If you’re planning to move home in the near future, it can be hard to find the motivation to make basic repairs, especially if they require spending a sizeable amount of money. How can you be sure you will recoup your investment when you sell? Well, the short answer is that you can’t. No-one can predict what the housing market will be like when you come to sell your home. However, in most cases it is better to try to sell a home that is in a good state of repair: chipped worktop surfaces, leaky taps and chipped bathtubs will put many buyers off.
Buyers want a home they can live in
While many buyers say that they quite like the idea of doing up their new home, there are limits to what is meant by “doing up”. What most people mean is that they want to change the carpets, repaint the walls, and maybe fit some new light fixtures. That’s more in the realm of “redecorating” than making repairs to bring the house up to a liveable standard.
If the buyer sees that they need to repair a chipped worktop in the kitchen, or replace the shower because the shower tub is leaking, they will think of that as serious work. Buyers want to be able to move in and enjoy their new home right away, and they can’t enjoy the house for the few days it takes to install the new kitchen or bathroom.
Let’s assume that your home would be worth £70,000 in perfect condition but the kitchen counters are chipped and the doors are hanging off the cabinets, and a new kitchen is worth £3,000. A buyer won’t offer you £67,000 for your house, especially if someone in the next street is selling a house that’s already in great shape for £70,000. They’ll either buy the house that’s already in good shape, saving themselves the hassle of buying a new kitchen and waiting for contractors to come and fit it, or they’ll want your home for £65,000 or less, as a discount for all the trouble they’ll have to go to.
DIY Repairs Will Pay Off
Think for a moment how much it will cost you to resurface those counters, fix those hinges, or stop some leaky taps. The above are all simple repairs that you can do yourself, and that you won’t have to spend a lot of money on. Other small repairs that you should do before putting your home on the market include:
- Fix broken appliances
- Patch cracks and holes in the wall
- Replace worn carpeting
- Replace broken windows
- Change broken light fittings
- Replace old curtains, linens, etc.
- Fix squeaky gates and doors
There is a big difference between basic repairs and major renovation work. At this stage, it’s probably too late to recoup investments from major work such as updating your heating system or fitting double glazing, however, making sure that the things you already own are in a good state of repair makes sense.
If you live in an area that is a seller’s market, you may get away with not doing a lot of fix-up work, but your selling price will be lower as a result. In a buyer’s market, you may find your house languishes for a long time if would-be buyers think it needs a lot of work.