We have done a lot of work on our house. One thing that hasn't been done is updating the electrical- we have fuses. Is this a deal breaker for a?

Asked by Di, Aberdeen, NC Thu Apr 15, 2010

potential buyer?

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John Savignano’s answer
John Savigna…, Agent, Hopkinton, MA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
how many amp service is it? if its less than 100 amp service the mortgage co. or homeowners insurance may require the upgrade. so based on what others here have said it is wise to upgrade it now, if it costs 1,000 to upgrade a buyer will deduct 2,000 in his mind.
Best of luck
1 vote
Marilyn Mess…, Agent, Concord, MA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
BEST ANSWER
It may not be a deal breaker for all protential buyers but cerainly for some and it will definately have an affect on the price a buyer is willing to pay. And, even if you agree on a lower price, as soon as the home inspector tells them then need to have the electical box updated, they will forget that the agreed price already took that into consideration and they will ask you to either have the work done or pay with a credit at closing.

Even if you list the house at a lower price, it's a problem because buyers who can afford less won't have the money to do the work. Even if fuses are safe, people worry about electricity.

So you have 2 choices: do it now, or do it later...later always ends up costing more. Probably not the answer you would like to hear, but it's better to know.
0 votes
Heather Daley, , Melbourne, FL
Thu Apr 15, 2010
I would strongly suggest that you bring in a Home Inspector to check out that issue. A good home inspector will look for
-rusted, corroded, loose or broken service box
-more then 6 hand-movements to disconnect power (Always favorable to have minimal steps in an emergency)
-if there are any incompatible components
-Tapping before the main disconnect
-overheating, arcing, burned wiring
-inspect fuses and breakers for proper amperage

Fuses are not a problem when you take into consideration the load on your home. I lived in a home south of Boston (built in the early 1800s) that had a fuse box and I did not have a problem. If you decide to update appliances (washer/dryer, stove, fridge, etc) then you'll have to consider the electrical load you are applying, and you will have to update the ampere capacity. A Home Inspector can give you a fairly good estimate of the load placed on your house currently and if it is sufficient enough. That is also something an educated buyer should be aware of as well with his home inspector.
1 vote
Tom and Joan…, Agent, Boston, MA
Sun Apr 18, 2010
Mama:

If you have updated everything else then I would take the time and money to update it now. The problem with not doing the work is that the buyers will have quotes that are high produced and it will cost your more in the long run. If you don't have the money then that is a different story, but I recommend consulting your Realtor and coming up with a game plan.

I live near Hudson so feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss further.
Best
0 votes
Susan Costa, , Westport, MA
Fri Apr 16, 2010
I would do the upgrade. As a Realtor, this would show true pride in ownership and give further confidence to the buyer. As a property owner, I to am in the process of upgrading electrical service before I list a property I own.

If I can be of assistance, please feel free to conact me.

amsrealestate.listingbook.com
0 votes
Kevin P. Wal…, Agent, Shrewsbury, MA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
I would recommend doing the work before it's on the market. If a buyer is deciding between two homes and one needs an update to the electrical and the other does not, that would be a check mark on the minus side for your property. Additionally, if you have the work done then you can say so in the listing facts. You should be able to recoup the money spent on the update from fuses to breakers. I know a fantastic electrician in Hudson who would be happy to give you an estimate and do the work as well. Please feel free to call for his name and number.

Kevin P. Walor, Esq.
Exit Realty Partners
617-592-1255
http://www.kevinwalor.com
0 votes
Phil Leng, , Kirkland, WA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
The buyer is probably going to require it anyway, plus, the price negotiated will reflect outdated electrical, so you are going to pay for it twice. Plus you will push away some buyers who may not be interested in even an offer with the outdated electrical.
Web Reference:  http://www.philipleng.com
0 votes
Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
In addition if it is 60AMP your buyer could have an issue getting homeowners insurance.
Web Reference:  http://www.mdmrealtyinc.com
0 votes
Judy Boyle, Agent, Marlborough, MA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Hi Mama!

There is no cut-and-dry answer to your question. For some buyers, investors especially, this will not be an issue. For other buyers, they may not have the funds to update the electrical. The existing fuse box could also limit a buyer's ability to obtain financing and/or hazard insurance.

You could offer to credit the buyer at closing for the replacement of the electric panel but, again, this could limit their financing options. If you have the money to replace the panel before you list, that will be a major selling point and you could end up making more money in the long run!

Good luck!

Judy Boyle
RE/MAX Signature Properties
Marlborough, MA
judyboyle1@verizon.net
0 votes
Alyssa Rocca…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Thu Apr 15, 2010
This does depend on the buyer coming through. It is a buyers market now so they are trying their best to get the best price possible. Needing to update the electrical work is another excuse to knock down your price point. If you do this before listing your home you can put the update of the electrical work in your marketing materials.. anything to put you out in front of the competition. I know if probably feels like you have already done a lot to your home but if someone comes in and does not want to put work in the home and it's all ready to go they could possibly write an offer on your home. Best of luck to you!

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to e-mail or call : aroccanti@helenadamsrealty.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Apr 15, 2010
GREAT QUESTION:

Most buyers don't know the difference just as long as your home pass inspection is render save you should be OK

Lynn911
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Thu Apr 15, 2010
Not a deal breaker but as said below could cost more later. I just had a client update from fuses to circuits and it was not as expensive as we thought. Price it out and get it done prior to marketing the home.
Web Reference:  http://www.mdmrealtyinc.com
0 votes
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