What should you not fix when selling a house?
Study after study concludes that most home repairs and renovations deliver considerably below 100% return on investment. That means, for every $1 you spend fixing your house, you will recoup less than $1 extra in your home's market value. The major exception to this important data point is professional real estate investors and talented DIYers who have lower costs of labor and materials.
Keeping your home in good repair and quickly addressing maintenance issues is always a best practice. If your strategy is to sell for top-dollar to primary residence homebuyers who are likely to require an inspection contingency, then you should consider cost-effectively fixing major systems and fixtures whose condition can result in a terminated contract by requesting multiple quotes from licensed subcontractors.
- water intrusion and drainage issues (i.e. sump pump)
- recalled or faulty electrical panels and wiring
- plumbing leaks
- patch holes in drywall
We recommend selling your house in AS IS condition and conducting these select few low-cost chores to improve your home's appeal and market value.
So, what should you not fix when selling a house?
- avoid complete replacement wherever possible (i.e. instead of replacing a deck: power wash, replace a few boards and stain)
- avoid items that are taste-driven (i.e. re-painting, replacing countertops, replacing flooring or carpeting)
- avoid repairs to areas that don't add-value (i.e. re-painting and replacing flooring in the laundry room)
Food for thought: think like a fix and flip investor
- What are the comps in your area?
- What net proceeds are you targeting?
- What are the most cost-effective things you can do to make your home more valuable to prospective buyers?
- Establish and stick to your budget.