Top Home Fixes To Make Before Listing For Sale (Infographic)
Make These Vital Repairs Before You List Your Home
Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking they can just pass their home’s problems onto the next buyer. While it’s true that every home comes with some existing issues and defects, the vast majority of buyers today are far too savvy, informed, and cautious to buy a home with serious issues. In addition, failure to disclose major property flaws is illegal in many states.
In this article, we’ll make the case for making critical home repairs prior to listing, and review how the failure to do so can really come back to haunt you.
You’ll want to resolve any serious roofing issues prior to listing. In most states, homeowners are required to disclose any roofing problems to the buyer upfront. Even if this isn’t the case where you live, the buyer will still find out about the problem when their home inspection report comments on the roof’s poor condition.
Some roof problems may be negotiable. For example, if the home inspection reveals that your roof has a couple of broken tiles or missing shingles, the buyer may be able to live with that and move forward with the sale. If your roof is leaking and desperately needs to be replaced, however, that’s a different story. Let those issues linger until the home inspection, and you run the risk of the buyer backing out, demanding compensation, or having to replace the roof on an accelerated timeline.
If your home’s air conditioner or furnace is on death’s door, you may want to consider replacing it prior to listing your home. After all, think from the buyer’s perspective: would you want to buy a home that came with a faulty HVAC system? If you list with your systems as they are, it’s likely that their condition will be noted in the home inspection report. From there, the buyer and their realtor will likely either ask you to replace the system prior to closing or drop your list price accordingly.
Conversely, if you deal with the replacement ahead of listing, you can turn one of your home’s weaknesses into a strength. Note the property’s new HVAC systems in the listing. There are few things more attractive to homebuyers looking for reliability and “move-in ready” homes. Talk to a local HVAC professional and schedule furnace repair or replacement.
If your home’s structure or foundation has issues—including termite and water damage—you need to address them before you sell your home.
For 99% of buyers, issues with the structure or foundation are immediate dealbreakers. Again, see it through their eyes: would you buy a home with such obvious red flags? Home flippers or investment property companies might still be interested, but they’re going to expect a steep discount in exchange for inheriting your problems.
Even if your buyer doesn’t get cold feet, their bank very well might. The buyer may have difficulty securing a mortgage on a property with serious defects. After all, financial institutions have a vested interest in reducing their own risk and ensuring that the property they’re financing will last. They, too, can effectively back out, which would leave you in a position of only being able to accept cash offers—which are incredibly rare in most real estate markets.
As with your roof, HVAC systems, and other major issues, you’re better off dealing with these problems now. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t think that you’ll be able to skirt by without having to take action. Complete these repairs before you list, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time, headache, and money.