Home Sellers: How Important Are Home Repairs?

Handyman making home repairs

If you are planning to sell your house in the near future, one big issue to consider is which home repairs you can and should make before selling. How much time and money should you invest in home repairs? Which repairs will bring the best returns by increasing the property’s final selling price? These are great questions to ask as you prepare to sell your home.

To Repair or Not to Repair?

That is indeed the question. The answer may depend on the current condition of your property. If it’s already in great shape, it may just need a good cleaning and staging before it is ready to list on the open market. If it can benefit from some minor repairs, you may want to get those taken care of before you sell it. If it is quite run-down and needs a lot of work, you may have some big decisions to make ahead of selling.

Putting a poorly conditioned house up for sale is a risky proposition. It generally won’t attract as many potential buyers and may bring in nothing but lowball offers. Even minor issues like cracked/faded paint or worn-out flooring really can turn off buyers when they see the property. They may only focus on the negative aspects and worry about how much work they are going to have to put into the house. You won’t have a lot of negotiating leverage when the property needs some serious TLC to be move-in ready.

A Changing Real Estate Landscape

Another important issue to consider is our real estate market is changing. Buyer demand is lower with inflation and rising mortgage rates. Home prices are starting to come down in many areas. Buyers are going to be much pickier about what properties they make offers on, putting the seller in a weaker position of power. Houses simply aren’t as easy to sell today as they were just a year or two ago when the selling market was red hot. Homes in poor condition just won’t draw as much attention as the ones that are in great shape. You may find yourself taking longer to sell and still getting a price that’s lower than you hoped.

House Condition

If you are planning to sell on the open market with a Realtor® on your side, you will probably want to assess your property’s condition. Then, you can prioritize which repairs and upgrades will help boost its potential resale value. Understand what today’s buyers are looking for and which features are most important. Kitchens and bathrooms are generally the most scrutinized rooms in any home from a buyer’s perspective. Beyond that, you will want to look at paint, siding, drywall, flooring, roofing, plumbing and energy efficiency as other very important elements that will stand out to potential buyers.

You want your house to look nice in showings and do well when it comes time for home inspections during the closing process. Any problems will come out during that period, so you may be better off addressing them in advance to avoid selling delays or buyer withdrawals.

What if I Can’t Afford Home Repairs?

This is a common situation. You are ready to sell your house, but you don’t quite have the money to spend on home repairs. Time is another factor to keep in mind if you are looking to sell as quickly as possible. Investing in home repairs will cost you some time and money upfront, with a goal of increasing the resale value in the end.

If you can’t afford home repairs—or simply don’t want to deal with them—then you have a couple choices. You can try to sell your house on the open market as it is. You will take your chances and hope a decent offer comes in within an acceptable time frame. Or, you can sell it now to a real estate investor. Investment property buyers will generally buy houses in as-is condition. They can also close much faster (especially cash buyers) and eliminate most out-of-pocket expenses for you, including home repairs, inspection fees, real estate agent/broker fees and closing costs.

It’s true you might not get as high of a selling price as you could on the open market, but you can sell your house quickly and avoid having to spend money on repairs, staging, marketing, etc. In the end, you may find this puts you in a better position than if you chose another selling option.

Ultimately, it’s up to you how you want to prepare your house for sale and how it gets sold. It may be worth considering a cash sale to a real estate buyer like PropertyLark. We can make you a fair and fast cash offer within 24 hours. To get started, please fill out the contact form on the right. Tell us a little about you and your property, and we’ll get back you right away!