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Should I Make Repairs Before Listing My Home?

Saturday, October 19, 2019   /   by Amber Tice

Should I Make Repairs Before Listing My Home?

When Chris and I first bought our house back in 2017 we were soooo excited to make repairs and dive right into making it our own.  And as much as I love the fact that we had so much motivation, I wish we had more knowledge of not only how to make repairs, but also more knowledge about the real estate market.

You might be asking what does the real estate market have to do with making repairs?  Well…. A lot actually. Let me explain…..

Making repairs to your home is tricky business for several reasons.  There are a lot of things to consider before tearing down a wall and opening up your space, or adding that third bathroom.  

First of all-make sure you have pulled all permits from the city BEFORE you jump into any major repairs to your home.  This will save you a lot of hassle down the road. After you’ve listed- the question will be asked on your seller’s disclosure if you have pulled all permits and it will always be in your best interest to BE HONEST.   Buyers will also appreciate the fact that you have records of permits pulled. This will make them feel much more comfortable when it’s time to make an offer. 

What next?  Well...next you need to look at your local neighborhood.  It’s always a good idea to remember that your neighboring homes are the ones that add value to your home.  Most people have the misconception that the more repairs they do the better their resale value. That is far from the case.  If your neighbors are making repairs, then by all means, start the process. But, if your neighborhood seems to need some tender loving care I would caution you to do some more research before jumping into adding too many upgrades.

Ok, so...you’ve pulled your permits and you’ve done your research on your neighborhood.  You are ready to primp, peel, and paint. Where should you start? Start with the least expensive repairs that give you more resale value.  For example, painting inside and finishing the trim throughout your home is relatively cheap, and will attract buyers. They will see an updated paint color, fresh trim, and your home will have an overall cleaner appearance.  These repairs are much more valuable to you then, say, replacing the cabinets in your kitchen. Buyers may love them, but the cost of replacing the cabinets most likely won’t bring the value of your home up as much as you think it will.  

Think of it this way:  Just because you pay $10,000 for kitchen cabinets does not necessarily increase the value of your home by $10,000.  That number depends on your local market conditions (Is it a sellers market, or a buyers market?), and what repairs your neighbors have made to their homes.  

It might also benefit you to have some conversations with your neighbors regarding repairs.  (Don’t make it weird, and just invite yourself in). I can’t tell you how many times there’s been a knock on my door and I dreaded answering it...Maybe invite them to your home for coffee and a short visit, or have a neighborhood BBQ in order to get to know your neighbors.  This is always a great time to “talk shop.” This might help you gauge the best route for you and your family as far as resale value.

Now, if you are in your forever home I say make as many repairs as you desire.  There is absolutely no reason NOT to make it the home of your dreams if you have no plans of leaving.  :)

There you have it folks!  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding this topic, or any others.


Amber Tice

Real Estate Broker

Haven Real Estate Group

(208) 771-4008

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Haven Real Estate Group
Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201

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