Should You Make Those Repairs Before Selling Your Home?

Just how much should you invest in repairs to sell your home?

It comes down to how desperate you are to sell and what changes are needed.

Significant structural problems or major electrical or plumbing repairs must be disclosed to potential buyers. If you are unaware of these problems and they are discovered during the home inspection, they will have to be fixed at your expense or you’ll have to hand over an equivalent amount to allow the buyers to fix them themselves.

So if you are aware of significant repairs that need to be made, why not avoid the hassles and fix them before the “for sale” sign goes up?

For less significant changes, you can make repairs. But be aware you won’t necessarily recoup your investment. Don’t overspend. Many an unwary homeowner has made changes that effectively price him or her out of the neighbourhood, meaning it’s become a good house in a poor neighbourhood.

Buyers looking in the area may not be prepared to pay for state-of-the art windows or a slate roof. They may be impressed, however, by an uncluttered home with a fresh coat of paint.

Alternatively, you can decide not to make changes, betting that your proximity to transit or a deck with a hot tub will sell your house despite its flaws.

If this sounds good, be prepared to wait for a buyer who wants a fixer-upper.

And be aware that in its current condition, your house won’t go for top dollar – even to do-it-yourselfers.