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What To fix (and not to fix) When Getting Ready to Sell Your House

Thursday, August 4, 2022   /   by Ana Baldner

What To fix (and not to fix) When Getting Ready to Sell Your House

If you're thinking about selling your home, there are some things you should consider when getting ready to list. Many people are under the false assumption that you need to make major upgrades around the home in order to increase it's value. However, there are a couple of improvements you can make that will return the money you put in and attract more buyers. 

Why shouldn't you fix everything?

The main reason you shouldn't go around updating everything in your home is because not everything will return value. Money spent on repairs, replacements, and upgrades may be wasted if the prospective buyers don't find the improvements necessary or don't notice them. It's better to stick to cost-efficient fixes that will actually make an impression on potential buyers.

What should you fix?

When buyers look at your home during a showing, they tend to fixate on flooring, walls, kitchens and baths. So make sure to address basic wear and tear issues that appear in these areas.

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way. This will help brighten up a space and make it appear new by taking away any marks on the wall. 

Refinishing your hardwood floors is one of the few updates that actually recoups more than its cost. According to the National Association of Realtors, refinishing hardwood floors returns 147% of the expense, and installing new wood flooring returns 118% of its expense. This might be something to consider for your home if your hardwood floors are in need of help. 

Another update that can return value when you sell your home (especially in Florida) is updating your HVAC system. This is a good idea to make prospective buyers feel confident in the home’s condition. With the weather being so warm outside, they will be sure to feel it when they step inside during a showing.

Landscaping is another quick fix that can make your home more appealing to buyers. Spruce up trees around your home, trim bushes and make sure the landscaping looks tidy.

What does not return value?

There are some upgrades that are just not worth it right before selling. You may feel inclined to upgrade the appliances around your home, but the truth is, not having brand new snazzy appliances is not a deal breaker. Unless you have broken appliances, don't worry about getting the latest models.

Replacing windows is another update that won't return its cost. Updating all the windows in a home is very expensive and aging windows is rarely a reason that clients don't make offers. 
Bottom line, don't start any major room upgrades that you can't finish. A half completed renovation in a bathroom or kitchen will drive away buyers or give them the impression that they can give a lower offer. 

Overall there are two steps that really help your home sell quickly. The first is staging. Staging your home will make it much more desirable and  appealing to buyers, compared to a non-staged home. It can increase the selling price of a home by 20% or more. This helps buyers imagine the home as their own, instead of looking at empty or cluttered rooms. 

Another quick selling tip is curb appeal. Focusing on the outside aesthetic and appeal of your home can create a positive first impression for buyers. Small improvements like cleaning up, laying new bark down, and trimming foliage can go a long way. 

Before you go to tackle a project or two, contact your local real estate professional to see what is the best route for you. Every home is different, but a conversations with a professional will be critical for you making the right moves in selling your home. 


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