How do I know how much work is worth it before selling a home?

Asked by Rachel, Jackson County, WI Fri Jan 30, 2009

We are interested in possibly moving. But our current home has some problems--scratched woodwork, a damaged wall in a bathroom, missing quarter-round around the wood floors that had been carpeted when we moved in, walls that need touch up paint, a shed that needs removed. In general, is it better financially to repair things like this before listing a home, give a repair allowance, or sell with some issues? .

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Rebecca McAr…, Other Pro, Fort Wayne, IN
Thu Oct 27, 2011
I completely agree with Erik & Jody. The bottom line is you can easily spend a couple of hundred dollars to make these improvements that will in turn save your thousands! How? The answer is simple, if you find a buyer that is interested in your property as is, they know it will come with a long "to do" list; so naturally they will ask for a significant price reduction (usually in the thousands.)

The other thing to keep in mind is the longer the property sits on the market, the more it loses its VALUE, so again you can lose thousands of dollars. You have to think of your "home improvement dollars" as an investment that has the potential for a 8-10% Return On Investment, because it usually does!
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Erik Armstro…, , 47802
Fri Jan 30, 2009
I agree with Jody Jones. Buyer's right now have many options, so you want your home to show at it's best. All the things you mentioned might seem like a lot to tackle, but the 'actual cost for you' vs 'the amount the buyer will take off their offer' are very different. It's like taking your car to the dealership as a trade-in. Take the time to clean it up, detail it, and let it shine and your efforts should pay off nicley for you. It would be different if we were talking about an outdated furnace, leaking roof, or retro appliances but these minor repairs should be taken care of before listing the property.
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Jody Jones, Agent, Elkhart, IN
Fri Jan 30, 2009

Most of what you mention as needing done is considered minor repairs. I would go ahead and do them before listing your home. The buyers have a wide variety of homes to choose from in all states of repair and disrepair. The ones that are selling here are the ones that are basically "move in" ready. I would probably leave the shed, unless its totally falling down and put in the listing that you would be willing to remove it, if the potential buyers do not want it. All other items you mentioned should be done. Also unless the walls you are touching up were very recently painted you should probably go ahead and totally paint. For the cost of a few gallons of paint and some time, you could potentially save at least a thousand or more on the sales price. Good luck!
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