Agent Erin: Which Repairs & Renos Should You Do Before Listing
by Real Estate Sales Representative Erin McIntyre
When you’re considering selling your home, you might be thinking about the repairs & renovations it needs to get the maximum return. But don’t just pull out the hammer and glue quite yet! Many Sellers put way too much money into fixing up their houses before listing & they repair flaws that a Buyer might never notice or just won’t pay extra for. So what *should* you focus on repairing? And when should you just leave it for the Buyer to do?
Let’s say your home needs A LOT of work. Perhaps the electrical doesn’t work in some areas, there are problems with the home’s structure and there are major plumbing problems that need to be addressed. All of these repairs are quite costly and require more than just a coat of paint to fix. You might consider selling the home in “As Is” condition, and pricing it just low enough to attract Buyers that are looking for such a project. You will probably get interest from contractors & home flippers in this case.
But what if your home’s problems aren’t quite so severe? Where do you start? I recommend making a list of all the problem areas you think need to be repaired or replaced. Then prioritize things that you can easily handle yourself vs. things that will require hiring a contractor with more expertise. Take a weekend or two and start tackling the smaller jobs that you think you can manage. Things like holes in the drywall or leaky faucets are relatively simple to fix and you should get these done before listing. Jiggling door-knobs or cracks in the window glass should be repaired. Hire a carpet cleaner to get stains out of the rugs. Even light fixtures should be checked for burnt out lightbulbs. Buyers don’t like to see these types of issues when they’re shopping for homes because they send up warning flags about “what else” could potentially be wrong with the home. You might consider giving the main living spaces a fresh coat of neutral paint, especially if your current wall-colour is bold & bright — it might not appeal to all Buyers. These are just small things that won’t necessarily make your home’s value increase, but they certainly will give Buyers the impression that the property has been well taken care of.
One of the most common situations we encounter is when a roof needs to be replaced. And it brings up the question: should the Seller just get the roof repaired before listing the home? Or leave it for the Buyers to worry about? For some reason, the idea of replacing a roof is often intimidating to Buyers. They worry that the work involved will cost more than what they anticipate and aren’t willing to deal with the task. For instance, let’s say a home is worth $100,000 fixed up but it needs a new roof. A new roof might be expected to cost $10,000. A buyer most likely will not offer $90,000 for this home because she could buy an identical home with a new roof for $100,000 and not have the hassle. In this case, it might be worth it for the Seller just to do the roof replacement now, so they can stay in competition with other houses for sale that don’t need this work. Getting the roof done now may help to maximize the number of potential Buyers that are attracted to the home.
Obviously every situation is unique and your REALTOR® can guide you with what repairs and renos they feel your home needs in order to give you maximum return on investment. Finishing the basement, gutting the bathrooms or replacing all the flooring in your home might not be the greatest idea before selling because you won’t necessarily see the value of the home increase immediately. So talk to your REALTOR®! They know the market and what comparable homes have sold for with the same amenities as yours. If it’s a Seller’s market, you can usually get away with fewer fix-ups before selling. Whereas in a slower market, Buyers might not even bother to look at a home that needs a lot of work. Lean on your REALTOR® and get the advice you need! That’s what we’re here for!
For more information regarding Brantford and Brant County’s Real Estate market, please contact one of our REALTORS® on our CONTACT PAGE. We would love to be apart of your next real estate transaction, whether you’re looking to buy or sell!