Should You Improve Your House Before Listing It?

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If you’re preparing to sell your home, you might be wondering if you should make repairs or improvements before listing it. The answer depends on the overall condition of the property, the type of buyer you want to attract, and the current real estate market.

If You Can’t Afford Repairs, Sell As Is
This applies to major issues like structural damage, plumbing complications, and electrical problems. Keep in mind that your buyer pool will most likely consist of flippers and contractors. While you might have to consider low offers, you won’t have to deal with the hassle and expense of repairs.

Most Buyers Want a Turnkey Home
A move-in ready home comes with expectations based on factors such as the price and the neighborhood. For example, some people will expect upscale interior finishes and won’t consider buying a house that doesn’t have granite countertops or newer appliances. To get an idea of which improvements would be appropriate, look up houses in your area that are listed at your price point.

What About Upgrades?
When implementing upgrades, figure out the costs first and then compare them to what the property value might be after the upgrade. If you can’t justify a return on the investment, it’s worth rethinking the effort. Keep upgrades in line with what other homes have in the neighborhood.

Fixer-Uppers Attract Buyers Who Want a Deal
Many buyers say they don’t mind fixer-uppers, but what they really mean is cosmetic repairs, such as replacing carpets, updating light fixtures, painting walls, or changing cabinet doors. They don’t want to deal with moving walls, changing layouts, and doing other time-consuming projects. These types of buyers usually want to make a profit or don’t qualify for costlier homes. They are likely to make offers below the asking price.

Most homes need at least some minor repairs, such as patching holes and repainting walls. Anything that doesn’t work right makes buyers wonder what bigger, invisible problems might be lurking. Since most buyers will use a home inspector, make sure that any potential code violations have been fixed as well. If you can’t fix them yourself, hire someone.

In a hot market, where properties are scarce, homes sell better with fewer fix-ups. Any home for sale that needs repairs will likely deliver lower prices, regardless of the market’s environment. If you have questions about getting your home ready to sell, contact me today.