October 6, 2023

What Not to Fix When Selling a House

When selling a house, it's important to focus on the repairs and upgrades that yield a high return on investment (ROI). However, there are certain things that you should avoid fixing, as they may not provide the desired results.

Below, we cover repairs and upgrades that typically don't yield a high ROI and discuss the factors to consider when deciding what not to fix.

Average Cost to Fix Up a House to Sell

The cost of preparing a house for sale varies greatly depending on the property's age, size, current condition, and the local market. On average, homeowners can expect to spend between 1% to 3% of the home's value on repairs and improvements before listing.

For a house valued at $300,000, this translates to approximately $3,000 to $9,000. Common expenses include painting, minor repairs, professional cleaning, landscaping, and staging. Of course, if there are significant issues such as a faulty roof, outdated HVAC systems, or foundational concerns, the costs can be considerably higher.

It's important for homeowners to approach this process strategically. Investing in the right areas can significantly increase the property's appeal and overall value, ensuring a quicker sale and a better return on investment. Conversely, overspending on unnecessary upgrades or focusing on low-impact areas might not provide the desired ROI.

Repairs and Upgrades That Typically Don't Yield High ROI

Over-the-top Renovations

While a complete kitchen or bathroom remodel may seem like a great idea, ultra-high-end renovations often don't provide a high ROI. Buyers may not be willing to pay a premium for luxury additions that don't fit the neighborhood standard. Instead, focus on making the kitchen and bathrooms functional and presentable without going overboard on the high-end finishes.

Swimming Pools

Having a swimming pool may appeal to some buyers, but the costs of maintaining a pool outweigh its actual appeal. Not everyone wants the responsibility of pool maintenance, and some buyers may even see it as a safety concern, especially if they have young children. Unless you live in a highly desirable area, it's best to avoid installing or renovating a pool before selling your home.

Landscaping Overhaul

While curb appeal is important, a complete landscaping overhaul may not provide a high ROI. Buyers often have their ideas and preferences regarding landscaping, which they may change according to their taste once they move in. Additionally, maintaining an elaborate landscape can be time-consuming and costly, which may deter some potential buyers.

Trendy Paint Colors or Wallpaper

Trends in paint colors and wallpaper change over time, and what's in today may be out tomorrow. Opting for trendy colors or wallpaper may limit the appeal of your home to a specific group of buyers. Neutral colors, however, are often more appealing to a wider range of buyers as they provide a blank canvas for them to envision their style. Consider repainting with neutral colors to maximize the appeal of your home.

Advanced Home Tech

While technology advances, not everyone values or knows how to use the latest smart home tech. Installing advanced home tech may not provide a high ROI, as some buyers may not see its value. Additionally, compatibility and maintenance issues can arise with the rapid pace of technological advancements.

Factors to Consider When Deciding What Not to Fix

When deciding what not to fix before selling your house, there are several factors to consider:

Neighborhood Standards

Avoid over-improving the neighborhood, and understanding what buyers in your area value most will help you prioritize repairs and upgrades that will provide the best return on investment. Look at comparable homes in your neighborhood to understand what features are considered standard.

Urgency of the Sale

If you need to sell your house fast, focus on minor fixes that make the home presentable. Major renovations can delay listing the property and may not be worth the time and money if you're looking for a quick sale. Consider the repairs necessary for the house to be functional and appealing to potential buyers.

Available Budget

Budgeting wisely is important as it avoids sinking too much money into the property. Consider the repairs necessary for the house to be functional and presentable, and prioritize those over major renovations that may not provide a high ROI. Consult with professionals to better understand the costs involved and the potential return on investment.

Feedback from Professionals

Real estate agents and home inspectors can provide valuable insights when deciding what not to fix. Real estate agents understand what buyers in your area are looking for and can help you prioritize repairs and upgrades. Home inspectors can identify critical issues before selling. Take their feedback into consideration when making decisions about repairs and upgrades.

7 Home Fixes You Must Complete Before Selling

When preparing to sell your home, ensuring it's in the best possible condition can significantly increase its appeal and value. However, while not everything needs a touch-up, certain repairs and improvements are crucial to making a good impression and securing a favorable deal. Here are seven essential fixes you should prioritize:

  1. Roof Repairs: Address any leaks, missing shingles, or visible damage to assure potential buyers your home is protected from the elements.
  2. Plumbing Issues: Fix dripping faucets, running toilets, and any visible leaks to prevent concerns about potential water damage or inflated water bills.
  3. HVAC Maintenance: Ensure your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is working efficiently and has been recently serviced.
  4. Electrical Fixes: Replace any faulty switches, outlets, or light fixtures to ensure safety and functionality.
  5. Paint Touch-Ups: Refresh any scuffed or dated walls with a neutral color to appeal to a broader range of buyers.
  6. Floor Repairs: Replace or clean stained carpets, fix cracked tiles, and refinish worn-out hardwood to improve the home's overall aesthetic.
  7. Curb Appeal Enhancements: Ensure the front yard is tidy, trim any overgrown shrubbery, and refresh the entryway for a strong first impression.

With these essential fixes completed, your home stands a better chance of attracting serious buyers and fetching a competitive price. Remember, it's the small details that often leave the most significant impression.

When selling a house, it's important to focus on repairs and upgrades that will provide a high return on investment. Avoid over-the-top renovations, swimming pools, landscaping overhauls, trendy paint colors or wallpaper, and advanced home tech. Consider the neighborhood standards, urgency of the sale, available budget, and feedback from professionals when deciding what not to fix.

Sell Your House Fast in Kansas City, Missouri

If you need to sell your house fast but don’t want the hassle of a traditional home sale, contact KC Real Estate Buyers. We buy houses as-is. No repairs are needed. Avoid closing costs and realtor commissions. Close in as little as seven days. Call 816-659-2259 to get a fast cash offer from our local home buyers in Missouri.

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