Which Repairs Should You Make Before the Sale?
you're preparing to place your home on the market, it's inevitable
that you'll need a couple of minor repairs and slight improvements
before that "For Sale" sign can be driven into the front yard.
projects like a fresh coat of paint require little time or money but
can make your home more attractive -- and more attractive homes are
likely to sell faster and for more money.
But what if
an item needs repair, something which doesn't jeopardize anyone's
health or safety -- a problem of the "out of sight, out of mind"
variety. Should you simply disclose it and leave the buyer to deal with
the problem? Or should you fix it before placing your home on the
making any decisions, consider that repairing the problem could result
in a higher sales price. It's sweet music to any buyer's ears to hear
the terms "new" or "just replaced" as they walk through a home.
Think of it
this way: A move-up buyer or transferee has a good idea of what it
takes to operate a home. The goal here is to move in with the fewest
costs and headaches, so making repairs in advance is a big selling
first-timer buyers the situation is somewhat different. First-timers
also want to reduce both headaches and costs where possible, but there
is another issue as well: Buying a first home is a big step,
financially and psychologically. Adding another cost or problem to a
list of general concerns might be a deal-breaker, one more reason not
point to consider: Many if not most home sales today include the use of
a home inspection clause. Depending on how it's written, this clause
can allow buyers to terminate a contract if the inspection is not
"satisfactory" to them or if certain repairs are not completed.
inspection uncovers an item which needs to be repaired, what does the
buyer do? The buyer asks for a discount -- sometimes a very ambitious
discount based on an inflated view of repair costs. In effect, some
purchasers will use an inspection clause to re-open the entire
considering minor aesthetic improvements, your decision should depend
on local market conditions. The questions to ask are: What's needed to
be competitive -- and what's not? In a hot seller's market you may not
need to change a light bulb, while in a buyer's market your list of
repairs and upgrades may be extensive.
fixing up is one problem, fixing up too much -- over-improving
-- is also an issue. The usual rule for buyers is that they purchase
the least expensive home in the most expensive neighborhood they can
afford. The result is that a house with too many improvements may be
priced at the top of the local market, not the best place to be from a
over-improved house -- or one without appropriate repairs -- is likely
to languish on the market, to become "stale." This is a major marketing
problem because the longer a home is available for sale, the less
likely it is to sell for top dollar.
troublesome, the longer a home remains available for sale, the more it
costs the owner in terms of monthly mortgage payments, tax obligations
and insurance costs. A delayed sale can also slow the purchase of a
repairs and improvements should you make to get top dollar? Every home
is different, so let's get together and see what's best in today's
Written by Realty Times Staff
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