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To Fix or Not to Fix?

GreenTree Properties October 22, 2015

It’s a question we get asked all the time. It’s a question we specifically take time to address before putting any home on the market. Should we fix this or should we not? When you decide to sell your home, it can be tricky which fixes could make your home sell more quickly and boost the price and which ones could waste your money. Each home is different, as is each scenario, but we’re sharing a few of the questions we ask ourselves in making that decision. Consider these:
How hot or cold is the current market? Are houses being snatched up after the first open house or sitting on the market for a little while? Are they being sold at list price, or below list? If houses are going quickly and close to the list price, you could get away with doing a few repairs here and there, though in the latter, expect to do a bit more work to make a positive impression on buyers.
What is the condition of the comparables? Knowing the condition of the other homes buyers are looking at in your area is certainly helpful. Are the kitchens and bathrooms updated? Are there hardwood floors where you have carpet? You don’t need to make your home exactly like the others, just address anything that might give your home a disadvantage.
Does the faulty item give the impression that the home hasn’t been properly built or maintained? Leaky faucets, overgrown lawns, and moldy grouts are types of items that may send some red flags and turn buyers off. At an open house especially, buyers are going to walk through your home relatively quickly. Any red flags they see are going to stick in their mind.
What is the fix worth? As in, if you don’t fix it, how much will you need to lower the asking price, realistically? If you have a lot of costly repairs, it may be worth it to sell the home as is, and let someone else fix them and make selections according to their tastes and preferences. Keep in mind that buyers looking at properties listed “as-is” or “fixer-uppers” are going to be considering the price of repairs, plus the hassle of doing them. We always suggest sellers put themselves in the shoes of the buyer and look at their home objectively when considering this.
Is it the first thing a buyer will see? First impressions are key, and the same goes for real estate. If it’s something a buyer will notice before they step in the front door, fix it. If it’s something they will notice right when they walk through in the door, consider fixing it.
It’s also helpful to think back to when you first bought your house. What are some of the features that attracted you to the home? The same attractions you had back then, may still hold up even now. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and imagine what questions they’ll be asking their realtor about your home. As always, ask us about any specific issues you're dealing with before listing your home.

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