Do’s and Don’ts of Repairing Your Home Before Selling It

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Doing a few repairs and upgrades is necessary before selling your house. While some buyers have no problems buying a fixer-upper, they seek only those needing light cosmetic repairs. In addition, they tend to discount the price of the house because of the issues and then dismiss it more for the inconvenience. As a result, you might not earn much profit from the sale.

For example, say the buyer offers only $75,000 for the home. You might get a more significant profit if you invested $100,000 for the roof, foundation, and other repairs. Note that buyers won’t likely settle for a property with a broken roof. Roof replacements are expensive, so you can add their cost to your resale price and receive better offers.

But not all repairs and upgrades can yield profit, either. Don’t waste your money on significant renovations because many buyers revamp a house when they move in anyway. That said, here are the repairs to perform and avoid before selling your home:

Essential Repairs

Essential repairs are improvements that can generate a return on investment (ROI). They’re different for every home, so what works for others might not automatically work for you. For instance, if pools are the norm in your neighborhood, you need to upgrade your pool to attract buyers. Otherwise, you can leave the pool as is or even remove it.

Generally speaking, the following repairs generate the highest ROI:

  • Plumbing Repairs

Broken water fixtures and leaks will devalue your home. Hence, fixing plumbing problems will lead to the opposite. The cost of repairing plumbing issues depends on different factors, such as water source, the size of the damaged area, and the problem’s age. The cheapest to repair are leaky faucets or the toilets’ wax rings.

  • Electrical System Upgrade

Outdated electrical systems cause 51,000 house fires every year. So, if your house is old, hire an electrician to inspect its wiring and confirm if they need upgrading. Don’t forget to replace faulty light switches as well.

Service professional checking a home's electrical wiring

  • HVAC Repairs or Replacements

Most buyers will avoid buying a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Thankfully, you don’t need to buy a new one either. Technicians can repair most HVAC issues. The only time to consider replacing the machine is when its model is not energy-efficient. An old HVAC machine can also affect your home’s value.

  • Roofing Repairs

The roof is the most vulnerable part of the home; hence a broken one can dramatically decline your home’s value. It also leads to many other problems, such as leaks, poor ventilation, and high energy bills. Invest in roof repairs or replacement to spare your buyer the trouble of fixing the problem themselves.

  • Foundation Repairs

A damaged foundation can reduce the structural integrity of your home. Unfortunately, fixing it is often costly, even in minor cases. For instance, a single crack can cost $800 and $1,500 to fill. But it’s a necessary repair to avoid devaluing your home.

  • Safety Improvements or Additions

Like a broken asphalt driveway or fire hazards, you’ll need to address safety hazards in your home. Invest in high-quality asphalt maintenance to rid your driveway of trip hazards. And to prevent injuries or death from a house fire, install smoke detectors and fire alarms in every room or floor. Buy a fire extinguisher and place it in the kitchen.

Nonessential or Optional Repairs

Nonessential repairs are improvements that might boost the value of your home but don’t recoup their costs enough. Examples are as follows:

  • Kitchen Remodeling

Buyers can choose a home simply for its efficient and beautiful kitchen. But you don’t need to remodel your entire kitchen to attract buyers. Repainting the cabinets or changing the hardware will do. On the other hand, replacing countertops, appliances, and flooring might be too costly and taxing.

Besides, if you’re only remodeling your kitchen to follow the trend, the trends will change fast, so your new kitchen will become out-of-style soon. So, focus on practical improvements instead of cosmetic ones.

  • Bathroom Remodeling

A bathroom upgrade almost always complements a kitchen remodeling. Again, if you’re only doing it to follow trends, drop it and focus on essential upgrades, like fixing leaky faucets. If you think a new bathroom look will attract more buyers, try changing the light fixture or the dated water fixtures. You don’t need to replace the flooring and overall design.

  • Extensions

Adding a new room might impress buyers who seek more space, but it’s not often worth the gamble. So if you have an unfinished basement or the like, leave it as is. What’s important is that they’re not rotting. Let your buyers decide what they want to do with the extra space.

Once again, every home is different, so some optional repairs might be essential in your case and vice-versa. Consult a real estate agent before performing or avoiding any repair. It will help ensure that you’re moving in the right direction.

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