What Not to Fix When Selling a House | Redy

Dec 1, 2022 10:00:00 AM / by Zak Bretherton

Don’t Fix These Five Things When Selling a House

Real estate shows have made it seem normal to give your house a major makeover before selling, but that isn't the case. In the real world, some renovations can help you sell your home, but some fixes make little difference. You may believe that the beautiful, newly renovated houses bring in better prices. That's not entirely true. You can "over-improve" a home and put more money into it than you get back. Those fixes can set you back a pretty penny without boosting the value of your home. So, not every makeover needs to happen.

But what should you not fix when selling a house? This blog will help you know where to draw the line on upgrades. Read on to learn about five things to skip fixing when selling a house. 

What to Consider When Deciding What Not to Fix

Knowing what to fix and what not to fix can be tricky. Not all of us are experts on home renovations. That's why we have a couple of tips for what to consider when deciding what not to fix in your house before selling.

Consult a Real Estate Agent

If you're not an expert in real estate, it's best to consult someone who is. A real estate agent can guide you on what you should fix and where you might be sinking cash with little to no return. Agents are also experts in your area and know what's working for people in your neighborhood, so they can help you prioritize certain repairs. Looking for an agent to help you get started? Click here to find the best real estate agent for you with Redy, or read more about finding a real estate agent here

Will You Get ROI? 

The big question with repairs is if you'll get a return on your investment (ROI). In general, kitchen fixes get you the most return on your investment. But be careful not to spend too much. Spend no more than 10% of your house's value on kitchen repairs. So as you debate repairs, try to determine if you'll get ROI. Again, a real estate agent can help determine where you could get a return, as the value of your home will come into play.

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What Not to Fix When Selling a House - 2023

Without further ado, here is our advice on what not to fix when selling a house. These are five areas you should probably skip when looking at home repairs.

Outdated Parts of a Room

Maybe your house was built in the 70s. Maybe it's just looking old. But either way, you should probably skip switching out outdated parts of a room. The 1980s cabinets should probably stay; if the new owners don't like them, they can change them. It's tempting to want to update your house to sell, but it's usually not your best use of money. Let the buyer determine what they want to do with the room instead. Updating certain portions of an outdated room also risks making the parts you didn't change look even worse. Brand-new cabinets in your old kitchen might make the tile stand out more than before.

If you really feel like you have to update portions, consider these ideas:

  • Swap out hardware, faucets, or showerheads

  • Install new mirrors in the bathrooms

  • Upgrade your doors 

  • Add new tile or grout 

But if your house is really dated, we recommend skipping any upgrades altogether.

Old Appliances

Appliances affect the kitchen's overall feel and look, but they're not the make or break point. Many buyers bring their own appliances when they move anyway, so spending money on appliances might ultimately waste your resources. The basic rule of thumb is only to replace your appliances if they're a major eyesore. And if you have to do that, don't buy new ones. Find used appliances that are a step up from your old ones but aren't expensive.

Minor Electrical Issues

In general, you should have a home inspection completed by an electrician to determine if you have any major electrical problems. Those issues should be fixed. But not every electrical problem needs to be fixed to sell your home. An uncovered or wonky electrical outlet? Skip it. Light switches that don't turn anything on? Go ahead and pass on the repairs. Even light switches in inconvenient spots (like behind a door) don't need to be replaced. Skip the little things when it comes to the electric system.

Cosmetic Flaws

Some cosmetic flaws are easy fixes, so you might as well go ahead and do them. A fresh coat of paint in a bedroom is a great example. But not every cosmetic fix is in your best interest. For example, your countertops might not look stunning, but you shouldn't replace them. Countertop replacements are expensive, and ultimately, they're not necessary. When you get caught up in fixing cosmetic flaws, you risk accidentally causing damage or sinking more money into a project than it's worth. Your house can sell without a complete makeover!

Exterior Property Cracks

Your exterior does affect your sales. You might find it beneficial to tame your unruly hedges or pluck the weeds in your yard. Those quick fixes can help your yard make a great impression without wasting money or time. But you should probably ignore one area of your exterior: hairline cracks. It's common for cracks to form on walkways, stairs, or driveways, but you don't need to fix them to sell. Don't sweat these cracks. Most buyers won't mind them (after all, they're probably on every property they've seen), and fixing them can be pricey. 

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Bottom Line

Your house doesn't need to be perfect to sell, and you shouldn't waste time on things people may want to put their own spin on anyway. A functional home with a good foundation can sell without a makeover. But ultimately, it's helpful to have an expert real estate agent to help you determine the right moves for your unique home.

Looking for the right agent? Redy is here to help! With Redy, real estate agents submit proposals to represent your home sale, so you get to choose a realtor who's excited about your home and that you're keen to work with. Quickly compare multiple real estate agents who come to you and save time without sacrificing quality! Get started here to find the right agent for you.

To learn more about selling your home, visit our Home Seller Resources >

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