It is important to prepare your home before putting it on the market, so it will look its best to prospective buyers. Staging a home typically involves decluttering interiors, tidying up the curb appeal, and investing in essential repairs around the property. However, it is crucial to know what not to fix when selling a house.

Don’t get carried away. Spending too much money on the home can be a losing investment. It will not significantly improve the house’s appeal or asking price, leaving you penniless for unnecessary expenses. That is why it is really important to know where to draw the line. Here’s a list of some of the things homeowners aren’t obligated to fix when listing a home for sale, and the reasons why.

When selling a house, it is important to consider which upgrades and repairs are necessary and which are not, as the goal is to maximize the return on investment while making the property attractive to potential buyers as well.

Here are some of the things you may not have to fix when selling a house:

  1. Appearance issues: Minor cosmetic issues like stained carpets, outdated light fixtures, or chipped paint may not be worth fixing, as buyers may be willing to overlook these in exchange for a lower asking price.
  1. Structural issues that do not affect functionality or safety: Some structural issues like a slight crack in a wall or a sloping floor, may not have a significant impact on the functionality and safety of the house and may not need to be addressed before the sale.
  1. Maintenance items: Regular maintenance items like a water heater or furnace that are still in good working condition and have years of life left may not have to be replaced before the sale, except required by law or local regulations.
  1. Expensive, niche upgrades: fancy upgrades like a spa bathroom or a gourmet kitchen may not be a priority for all buyers and may not yield a good return on investment.

All things considered, every situation is unique. The condition of the house, the local market, and the potential buyer demographic will all play an essential role in determining what repairs and upgrades are needed. It is ideal to consult a real estate professional to assess the specific needs of your property.

How to decide what repairs to do before listing your home

To determine what not to fix before selling your house, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will this make my house sell for less than other similar properties for sale in the neighborhood?
  • Will this hinder a buyer from making an offer on my house?
  • Is this gonna cause my house to sit on the market longer than it should–costing me more money in carrying costs?
  • Is this gonna cost me more to fix than I’ll get back at closing?
  • Would the end product be something a buyer would probably still change?

Here are some things that you may want to fix before putting your house on the market:

  1. Curb appeal: The exterior of your house is the first thing potential buyers will see, so it’s important to make sure it looks inviting. This may include fixing any cracks in the driveway, cleaning or repainting the exterior, and landscaping the front yard.
  2. Structural issues: Any structural issues that affect the safety or functionality of the house should be addressed before putting the house on the market. This may include fixing a leaky roof, repairing a cracked foundation, or fixing any plumbing or electrical issues.
  3. Kitchen and bathrooms: The kitchen and bathrooms are often the most important rooms for buyers, so it’s important to make sure they are in good condition. This may include replacing outdated appliances, repairing leaky faucets, or replacing worn-out countertops.
  4. Flooring: If the flooring in your house is outdated or damaged, it may be worth replacing it to make the house more attractive to buyers.
  5. Paint: A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the look and feel of a house. Consider painting any rooms that look outdated or have scuffs and marks on the walls.
  6. Declutter and depersonalize: Buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in the house, so it’s important to remove any clutter or personal items that may be distracting. This may include removing excess furniture, family photos, and other personal belongings.

Remember, every situation is unique, and the specific repairs and upgrades needed will depend on the condition of the property, the local market, and the target buyer demographic. It’s best to consult with a real estate professional to determine the specific needs of your property before putting it on the market.

Bottom line

When selling a home in Cincinnati or in any location, expect to face unavoidable costs. This is why you need to make sure to be wise in deciding what is worth spending. While you want to make sure your house is in good shape, keep in mind that not all fixes are necessary. 

Sure, it’s necessary to spend time and money making your home look good but some repairs can be skipped or can even drive away potential buyers. Knowing what not to fix can save the trouble and maybe even thousands of dollars.