Is there a ‘perfect home’ out there? It’s good to start searching with a list of needs and wants but is it possible to check each off? When shopping for a home, most buyers are willing to compromise a little but some issues can be definite home-selling deal-breakers. For example, some clients of mine recently bought a property that had an odd-shaped yard lacking RV parking. However, because it fit in so many other ways they were comfortable moving forward with the purchase.
On the other hand, there are some large issues that are definitely home-selling deal breakers. Recounting my experience, below are the top 10 items you should consider fixing prior to listing your home to avoid a longer sale time and lower offers.
The list below is in no particular order but fixing each issue before selling will encourage quicker and better offers.
One of the biggest home selling deal breakers for anyone buying, unless they are a roofer, is a dilapidated roof. Ask most buyers how much they think it will cost to replace a roof and they generally guess a high number. That means they will turn away or request more money off the price than the cost of replacing the current roof. With old roofing being very noticeable it can turn buyers off before seeing the rest of the property or inquiring at all.
Structural issues are a definite deal-breaker because they are expensive and can point toward other big issues. A property with structural issues is almost unsellable so it’s important to fix issues. Even if a buyer was interested in purchasing a home with structural problems they’ll only offer a fire sale price. Check with your insurance company to see if a claim is possible to help mitigate the cost of repairs.
“Avoid home selling
deal-breakers to encourage higher offers.
You’ll spend less money fixing the issues than
a buyer will ask off your list price.”
Furnaces are viewed as expensive home repairs so if you have an old furnace replacement might be a good investment. Buyers see a new furnace as one less thing they have to replace and they see the improved efficiency as more affordable long term. Always give your furnace a good cleaning too to make it look newer.
Poly-b water supply tubing
Currently, polybutylene (Poly-B) plumbing is a major home selling deal breakers in Alberta. Insurance companies are reluctant to provide coverage on homes with Poly-B plumbing as losses from ruptures can be massive. Poly-B water supply plumbing isn’t always obvious but it will come up in a home inspection. And if insurance companies won’t insure a home with Poly-B tubing, and buyers require insurance for a mortgage, it’s an absolute deal-breaker. The quotes to replace Poly-B tubing I’ve seen range between $4000 – $10,000 and because of insurance concerns replacement is needed.
Old hot water tank
Hot water tanks aren’t as durable as before and home inspectors consider them replaceable after 10 years. If you’re planning to sell and your water heater is old, replacing it will avoid an “X” on a home inspection. Buyers imagine the cost to replace a water heater as much higher than it is and that’s why replacing an old one is beneficial. If your water heater isn’t very old give it a really good cleaning to make it look newer.
Old windows are an issue most buyers want to avoid even though they might operate fine. Replacing windows is very expensive but it can improve your sales price. To determine if it’s cost-effective to replace your old windows consult an experienced Realtor®
Old decking and fencing
Buyers want to be proud of their new home and show their friends and family. An unkempt yard might be easy to remedy but old fencing and decking are embarrassing for buyers. If your fence is in disrepair it’s a good idea to repair it. Rotten wood will scare buyers. If your fence and deck only need paint or stain it will pay off to do so. Don’t just paint over rotten wood because when it’s pointed out in the home inspection buyers will assume there’s more.
If a window is broken buyers will want it replaced before moving in. It can also affect a buyer’s first impression. You’d be surprised how relatively affordable replacing a pane of glass is and it’s definitely worth doing before selling.
Worn flooring and old carpet
More and more buyers are avoiding carpet but all worn flooring can be a home sale deal breaker. Even buyers who appreciate carpets aren’t interested in old carpets. To make your home more likable consider replacing carpet with hard flooring and replacing worn flooring with something new. If your home is full of old flooring you will receive lower offers because a new owner won’t be proud of showing it off. If an entire home is out of date replacing only one item like flooring might not encourage a higher price and renovating everything might not show a high enough return. In cases where you don’t know where to stop with improvements, you might be better off pricing accordingly rather than investing more than it’s worth.
Old finishing might not be a home selling deal breaker always but it sure will encourage lower offers. If priced right an older home with older finishing will sell but the right improvements could earn you a big R.O.I.
Some improvements earn a better return and some old finishings aren’t as harmful as you might think. Consult an experienced Realtor before making improvement decisions. You want to broaden your selling profit, not shrink it.
I host iOnRealEstate.ca for Central Albertans wanting to keep in-the-know regarding the local real estate market. More information contributes to better decisions, and with an asset as great as your home it’s important to do your best!