When selling a home, it can be challenging to determine which repairs and improvements are worth the investment and which ones are a waste of time and money. To help you navigate this process, we've put together a "do not fix" list that outlines what not to fix when selling a home. By following these tips, you can avoid overspending on unnecessary repairs and focus your resources on the changes that will impact your home's sale price.
Remember, the goal is to balance improving the home's appearance and not spending more money than you can recoup from the sale. With the help of a knowledgeable real estate agent and some careful planning, you can make strategic updates to increase the home's curb appeal, attract more buyers, and ultimately sell your home for a higher price.
What Not to Fix When Selling a House: Avoid These 10 Renovations
If you're preparing to sell a house, it's crucial to understand what not to fix to avoid wasting time, effort, and money. To help you with this, here's a do-not-fix list of ten things that you should avoid fixing when selling your house, according to experienced real estate professionals:
Rare or unique features
These can be a selling point for some prospective buyers, so highlighting them is best instead of removing or replacing them.
Strongly themed rooms
These can be a deal-breaker for some buyers, so consider neutralizing the space with a fresh coat of paint or updated decor instead of investing in a full renovation.
Basic maintenance tasks
Small tasks like changing a lightbulb or fixing a leaky faucet are expected to be in good working order, and fixing them may not impress buyers.
Customized or uncommon renovations
Leave these unique features as-is, and let buyers decide how to use them.
Removing personal items such as family photos or unique decor can help buyers envision the space as their own.
Barely functioning items
It's not worth fixing old or worn-out items like a microwave or furniture; consider removing or replacing them to create a polished look.
Minor cracks are normal for home wear and tear and may not be worth the repair cost.
Major issues should be addressed, but minor issues such as exposed wires or outdated light switches may not be worth the cost to fix.
Major issues should be addressed, but small leaks or drips may not be worth the cost to fix.
Small updates that improve the home's appearance are preferred over major renovations like a kitchen remodel, which can be costly and may not provide a good return on investment.
Remember, your goal is to balance making key repairs and updates and not overspending on unnecessary improvements. A top local real estate agent can provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you set an asking price that's competitive with similar homes in your area. They can also offer tips to increase street appeal, make your home sell quickly, and let you know which items are most likely to be a big deal for buyers.
If you're worried about energy efficiency, consider installing new appliances or making partial room upgrades to appeal to environmentally conscious buyers. However, don't stress over small building code items up to current building codes.
Finally, remember that an inspection report will likely reveal any issues that need to be addressed. If you're concerned about items that may come up, an experienced real estate professional can advise you on which items are deal breakers and which ones you can leave as is. With their guidance, you can set your home up for a successful home sale and potentially sell for a higher price.
Why you shouldn't fix everything before selling your home
When selling a house, it's important to balance making necessary repairs and not overspending on unnecessary improvements. Contrary to what some may think, fixing every little thing in a home is not always necessary, and in some cases, it can even be detrimental to the home-selling process.
Before making any repairs, it's important to consult with an experienced real estate agent or real estate professional who can provide guidance on what repairs and improvements will increase the home's value and appeal to prospective buyers. An experienced agent will conduct a comparative market analysis (comp), considering the home's condition and comparable homes in the area, to determine the appropriate asking price.
While curb appeal is important and can increase the home's appearance, not every aspect of a home's exterior needs to be perfect. Minor cracks in walkways or scuffed floors are typical wear and tear and may not be a big deal to most buyers. Fixing minor electrical issues, such as a light switch or outdated electrical service panel, is generally a good idea, but major electrical issues should be addressed.
Regarding upgrades, partial room upgrades can greatly increase a home's appearance without overspending. Upgrading cabinet hardware or adding a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in a home's appearance. Additionally, new appliances and window treatments can add energy efficiency and style to a home, but they don't need to be top-of-the-line or deal-breakers if they're outdated.
Major renovations, such as a kitchen remodel, can be costly and may not provide a good return on investment. Instead, focus on making small updates to create a fresh and updated look. Remember that not all buyers will appreciate unique features, so removing personalized decor and belongings can help buyers envision the space as their own.
