Things You Should Fix (Or Not) Before Selling Your House

As you begin to think about selling your home, it can be hard to decide what changes should be made and what updates shouldn’t be worth the expense. Every seller wants their home to sell as quickly as possible for top dollar, but that doesn’t mean spending willy-nilly just because you’ve got equity sitting in a house you’re never going to live in again.

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Deciding on the right improvements is not always easy, and there are some choices that should never even make it onto your radar screen – no matter how badly you want them done. 

Here’s a list of Things You Should Fix (Or Not) Before Selling Your House: 

1) Get Rid of Smells

There aren’t many smells we don’t enjoy, but your house definitely doesn’t need that “new home” smell. Any smells caused by animals, pets or any other source should be eradicated before you list your home for sale.

2) Fix Cosmetic Problems

Cosmetic problems can run the gamut from a poorly-installed deck to cracked paint inside the house to peeling wallpaper in the bathroom. While these are all very fixable items, they generally don’t have much impact on the value of the property, so it’s not worth spending your hard-earned equity to improve upon them. 

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious and want to make some upgrades as you put your home up for sale, focus on those things which will provide an immediate return, such as new carpeting, fresh paint in neutral colours and updated fixtures.

3) Make any Major Repairs

When you’re ready to sell, you’ll want your home in great shape so that when potential buyers come through, they can imagine themselves living there. You don’t want them stopping at every turn to ask, “Will this be fixed before closing?” If something is broken, it needs to be repaired or replaced because anything else won’t pass the muster of most buyers. Consider using quality screws, fasteners, paint and adhesives to ensure longevity of the work you’ve done.

4) Pay Off Your Mortgage

Unless you owe more than 70% of your home’s value, paying off your mortgage before selling doesn’t make much sense for homeowners who are trying to sell their houses quickly. The act of paying off the debt isn’t going to provide any extra value to your home and, in fact, could actually cause you to lose money if you’re not careful.

5) Renovate

This goes hand-in-hand with making any major repairs – renovating your home before putting it on the market is a huge undertaking that’s likely going to cost more than the increase in equity you’ll see when it sells. Unless you’re doing a full gut job, it’s best to wait until after your house has sold to start tearing down walls and installing new flooring.

6) Change the Floor Plan

While there are definitely some homeowners who have successfully changed the floor plan of their homes, for the majority of people, it’s a huge gamble that may not pay off in the end. If your home isn’t selling, it may be because buyers don’t see the potential in the layout and are put off by the idea of making changes themselves.

In Conclusion

Making some small repairs and updates before putting your home on the market is definitely a good idea, but don’t go overboard! Focusing on the things that will have the biggest impact – like new carpeting, fresh paint and updated fixtures – will help potential buyers see the true potential of your home. Avoid making any major repairs or renovations and be careful not to pay off your mortgage too soon – you may end up regretting it later on. Good luck with your sale!

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