Making Repairs Before Selling a House
Almost always, when selling a house, the first discussion a Seller and Realtor will have is about what repairs are needed that do not cost a lot of money but add value to help support (or even increase) a listing price. This is one first and most common discussion between Realtors and Sellers. And, there’s no easy answer. It all depends on what the market (for that house) is seeking.
A lot of people think that today’s home buyer is looking for the latest example of what they saw on a home remodeling TV show. While that definitely creates an attraction for a buyer, and it will certainly influence their searching, what most buyers want is confidence. Buyers always fear the unknown and the issues that are below the surface or lingering in the background. A good home inspector will tell a buyer that they can’t see everything.
So What is the Right Balance?
It all comes down to what the Seller’s goals are for selling a house. If a Seller is in a market or neighborhood that fetches a higher price, they will want to sell their home in line with that price level. Being able to do so depends on how well the house has been maintained and updated over the years. Making repairs to a house, or even just some basic improvements, can add a lot of value. But it will also add time to when the house gets listed.
If the seller needs to sell their home fast, then doing even minor repairs should be avoided. In this case, a Seller may want to list the house ‘as-is’. This will mean listing the home for a much lower price. But, in the desired neighborhood, buyers are willing to look past the work needed to get the location desired.
On the other hand, if the Seller wants the optimal price for their home then repairs, or general improvements, will need to be considered. For example, painting is a simple repair. But it takes time to schedule a contractor for bids, select a contractor, get the house ready to be painted (and then have the work done).
But what if the kitchen is outdated? When selling a house, buyers are always looking at kitchens, bathrooms and family areas. These are the main rooms in a house that draw in buyers. Bedrooms are important in terms of size, but not necessarily style. Updating a kitchen can be a large renovation project and is usually not what a homeowner will repair before selling a home. Too much time and money are at risk. And why put in all the effort if the only plan is to move out?
Before Selecting, Repairs have a Goal
There are two goals – time and money. Selling a house fast means listing with a reduced price (relative to market value) and accepting lower offers, oftentimes in the form of cash. Selling a home to achieve market value means investing both time and money. The house may sit longer waiting for the right buyer and/or investing in updates.
If you’re the seller, talk to a Realtor. You should talk to at least two if not three Realtors. You need to hear their reaction to your home and your goals, but you also need to evaluate who is going to best represent (and help you achieve) your goals.
How We Help Sellers
When we meet with prospective sellers we always ask them “what is your goal”? Once we understand the seller’s position and goals (or needs) for selling a property – we can present one, two or even three types of offers for their house. To learn more about our approach, contact us. It’s a simple, three-step process.