To Fix or Not to Fix? What to Spruce Up When Selling Your Home


Finally deciding on selling your home is one thing, but figuring out what needs fixing or sprucing up before you do it is another conversation entirely.

After all, you want the best return on investment. So, what will help make that happen?

Unless you’re an appraiser or realtor, it can be hard to know. As such, here’s some helpful information that will make it easier.

Should You Fix It Before Selling Your Home? 4 Considerations

Should you go all out with updates, or save your money for other investments? Here’s what to look at to find out.

1. The State of the Real Estate Market

The state of the real estate market should be number one in your mind when trying to figure out if you should make repairs/updates or leave things alone.

If homes are selling quickly for more than the asking price, it’s a seller’s market and you could potentially get away with doing less. On the other hand, if homes are sitting on the market for months and going for less than the asking price, it’s a buyer’s market, and you’ll have to work harder to impress.

If the market is somewhere in the middle, continue on to #2.

2. What the Comps Look Like

Compare your home to similar ones in your area – property buyers would probably look at alongside yours. What updates do they have? What basic standard is already in place?

For example, if all the comparable listings in your area have updated kitchens, your home will look paltry by comparison if you don’t have one, too.

3. How Quickly You Want to Sell

If you need to sell your home quickly, then it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to get that sale. That includes going the extra mile with updates and repairs.

If you’re not in any rush, you can take things more slowly and feel out the response to your listing. Then, you can upgrade as necessary.

4. How the Problem Affects the Way Your Listing Is Perceived

If the problems with your home are obvious, then not fixing them or making updates can work against you. This is because buyers will notice them right away during an open house. Glaring issues can make them put up their antennae and wonder, “What else is wrong with this home?”

Examples: broken appliances, broken front steps, leaky faucets, chipped paint, peeling wallpaper, and doors that stick.

Selling Your Home? Be Strategic About Updates

Don’t just assume that updating your entire house will result in a fast, lucrative sale. Instead, you have to look at the real estate market and how comparable listings are faring. No home exists in a vacuum in real estate – do your homework, and you’ll be far better off for your sale.