A new post from Alan Kennedy’s blog:
After living in our homes for a while we are acutely aware of many defects that need repair, and when we decide to sell our homes, these defects may cause a lower than desired offer, or cause a potential buyer to consider the next home on their list. But those same defects may be negligible to some buyers. It is difficult to know whether to repair or let them go. Sometimes our bathrooms, kitchens, doors, etc. are terribly outdated and we suspect we could get a better price if they were just a little more modern . . . . but we don’t know if we could realistically recoup our money on modernizing our homes. What should a seller do?
When selling your home it is important to have an honest evaluation of your home. Hire an inspector to determine all the damage to the home, both cosmetic and structural. Armed with list of the home’s liabilities, you can make better decisions. And to be fair to potential buyers, a disclosure of these problems will garner trust and help the buyer make a better decision.
Also, with your real estate agent by your side, walk through your house to determine your aesthetic liabilities, such as an avocado green bathtub or orange kitchen counter tops. Sometimes the “home decor dos” of one decade become the “home decor don’ts” of another and unfortunately can be costly to change.
With any repairs or improvements, you have two choices: 1. make the repair / improvement yourself and hope for an increased sale price, or 2. lower your sale price and leave the repairs and improvements to the buyer.
Consider these questions before deciding “to repair or not to repair”:
1. Do you have the time and money to make the repairs / improvements?
2. What will the cost of the repair / improvement be?
3. Can you realistically increase your selling price to cover the cost?
4. How much will you need to lower your asking price if you do not make the repairs / improvements?
5. How badly do you want to sell the house and move on?
Answering these questions can help you determine your best course of action, but of course speaking to your real estate agent and mortgage banker is advised. Considering the needs, wants and expectations of an interested buyer and also the effect of your home sale on the purchase of another property, may be deciding factors in your decision.
So, should you improve your home before selling? It depends on your situation. Get the input you need from your real estate agent and mortgage banker to make the best decision for you.