Is it worth spending money on repairs before you sell your house?

Is it worth shelling out money and time for repairs or should you sell your house in its present condition? This is often a debatable matter for sellers.

Is it worth spending money on repairs before you sell your house

Although selling your house without making any repairs is convenient, it’s likely to reduce its value. A well-maintained home is always more appealing to potential buyers. So, if the property in question needs some major repairs, you will probably want to undertake some restorations before you put it on the market. 

However, not all home improvements are likely to enhance the value of your property. Before proceeding, take a look at other houses on sale in the neighbourhood to get a sense of the competition. To assess what improvements you should prioritise, inspect all areas of the house that need to be fixed, and identify the ones that will add the most value. 

So how do you decide if the repairs are worth it or not? Read on to find out.

Consider the ROI

Before you go ahead and tear down a wall, or make any drastic changes, weigh the cost of the repair work against the amount it adds to the property’s market value. If the repairs don’t boost its market value, they are not economically viable and you could do without them. A local real estate agent might be able to help you gauge the pros and cons of undertaking repairs in your particular case. 

Related: Selling your house? Avoid these mistakes to get a better deal

When is fixing up the house worth it?

  • Major structural changes: Most buyers would want a house that is ready to move into. Let’s assume your house needs a lot of work – say, fixing a leaky roof or replacing faulty wiring. This might cost around Rs 5 lakh, but a potential buyer might expect the repair cost to be higher and pass on your house. If a buyer feels they will have to undertake major repairs when they already have a down payment to worry about, they won’t want the additional hassle. Unless you are willing to lower the price, you will need to fix major issues.
  • Minor issues: Sometimes all you need to restore your house to top-notch condition are some low-cost fixes. If potential buyers spot the smallest cracks and stains, they might wonder what else is neglected. So make a list of everything that’s defective or worn out. Consider minor improvements like patching any cracks in the plaster, applying a fresh coat of paint, or replacing a broken window to entice more buyers. 

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When is fixing up the house not worth it?

  • Cosmetic upgrades: You and your potential buyers will most likely have a different aesthetic sense and taste. Giving a complete makeover to the furnishing or kitchen may seem a good idea, but chances are the new owner would want to redo it to suit their style. So it’s best to leave design-related improvements to the buyer’s discretion. That said, some cosmetic changes are warranted. For instance, touch up faded walls with neutral paint, replace worn carpeting, and do away with any other distracting elements such as drapes and wall hangings. This will ensure that potential buyers focus on the more important features of your house. 

Related: Buying a home in your hometown or in a big city: What makes financial sense? [Premium]

Last words

If the real estate market is booming, even with fewer repairs you will attract buyers and get a good price for your house. But a house that needs major repair work will still command a lower price. Whether you make pre-sale repairs or not, a trusted real-estate agent can help you navigate the home-selling process. Real Estate: Is this a good time to buy a house? Read this to get answers to most of your queries regarding the real estate market. 


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