixing problems before they turn around and either rent or resell the house.

 


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