As with anything, homes are subject to wear and tear. Systems break down, roofs age, and over time, things just aren’t as perfect and pristine as they once were.
This poses a dilemma when it comes time to sell.
On the one hand, homeowners can repair the issues and try to maximize the sales price on their property (though this will take resources and work to get there). On the other, they can sell their home as-is, taking a hit on price in exchange for less effort and fewer dollars spent on the front-end.
Both options have their merits, and the right choice really depends on your goals as a seller, the condition of your house, and the local housing market.
Are you planning on listing your home in the near future? Here’s how to decide which route to take.
When to Make Repairs Before You Sell
Repairing your home is always the best choice if you have the time and resources to do it. In most cases, doing so will help you fetch top-dollar for the property, as well as help your home sell faster and more easily.
Making repairs first is also the best choice when:
It’s a buyer’s market.
When supply is up and demand is down, buyers have the upper hand. That means you have less leverage as a seller, and you’ll need to do more to get your property noticed and draw in those bids. Making repairs? That’s just one of the things you’ll need to do to grab buyers’ attention.
The repairs are minor.
If it only takes a little bit of elbow grease and a few thousand bucks to get your property up to speed, it’s usually worth the effort. Not only does it alleviate worries that a house is ill-cared for, but it also makes for better listing photos, a higher appraised value, and a more marketable home on the whole.
You want to maximize your profits.
If making the most off your home is your No. 1 goal, then repairing the property is a critical first step. Get a seller’s inspection performed, and use the inspection report as a repair guide of sorts. Make sure to bring in a pro for any bigger projects or tasks that require expertise (electrical or plumbing work, for example). You should also ask your agent to include any recent upgrades, like a new roof or HVAC system, in your listing description.
Your timeframe is flexible.
Let’s face it: repairs take time. If you’re relocating and need to be out of the home in a month or less, you might not have time to replace the roof, repair the floor, and fix the front door. Repairing your property is an option best-reserved for sellers with flexible timelines.
When to Sell Your Home As-Is
You can, of course, opt to sell your house in its current state and skip the extra work and hassle. When you do this, it will typically mean a lower sales price and a less marketable property. In many cases, it may mean targeting fix-and-flip investors rather than traditional homebuyers with your sale.
Here are the best situations to sell your home as-is:
When the fixes are very costly.
If it’s going to cost tens of thousands, months of work, and lots of city permits, you might be better off saving your cash and taking a hit on price instead. If the home is in a good area and has solid potential, it might be a promising option for local real estate investors — you’ll just have to lower the price to attract them.
When it’s a seller’s market.
In a seller’s market, you have the advantage. There are fewer properties to choose from, and buyers have to venture outside their comfort zone to find a potential home. In this scenario, it may be easier to find a buyer who’s willing to take on a property that requires work. You might not even need to cut your price much to do it.
When you’re willing to take a hit on price.
Selling as-is is almost always going to make a lower sales price, but for many home sellers, that’s not a problem. Maybe you’re downsizing and don’t need much cash, or maybe you’ve got plenty of equity and will still make a hefty profit despite lowering your asking price. Whatever the reason, if money’s not an issue, selling as-is can be the way to go.
When you’re short on time.
If you’re on a tight timeline, selling as-is can be a good option, allowing you to list the home and start showing it immediately. It requires less work on your part, but you’ll need to be sure and lower the price point if you really want to offload it quickly.