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Should Sellers Fix-Up Before Selling?

By: Huntsville Real Estate Expert Mike Manosky On April 11, 2014

I am often asked, “Should sellers fix-up before selling?” First, let’s talk about the stuff any Realtor is going to tell you so you have context for the rest.

Should sellers fix-up before selling?It is easier to sell a house that is attractive to buyers and shows as being well-maintained. That is a matter of doing a little fix-up, but mostly clean-up. Make sure pipes aren’t leaking, for instance. That is relatively easy and not expensive. If your home really needs painting consider doing that. These are not high priced issues. Below we are talking about the expensive items.

If your house has structural defects or other problems that are expensive to fix you have more challenging decisions to make. First, remember that every house has defects! That is simply the nature of a complex structure. Second, savvy buyers know to expect defects so don’t try to hide them. Don’t kid yourself that if a problem can’t be seen easily it won’t be found out.

Most buyers assume there are some problems with any house. If they make an offer that you accept they will pay for a professional home inspector who knows Huntsville AL real estate. Good buyer inspectors are very thorough. They are being paid by the buyer and are looking out for the buyer’s interests, not yours. It is not unusual for an inspection report to be in excess of twenty pages…in small type! Being honest with yourself about defects will prepare you better when you are faced with that inspection report.

So, the question becomes “Should sellers fix-up before selling, or make it clear that you are selling “as-is” and discount the price accordingly?” The obvious follow-up question is “If I spend the money before selling, will I get that money back in the final sale price?” The general answer is that it depends on the nature of the defect and magnitude of the likely cost of repair.

Potential buyers are most likely to overestimate the cost if they have to make the repair and under-estimate the cost if the seller is paying. Cost versus value then becomes a negotiation to establishing a final purchase/sale price. If the cost of repair is major, such as a septic system, it makes the most sense to repair it before selling.

The best way to go about making these decisions is to pay a professional home inspector to make an inspection on your behalf as the seller. Their report will give you a thorough list of issues you might be faced with. It will also give you the tool to get estimates from contractors to make the repairs. Then you have a sound basis for making decisions.

An added benefit to having your own inspection on hand is that you have a professional document that you can use when negotiating with a buyer. Be practical and be prepared with your own inspection.

Click here for The Seller’s List of 25 Easy Fix-Ups!

Having lived in the Huntsville AL area for most of his life, Realtor Mike Manosky understands exactly what makes this community special.  In fact, those who know him well will tell you he carries the same traditional values and focus on the future as Huntsville. If you are selling a home in the Huntsville area, click here for your free market evaluation. Your report will contain the current active, pending, and recently sold listings and prices in your neighborhood. This important information can make a big difference as you prepare to sell your home. There is no cost or obligation. Give Mike a call today, 256-508-0211 Direct or 800-803-0053 Toll Free, and discover the difference he can make during your family’s move.

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