Why You Need To Complete Your Home Repairs Before Selling.

said on September 30th, 2011 filed under: Seller Information


I am often asked by sellers about which repairs matter and what they should fix prior to putting their house on the market. 

Here are some things to contemplate:

  • Most buyers don’t want to buy a house with your “to do” list.  Perhaps that is why you want to sell, but that’s not the part of your house most buyers are going to want to buy!   So unless you are selling a house as a “fixer upper”, or “contractor special” you should do as many of the things that you can and that will make your house sparkle.
  • Many first time buyers don’t (yet!) know how to fix things. So seeing a number of repairs, however minor, that they think they will need to take care of, can turn into a big subconscious block against choosing your home.
  • Noticing fixable blemishes can prevent a buyer from focusing on the numerous attributes of your home and the many reasons why they should buy it.
  • If buyers are able to see beyond your homes little “problems”, enough to move forward with an offer, then they might think they can or should negotiate tougher with you on the price because of them.
  • Seeing no problems in your home can help them choose your home over the next one they see.

Remember that even after the buyer evaluates and chooses your house that the next hurdle will be the home inspection.  It is highly probable that a home inspector will come up with a list of repairs that you were not aware of and haven’t even considered!  For this reason, if his list does not have to include any of the things you could have taken care of before you put the house on the market, his list will be shorter and less traumatic for the buyer.  An overwhelmed buyer, in the best cast scenario, will try to renegotiate with you, and at worst, they might back out entirely.

Make the decision easy for your buyer, take away as many of the small problems as you can.  

You know, all those little things that you have learned to live with (and unfortunately hardly notice anymore!). For example:

  • tighten the loose hand railing,
  • paint over a 5 year old stain or soiled window sills,
  • replace the glass on a broken window pane,
  • repair ripped screens, 
  • change dirty air filters, or
  • replace the missing brick on the front walkway  

Attention to things like this, particularly the items people are going to see driving by and/or on their way into the house,  can literally get your house sold faster, and probably for more money.

If you have question or your own suggestions, leave a comment below.  I like to know someone is listening!  If you are in the market to sell your home, I would love to help.  Call me at 617-905-4576.

posted by Lisa Johnson

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