Author Topic: Selling: Where to put repair/mainenance $ + effort?  (Read 530 times)

nereo

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Selling: Where to put repair/mainenance $ + effort?
« on: January 02, 2018, 11:04:59 AM »
We'll be listing our home in roughly 4-6 months, and are first-time sellers. Now I'm looking at our place with a seller's eye and pondering where to spend our limited time and budget. Everything is decent shape, but like most homes there's a long list of minor to-do projects. I'm just struggling on what should be ignored, what could be superfluously covered (e.g. small cracks in the ceiling) and what I should really repair or upgrade. 

As random examples, the bathroom grout needs redoing (the result of an exentsive remodeling below us), aforementioned cracks in the ceiling paint, two cheap but otherwise functional light fixtures in the kitchen, crown molding which wasn't put on entirely straight during my first attempt, hardwood floors which are 5 years old and could be resurfaced, a 2nd bedroom door that sticks in humidity, dents in the drywall in the laundry room from moving in a water heater (visible only when looking behind the water heater), two cracked tiles in the kitchen (would involve retileing the entire space), etc.

Does anyone have a good source for sellers? How do you draw the line for what is worth the effort and what is "good enough" for a sale?

Cpa Cat

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Re: Selling: Where to put repair/mainenance $ + effort?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 11:07:41 AM »
This is part of how a realtor earns their fee. They'll have a good sense of your price point and where to get the biggest bang for your buck. If you're going to use a realtor, it's not a problem to make contact with one now and have them tour your home and help you make these decisions.

Villanelle

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Re: Selling: Where to put repair/mainenance $ + effort?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 11:08:30 AM »
Are you planning on selling without an agent?  Unless you are, contact agents now and ask them this question.  They are going to know your market best. 

Things like the light fixtures are likely going to depend on the market and the type and price point of house you are selling. 

kaypinkHH

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Re: Selling: Where to put repair/mainenance $ + effort?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 11:54:02 AM »
Not a real estate expert but have spent the past 3 months selling/ and then looking at and buying a new house. Definitely agree that it really depends on the market, and price point that you expect. 

We recently sold our small house in the GTA. We asked our realtor if we should do any renos before selling, and his advice was to not do anything major.

What we did do/kept the same

1- Neutral paint- we have a small house, and luckily it was all neutral when we bought it but it does make a difference in selling.
2- Staged the house ourselves- chucked all our crap/personal items in storage for a few months, and left main pieces of furniture and a few neutral accessories.
3- Cleaned
4- Left our basement set up as an airbnb to show potential buyers the income opportunity
5- Really focused on the big back yard (best feature of our tiny house), and ensured grass was trimmed, gardens looked nice, patio was clear etc.
6- Fixed any obvious "problems"- 1 weekend, $100 max- loose siding, caulking, repainted bathroom ceiling etc.

Our kitchen was tiny and neutral but "ugly" (discolored stick on floor tiles, boring counters) etc. If we had more time, we could have done a quick makeover on that room to bring it up to the standards of the other room. We could have spent maybe $2-$5k to make this happen, but we would still be left with a fundamentally tiny kitchen. Even if we got that money back in the sale that would have been less than a 1% difference.

In the end our house sold to a developer, and it will be torn down. They 100% didn't care about the crappy floor tiles. I'm so glad we didn't put any time or effort into renos.

For your random examples, I'm going to make an assumption that you are in a "starter" home, and it isn't a fancy pants neighborhood/area (correct me if I'm wrong). Based on that assumption this is what I would do:

the bathroom grout needs redoing - maybe- depends on how bad it really is. 
cracks in the ceiling paint- yes, cover all cracks if possible, cracks freak out buyers.
two cheap but otherwise functional light fixtures in the kitchen- leave as is, new buyers can get better lights if they want.
crown molding which wasn't put on entirely straight during my first attempt-leave it, it is probably "fine enough"
hardwood floors which are 5 years old and could be resurfaced- leave it, 5 years old are still "new floors"
2nd bedroom door that sticks in humidity- leave it, not going to make or break a sale
dents in the drywall in the laundry room from moving in a water heater- 100% leave it.
two cracked tiles in the kitchen - if your kitchen is all new, state of the art remodeled, I would fix this, if not, leave it and let the buyers deal with it.

Another option, get a home inspector to come in before you list it. In the GTA it was $150 (much higher in new city, so keep that in mind), and they pointed out all the small items we should fix that would impact the sale, as well as let us know any major issues (ie the roof was nearing end of life). We then were able to price accordingly and weren't surprised by the offer price from the buyer.