If you’re planning to list your home for sale, it’s time to tackle all the necessary repairs. These repairs can save you money in the long run — money spent on improvements now will be far less than the cost of that first price reduction if your house sits on the market. When my wife and I sold our second home in 2005, it was a seller’s market, but we knew adding fresh mulch in the flower beds for curb appeal, repairing a few boards in the front of the house, and repairing a few window latches would reduce the items in the inspection and increase the buyer appeal for our home.
Even if your home doesn’t linger on the market, you run the risk of a buyer asking for concessions and credits for items you didn’t fix, and the quotes from experts doing the work will almost certainly be higher than your own out-of-pocket cost.
If you still need convincing, here are 10 reasons to make repairs before you put your house on the market and get top dollar.
You’ll have to fix problems anyway — or make concessions
Your buyers are going to do an inspection, and the inspector will be able to identify all the issues and suggest needed repairs. There’s no avoiding it. You will have to fix any problems, credit money back to the buyer, or drop your price to compensate.
It will save you money
Many common repairs are easy to solve, inexpensive, and can be tackled in a weekend. They’re likely to be the things that were already on your list of weekend projects for the past year, and if they bother you, they’ll also bother a buyer. Leaky faucets, ripped window screens, ceiling stains, cracks in the plaster — they may seem like minor issues, but when you’ve got a whole house full of problems like these, they add up to one big seller headache.
Your home — not its flaws — will be the focus
Eliminating distracting drawbacks will allow buyers to have a positive experience as they tour your home. That means open-house visitors will be able to focus on your home’s positive, not negative, features.
A well-maintained home gets better offers
Getting your home completely prepped and ready will increase its perceived value because you’re showing buyers that your property is well maintained.
You can hold firm on your price
You won’t have to do a price reduction to reflect the estimated (and often overinflated) cost of repairs!
Rush jobs cost more, every time
Last-minute repairs done on a tight timeline are almost always more costly since you don’t have time to shop around for estimates. Plus, your time crunch begs for tradespeople to charge higher rush fees for squeezing the work into their schedule.
Actual costs and estimates don’t always match
Your actual cost to fix an item will almost always be less than a buyer’s estimate after their inspection — but since you won’t necessarily have time to fix everything before closing, you risk losing the sale if you don’t agree to the estimate.
You won’t risk losing the deal
You’ll avoid credits back to the buyer for problems identified during the inspection and haggling that drags on and on over minor issues, possibly costing you the deal. (You’d be surprised how ugly things can get when you’re down to the wire negotiating the added cost of repairing the cracks in the chimney.)
You’ll get more potential buyers in the door
Your Real Estate Concierge will love showing off an impeccable home, and buyer’s agents will be dying to get their clients in the front door. That brings in more potential buyers — which equates to more chances of finding the right one willing to pay your sale price.
You’ll sell your home faster
And for a higher price. Ka-ching. The goal is to get more than one buyer interested in your home to create a bidding war and maximize your return on your home sale.