When listing your home, you may want to pre-emptively hire a home inspector to let you know what you should upgrade and fix before you officially list your home. However, if your home inspection has a long list of fixes, it’s difficult to know where to start and what to leave out. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
Fix anything that will scare away potential buyers
Buyers looking for a move-in ready home want to purchase a home that’s in good working order. They want to be able to move in easily without the need to solve a dozen problems, so the more you can do to assure buyers and remove fear, the better.
The best way to do that is focus on the large-scale repairs and the quick, little repairs.
The big stuff
There are a few major issues that will scare off even the most eager buyers. Mould, for example, is typically due to insufficient ventilation and the unknown extent of the problem will be difficult for a new buyer to assess. Fixing any mould issues and having a clean air check will put buyer’s minds at ease and increase your chances of an offer. Also – while most homes have some minor cracks in the foundation, major structural problems will be a clear deterrent. While remedying these problems is costly, it can be the difference between selling and not selling your home.
The small stuff
When you receive your list of repairs, you might be surprised at how long it is; if you’re shocked, your prospective buyers will be as well. Scan the list and tackle the small problems; the more you can fix, the shorter your list will be, and the less scared buyers will be. Some examples of quick fixes are:
- Covering electrical panels
- Have a working fan in the washroom
- Repair broken fireplaces
- Fixing faulty lightswitches and installing GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets
Ensure you’re on-par with comparable homes in the neighbourhood
When deciding what to repair based on your home inspection, think about comparing your home to those in the neighbourhood. Rather than taking on everything on your list, understand that buyers might see a few houses in your area, and they might all have similar quirks or problems that are common in that locale.
For example, if you have original cast-iron pipes somewhere in your home, you could retrofit them, which will be costly. However, if your neighbours all still have that piping, it may not be a priority, since it will be an expected issue for the buyers. Buyers won’t question common issues within homes of your age and area.
In short: make sure you’re at or above the standard for the neighbourhood to drive the highest selling price for your home.
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