For many people, the notion of putting their home on the market both physically and emotionally exhausting. Not only does it launch a massive process of change, but it requires you to address all those little maintenance, repair, and remodel issues you may have been putting off for years.
If your house is not in good repair, or has issues that need to be addressed prior to listing, you may be tempted to forget about selling and just stay put. But this does nothing to remedy those issues.
At some point, you’ll have to sell. You might as well take advantage of the hot seller’s market and list your house sooner rather than later.
If you own a house you want to sell but it’s in need of repairs, you have a few choices. Take a look at the three most common options homeowners have available to them.
Option #1: Sell As Is
The first option is to sell your house as is. As the phrase indicates, this entails selling your house in its current condition, with the understanding that the buyer will be responsible for any and all repairs.
“There are some rules that come with selling a house as is. For example, in many states, homeowners are legally obligated to answer any questions about the house’s current state honestly,” USAToday explains. “Many states also forbid sellers from intentionally hiding defects or misrepresenting information about any issues with the house.”
Typically, you have to disclose any and all of the following issues: structural defects to the foundation, the presence of mold, termite damage, leaky roof, high radon levels, legal issues with the title, and other potentially major problems that might not be readily obvious.
Selling a house as is offers a number of benefits. First, it saves you from having to call out contractors, gather quotes, schedule work, organize paperwork, and monitor the repair process.
Second, at least in theory, it enables you to sell your home fast, with less back-and-forth negotiations with the prospective buyers. The down side is that you’ll sacrifice what could be a healthy portion of what your house is worth, and buyers who are shopping with traditional bank loans may have to jump through extra hoops to get the deal approved.
Option #2: Fix Major Issues
The second option is to focus strictly on repairing the major and most expensive items. The rationale is that your property will be more marketable — most buyers would prefer not to have to deal with major repairs right away — and you’ll recoup every dollar you spent.
Major issues include structural/foundation problems, significant HVAC work, replacement of windows, roof repairs, re-piping, and extensive electrical work. In other words, anything that’s likely to cost thousands of dollars and require more than a couple of hours to fix.
By tackling major issues ahead of time, you’ll avoid the challenges that surface when an inspector points them out and scares off interested buyers. You also give the buyers less room for negotiation and more reason to purchase. Buyers love knowing they won’t have to replace windows, roofing, etc., for the next 10 or 20 years.
The key is to make sure you spend money only for upgrades that will provide significant value. It doesn’t make sense to spend $15,000 on new windows if they’ll only increase your home’s value by $10,000.
You’re better off selling as is and letting the buyer absorb that financial hit. If, on the other hand, new windows will cost you $10,000 and your agent believes you’ll be able to increase the sale price by $15,000, then it’s a good move.
In sum, with this option you aren’t going to fix all of the little cosmetic issues and annoyances the house could use. Those are items the buyer will have to deal with after purchase.
Option #3: Fix Everything
The final option is to fix absolutely everything and ensure the structure achieves pristine condition before you put it on the market. You might go so far as to remodel the entire building so it looks brand new.
The kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms are the spaces to focus most of your energy. Buyers love brand-new kitchens and will pay a premium to get one. In addition to hitting the big features like countertops and cabinets, you should also pay attention to less expensive but equally important elements like hardware and backsplash.
Repainting the entire house in neutral colors is also a wise move. When you’re fixing up a house to sell, take into account the taste and design preferences of the current market, rather than your own.
Discuss this with your agent and consider hiring an interior designer to help you determine what buyers are looking for today … but never pay for something that won’t deliver a positive ROI.
As home improvement expert Lee Wallender explains, “Some remodels are notoriously poor at returning resale value. Areas that tend not to have good resale value are media rooms, theaters, offices, basements, attic remodels, decks, and extensive backyard work. Garage conversions are typically not held in high regard by buyers, either.”
In the current hot seller’s market, fewer homeowners are choosing the third option. That’s because you can usually get away with addressing just the big repairs and trusting that competition and multiple offers will keep your sale price high.
On the other hand, having a perfect house to sell will appeal to the segment of buyers who are willing to spend whatever it takes to buy a “turnkey” home. It’s all about playing the numbers and making a decision that’s financially promising yet practical for your current resources.
Sell Your House With Green Residential
Selling a house is a challenging and time-consuming process that requires discipline, strategy, and experience. Whether your home is in pristine condition or needs a few repairs, our team at Green Residential can help you sell your Houston home without all the hassle.
And with our flat-fee commission structure, you could potentially save thousands. Contact us today to find out more!