Once you and your Realtor have determined a date for your listing to “go live,” discussed the marketing and communication plans, and gotten all the paperwork done it is time to get very busy at getting the house ready to sell. The first task here is for you and your Realtor to tour the house as if you were buyers and talk about what repairs may be worth doing before you are on the market. Some Pre-Listing Repairs can save you money later on, but it is very important to talk about which repairs are worth doing now.
Pre-Listing Repairs You SHOULD do:
If you and your Realtor find items that will be flagged on inspection as safety or major structure, or if you know about these (and if so you must disclose them) then repair before you go live is warranted. Simple examples here would include not having GFCI plugs in the bathroom, or an active roof leak. Repair these now and you may be able to do some of them at handyman prices. If you wait for the inspection, the buyer will likely request that a licensed electrician or other more expensive contractor do these repairs.
Again note- the items on the Seller’s Disclosure form require honest answers from the Sellers. So if you know your dishwasher doesn’t work you either should fix it or exclude it from the sale now. If you don’t, you will be paying to repair it later. A buyer can reasonably expect the appliances to work, the roof to be water tight (even if it is old) and the major HVAC pieces to function.
Pre-Listing Repairs You Should Consider NOT Doing:
If your HVAC items are old but work, a buyer may ask you to replace them but you can refuse to do so. If your carpet is old and/or unattractive, we usually recommend giving an “allowance” toward new carpet if the buyer brings an acceptable offer. Otherwise you may pick carpet the buyer doesn’t like anyway and you’ll have spent money for no gain. Similarly, while a fresh coat of paint is always good, a major or dramatic re-design will rarely yield you a gain equal to your cost. Your Realtor should be able to advise you about what repairs or renovations will yield you best returns.
Pre-Listing Work Items Other Than Repairs:
Freshening up your landscaping, patch painting areas of interior or exterior that are scuffed, and a major cleaning are always good ideas before listing a home. Also, add some floor lamps, declutter extensively, “sterilize” your room decor, and put away or lock up all personal identifying information and all medications. We will talk about these items again when we talk about staging and showing your home.
For more information on these topics or other items related to Real Estate, please get in touch!