10 Reasons to Make Repairs Before You Sell Your Home
By Michael Corbett, Trulia’s real estate and lifestyle expert
If you’re planning to list your home, you have to tackle all the necessary repairs. Why is it important to check these off your to-do list ahead of time? Money spent on improvements now will be far less than the cost of that first price reduction if your house sits on the market. Even if your home doesn’t linger for long, 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.
Here are 10 reasons you’ll want to make repairs before you put your house on the market:
1. Buyers are going to do an inspection, and the inspector will be able to identify all the issues and suggest needed repairs. So, really, there’s no avoiding it. You WILL have to fix any problems, credit money back to the buyer, or drop your price to compensate.
2. So many of the most common repairs are easy to solve, usually inexpensive, and can be done – by you – in a weekend. They’re likely to be the things that were already on your own 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, and each one by itself is, but when you’ve got a whole house full of problems like this, they add up to one big seller headache.
3. 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.
4. Getting your home completely prepped and ready will increase its perceived value because you’re showing buyers that your property is well-maintained.
5. You won’t have to do a price reduction to reflect the estimated (and often over-inflated) cost of repairs!
6. Last minute repairs done on a tight timeline are almost always more costly since you don’t have time to shop around for a less expensive estimate. Plus, your time crunch begs for tradesman to charge higher rush fees for squeezing the work into their schedule.
7. Your actual cost to fix items will always be less than a buyer’s estimate after their inspection.
8. 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 repairs the cracks in the chimney.)
9. Your real estate agent 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.
10. You’ll sell faster. And for a higher price. Cha-ching.