In short, the goal when selling a house is to create a positive first impression, increase curb appeal, and attract more buyers, all while keeping costs in check. Working with a top local agent and following a do-not-fix list can help you avoid unnecessary expenses, sell quickly, and get more money for your home.
Don't Do a Major Renovation
If you're planning to sell your home, it's generally not a good idea to do a major renovation. While updating your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers might seem like a good idea, major renovations can often cost more than they're worth regarding the final selling price.
There are a few reasons why doing a major renovation before selling your home is often not the best choice. First, major renovations are expensive, and you might not recoup the full cost of the renovation when you sell your home. Second, you might not be able to complete the renovation before you need to put your home on the market, which could delay the selling process. Finally, the renovation might not appeal to all potential buyers, meaning you might limit your pool of prospective buyers.
Instead of doing a major renovation, it's often better to focus on smaller updates that can have a big impact. For example, you might consider painting the walls, updating the light fixtures, or replacing the cabinet hardware in the kitchen. These updates can help improve your home's appearance without breaking the bank, and they're often quick and easy to complete.
Which home repairs are worth it?
When it comes to home repairs, it's important to consider which ones are worth the money and effort. Some repairs can be costly but may not necessarily increase the home's value or attract potential buyers. Here is a list of home renovations that are worth it.
Return on investment for common home renovations
Replace roof 100%
Replace garage door 100%
Remodel basement 86%
Replace fibre cement riding 86%
Replace vinyl siding 82%
Remodel Kitchen 75%
Remodel bathroom 71%
Replace vinyl windows 67%
Add bathroom 63%
Replace steel front door 63%
Replace wood windows 63%
Replace fireplace front door 60%
Add bedroom 56%
According to the National Association of Realtors, home repairs generally worth the investment include kitchen and bathroom upgrades, new flooring, and fresh paint. These types of upgrades can help increase a home's value and make it more appealing to prospective buyers.
Generally, it's important to remember that not all home repairs need to be perfect. Small imperfections and normal wear and tear are expected in any home. Instead, focus on repairs that will improve the home's appearance, function, and value without going overboard.
Consult with a top local agent before you fix anything
If you're thinking about selling your house. In that case, it's important to consult with a top local agent before you fix anything. While it's natural to want to fix every issue with your home to increase its value and appeal to prospective buyers, not all repairs and upgrades are worth the time and money.
A real estate professional can help you identify which issues to fix and which ones to leave alone. They can provide you with a comp, showing you how your home stacks up against other comparable homes in the area. This will help you determine the repairs or upgrades necessary to increase your home's value and asking price.
Some minor issues, such as scuffed floors or outdated light fixtures, can be easily fixed and may help improve your home's appearance without breaking the bank. However, major renovations, such as a complete kitchen remodel or replacing an outdated electrical service panel, may not provide a good return on investment and may not be necessary to sell your home.
An experienced real estate investor or an experienced real estate professional can advise you on what improvements will yield the most money in your area's market conditions. They can also let you know if a few buyers in your area are looking for specific features that your home has. Not all buyers will be interested in perfection, and many will have their to-do list when they move in.
In addition, experienced real estate agents can help you identify what not to fix when selling a property and provide you with a do not fix list. They can also help you identify potential deal breakers, such as severe plumbing or electrical issues, exposed wires, or walkway cracks that could turn off prospective buyers.
Remember, not all buyers will expect perfection, and most buyers will understand that some normal wear and tear is to be expected. By focusing on improvements that increase street appeal and energy efficiency, such as fresh coats of paint, new appliances, or window treatments, you may be able to sell your home for more money without making major repairs or renovations.
A local real estate agent can provide valuable guidance on the home selling process, the local market conditions, and comparative market analysis to help determine the home's asking price. It's also important to remember that the home doesn't need to be perfect, and normal wear and tear should be expected. By making strategic updates and improvements, homeowners can increase curb appeal, attract more buyers, and potentially sell the home for a higher price.