Home Improvement

Fix Up Your Home or Sell It As-Is?

Story Highlights
  • Selling a home as-is
  • Where to start
  • Before fixing up your home
  • Fixer-uppers vs fixed-up
  • Cosmetic touches

You’ve already put your house on the market, but there is something lingering in the back of your mind: should you try to fix it up and do some renovations before buyers view it?

It is a dilemma that many homeowners face when selling their home.

Many sellers spend too much repairing and renovating their homes without seeing the profit; others never repair it at all and run the risk of getting less than the asking price. Every home is different.

It is best to speak to your agent before making any serious decisions.

Selling a home as-is

If your home is in a condition that needs a lot of work, a coat of paint is not going to do the job.

It might have holes in the walls that are beyond patching up. The electrical wiring needs to be redone. The plumbing system might be shot and the faucets are all leaking.

If you decide that fixing this home is not economically viable then you can expect only flippers and contractors to make offers.

The chances are slim that you will get multiple offers.

Where to start

Before you start, make a list of everything that needs to be repaired or improved.

If buyers see it they might wonder what else is broken when they walk through your home.

You should try and make minimum improvements before selling like fixing holes and cracks in walls or ceilings, fixing broken appliances, and repairing leaky faucets.

If your roof is old and needs maintenance, climb up there and repair it. Check if any windows need replacing as well as light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Before fixing up your home

Smart sellers will weigh the cost of the repairs against the value of the home upon completion.

The home improvements might not be as profitable as you think. Take time to tour other homes for sale in the area and compare them to yours.

If most of them have upgraded kitchens, for example, focus on renovating your kitchen. It doesn’t mean that you have to buy designer cabinets and equipment, but those houses are still your number one competition.

Fixer-uppers vs fixed-up

When it comes to what home buyers want, it really is up to them whether they want a fixer-upper or a fixed-up house.

Many buyers want homes that only need cosmetic changes and buyers who buy fixer-upper homes generally don’t qualify for a bigger loan or they want to flip and resell it.

Buyers that opt for fixer-uppers usually try to ask for a discount that is way more than the actual repairs. In this case, it will be easier to replace whatever needs to be replaced and sell it as is.

Keep in mind that many buyers want a home that is ready to be moved into and you are reducing the buyers pool if you don’t make any repairs.

Cosmetic touches

Cosmetic touches are simply there to create atmosphere and to add appeal to the home.

Replace the carpeting if it is stained, repaint the walls neutral colours, and replace old drapes.

Remember that empty homes don’t show as well as furnished homes, but buyers won’t buy a house with battered and worn out furniture. Upgrade your furniture if possible or give it a good cleaning.

If you are selling in a seller’s market you might still get away with making only a few minor upgrades and repairs, but it will still deliver at a lower price. Buyers might not even want to look at a home with a few faults.

Work with your agent and discuss the way forward.


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