1.) What is the market like? Selling your home in as is condition or choosing to do work prior does matter in terms of what your market is like.  It also matters what buyers are looking for as well as what location you are in.  This is largely where a Realtor can help you navigate this question.  In short, if the market is in a sellers market, you may not have to do as much.  However,  if you are in a price point or neighborhood where it consists of mostly first time home buyers, you may want to think about making some updates/repairs.  You also might be in an area where you shouldn’t do much because the new owner may end up gutting, scraping or adding on.  Lots to talk about here.

2.) Selling the home in as is condition. There is a point where you should consider selling your home in as-is condition.  For example, if your furnace doesnt work, sinks and toilets run, floors are urine soaked, dead rats are on the floor and most of the windows are broken or boarded up,  you might want to consider selling as is.  Why, because this home probably needs a full remodel and not necessarily a refresh of paint, flooring or cabinets.  This is typically a home where you price it to sell and most of your buyers will be investors or fix and flippers.  First time buyers won’t touch this with a 50 foot pole.

3.) Do buyers want fixers or homes that are ready for them? Most buyers that are looking for deals are really looking for properties that need cosmetic items done,  not typically large remodel projects.  I have not dealt with any first time buyers that tell me, “find us something we can take to the studs”.  Most buyers are going to be looking for homes where the systems, plumbing, roof and structural are intact.  Most buyers now days do want a turn key home, ready to move in to and with minimal repairs.

4.) Before fixing up your home.  Make sure you speak with a knowledgeable trusted contractor and your Realtor, TOGETHER.  They know what people want, what colors and where to put it as well as the cost benefits of things you should do.  Most sellers take their projects too far, when really all they needed to do was upgrade the flooring, not order an imported marble from Italy.  You won’t see the return for it and buyers most likely have different tastes than you do.  Keep it elegant, bright and simple.

5.) What work should you do?  Here are 10 things you should think about doing if you do plan on fixing up your home prior to selling.

  1. Patch all holes, cracks in your walls and repaint the home to a neutral bright color
  2. Fix all appliances and HVAC systems
  3. Repair plumbing and all leaks
  4. Replace or repair all damaged flooring
  5. Replace broken windows
  6. Repair the roof and see if can get the roofer to certify it for 5 years
  7. Update light fixtures
  8. Replace blinds or drapes that are dated and faded
  9. Fix all safety items
  10. Make sure you get the home PROFESSIONALLY cleaned.  Theres clean, then there is licking the toilet bowl, clean