Do I Have to Repair My House Before I Sell?

Unfortunately, nothing about selling a home seems easy. There are important decisions to make throughout the time-sensitive process; and perhaps one of the most important decisions is whether to repair your house before putting it on the market.

There will ultimately be risks in making costly repairs or selling the home “as-is.” The safest way to decide is to consider the costs of repairs compared to the potential increased selling price.

Low-Cost Repairs That Make a Difference

The easiest and most affordable way to increase the selling price of your home is with small-scale improvements and maintenance. These low-cost repairs could include:

  • Adding a new coat of paint
  • Fixing a broken light switch
  • Replacing a cracked tile or plaster
  • Making sure your outdoor space is trimmed and tidy, free of weeds, overgrown shrubs and grass

These small, easy-fixes are generally cheap and quick but can vastly improve the appeal of your home.

Keep in mind: interested buyers will open closets, turn on lights and envision themselves inhabiting your home during a showing. Because of this, it’s important to clear out clutter from each corner of your house—including the closets. Additionally, a home also appears larger and more livable with furniture (source). So while it is important to rid each room of your personal items, such as photographs and unique decorations, leave couches, tables and dressers for the benefit of the viewers until the home is sold.

When Repairs Are Beneficial

Some expensive repairs result in a greater return in the sales price, although the upfront cost may be daunting.

Old Appliances

Outdated appliances can devalue an otherwise wonderful home. By replacing old models or adding appliance paint, a home can regain its appeal.

While it is generally a good idea to switch out these outdated appliances, there is no need to opt for the most expensive replacement model. The buyer may have a different taste in appliances than you and you will not reap the benefits of an energy-efficient washing machine or refrigerator. However, replacing an old appliance can give your house the facelift needed to sell.

High-Risk Issues

Generally speaking, it is wise to fix any high-risk issues within the home before selling. Problems such as mold and moisture leakage are absolutely worthy of repair. However, more expensive safety repairs—such as roof replacements—is a matter of resources and professional opinion. Again, if the cost of repair is too high for your budget, it may be in your best interest to sell the home as-is.

Wood Floors

Wood flooring adds an average of 6% to the selling price of a home (source). So, refinishing worn and scratched floors will be worth the initial cost. Removing carpet that covers your wood floors is a worthy investment as well.

Repairs That Are Typically Too Costly

Some repairs have a large variance in cost; therefore, a buyer may overestimate the value of your fix. While this scenario is ideal, it is not entirely common. Because of this, be wary of large, costly repairs. Common expensive repairs include fire and flood damage, roof repairs, foundation issues, distressed and poorly maintained pools and excessive mold in a damaged home. Overall, pricey home repairs are often not worth the investment.

Replacement Windows

Many sellers become concerned with their old, energy inefficient windows. Not only do these windows look outdated, but they also result in drafty homes with high energy bills. While this is a valid concern for homeowners, the cost to replace windows is generally far too high. The investment is expensive and the seller will never see the benefit of lower energy bills. Leave this to the buyer.

Remodeling Projects

Unless you are guaranteed to turn a profit, remodeling is generally a dangerous road for sellers. Not only is remodeling expensive, but the project itself takes a great amount of time. The worst part? Each homeowner has vastly different tastes, and chances are the money you spend to remodel could result in a disinterested buyer due to personal style.

Should You Repair or Sell As-Is?

Overall, the decision boils down to your budget, personal plans, the housing market and how much time you have. If you don’t have the resources, major repairs are not worth considering. However, some repairs can greatly increase the selling price of your home.

If time and money are of the essence, consider speaking with a professional at GWG Properties. We understand the real estate industry and the complexities of selling a home. We not only buy homes in any condition, we do so at a fair price and in a timely manner.

If the selling process has become too overwhelming, contact GWG Properties today for a free consultation.