The idea of leaving a place better than you found it serves our culture well. The idea may stem from Ralph Waldo Emerson who said in part “to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition” when describing the idea of living a successful life. He may have influenced our grandparents and great-grandparents in the mid-1800s passing the idea to our parents as we do to our children. Emerson shared many of his ideas through over 1,500 public speaking engagements across the United States.
You will have done your part in making the world a better place when taking proper care of your home through routine maintenance and making the necessary upgrades during your tenure. But you don’t need to fix everything when selling your home. Some items are okay for the next inhabitants to resolve. We always recommended proper lawn care, thoroughly cleaning your home inside and out, and fresh paint in the interior rooms. Additionally, issues with major systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC), the roof, and the foundation are important to resolve when you are looking to sell a home with the best possible ROI.
Homes experience wear and tear that shows over time. Intelligent qualified buyers, and their representative buyer's agents, realize this. Working with a professional sellers agent from Pelletier Realty Group is an excellent way to determine if the projects you are considering undertaking before selling your home are worth the time and expense. Consulting with your seller's agent during the process can save you a considerable amount of time and frustration. Here is a partial list of things you shouldn’t fix when selling a home.
• Normal wear and tear: Educated buyers won’t ask sellers to fix every chip and crack in a home. Cracked tiles in the bathroom, scratches on hardwood floors and baseboards, well used carpeting all fall into the category of normal wear and tear. It is sometimes tempting to fix every cosmetic issue, but it isn’t necessary. Consulting with your seller's agent will help determine what to fix and what to let alone.
• Upgrades to current building codes: A seller doesn’t necessarily need to update building issues to meet current building codes (unless they present a safety issue). Many homes will have been built years before new building codes are adopted. Older homes that were legally constructed in compliance with the building codes at the time are often grandfathered-in: meaning they do not have to meet current codes. The home inspector will make note of any part of the home that doesn’t meet current building codes in their report, as is required. Again, consulting with your seller's agent can save you time and frustration in the process.
• Old appliances: Every home is different, and the appliances they contain come in a wide variety of conditions and functionality. Older appliances and appliances that aren’t energy efficient can affect the sale of your home. Replacing appliances with the most expensive top of the line energy efficient models isn’t necessary. Purchasing used appliances (that are functional and energy efficient) or new standard appliances (energy efficient) will often suffice.
• Neighborhood normal: Upgrading your landscaping beyond the neighborhood normal is not in your best interest. You will want a well manicured lawn and beautiful landscaping features to attract buyers as you cultivate curbside appeal. But anything beyond the normal of the neighborhood will simply put your home in the “too much house for the neighborhood” category and will not provide any noticeable ROI.
• Removable items: It can be tempting to update window treatments and other temporary fixtures for the staging process. Sometimes the best move is to simply remove old, outdated, and worn out curtains or treatments without replacing them. This is true for many other temporary fixtures in your home. Buyers view empty spaces and absent items the way an artist considers their canvas with tremendous excitement considering the possibilities. You don’t want to deny a potential buyer's first masterstroke (and window treatments are an easy stroke to imagine, but an expensive stroke to make).