When preparing a home for sale, it's important to focus on decluttering and neutralizing the space, making key repairs, and improving its overall appearance. However, there are some things that homeowners need not fix when listing a home for sale, including rare or unique features, strongly themed rooms, basic maintenance tasks, customized or uncommon renovations, and personal touches. It's important to balance preparing the home for sale and overspending on unnecessary improvements.
What not to fix when selling a house
When selling a house, some typical repairs that can be skipped include:
- Cosmetic flaws include minor scratches on hardwood floors, outdated finishes, or a few cracked tiles.
- Minor electrical issues include loose outlet plugs, dead outlets, or a light switch that goes to nothing.
- Driveway or walkway cracks unless they are huge enough to be a potential hazard.
- Grandfathered-in building code issues that do not have to meet current codes unless it was legally constructed.
- Partial room upgrades only highlight how badly the rest of the room needs renovation.
- Removable items such as window treatments that are worn, dated, or make the room too dark.
- Old appliances that are barely functioning, broken, or missing unless they significantly hurt your home sale.
It's important to note that some repairs may still need to be addressed, particularly if they pose a safety hazard or if they significantly detract from the home's appearance. It's wise to consult with a local real estate agent to determine which repairs your buyer pool will want and which ones they are agreeable to compromise on.
Seek to show potential, not perfection
When selling a house, it's important to consider what not to fix to avoid spending unnecessary money or pricing your property out of the market. Consulting with an experienced local real estate agent can provide valuable insight into the home selling process and help you create a do not fix list.
To attract potential buyers and increase curb appeal, you can make partial room upgrades, freshen up the home's appearance with a fresh coat of paint or new cabinet hardware, and add window treatments. Hardwood flooring can be a big deal for many buyers, so consider addressing scuffed floors and other minor issues.
While major renovations can increase the selling price, they may not be worth the investment in every market condition. An experienced real estate professional can provide a comparative market analysis to help determine the asking price and suggest what repairs or upgrades will impact the selling price most.
When making repairs, it's best to focus on items that could be deal breakers for prospective buyers or that are exposed in an inspection report. Minor electrical issues or outdated electrical service panels can often be skipped, but severely worn or barely functioning appliances should be replaced. Exposed wires or walkway cracks should be fixed, while minor cracks may not make a big difference.
Most buyers understand that a home may have normal wear and paint colors that don't match their style. However, it's important to create a good first impression with energy-efficient light fixtures and avoid major plumbing issues or electrical issues that violate current building codes. The National Association of Realtors recommends that you disclose anything that could be a big deal to a prospective buyer.
Overall, focus on showcasing the potential of your home rather than striving for perfection, and work with a top local real estate agent to navigate the home selling process and increase your chances of selling quickly for a higher price.
Consult a Real Estate Agent
If you're not sure where to start or what repairs to prioritize when selling your home, consulting with an experienced real estate agent is highly recommended. They can help you understand the local real estate market conditions, provide you with a comparative market analysis, and offer guidance on the types of repairs and improvements that could increase your home's selling price and appeal to prospective buyers.
A local real estate agent can also help you create a "do not fix" list of minor issues that could be skipped without impacting your home's sale. They can help you identify which issues are important to address and which ones are deal breakers for most buyers.
Moreover, an experienced real estate professional can help you maximize your home's curb appeal by suggesting cost-effective ways to improve your home's appearance, such as upgrading the light fixtures, adding new window treatments, and freshening the paint colors. They can advise on major renovation projects or partial room upgrades that could increase your home's square footage or energy efficiency.
Ultimately, a top local agent can help you set the right asking price based on your home's condition, location, and comparable homes in your area to sell your house quickly and for the highest price possible.