Hero Image

Repairs and renovations prior to selling

Repairs and renovations prior to selling

When preparing your property for sale and deciding what to repair, and what not to, where do you draw the line? What do you fix and what do you leave?


If the market is super-hot, and houses are selling at a rapid speed, it shows that buyers are attracted to the area rather than the finer details.


In such a sellers’ market, it is possible only minor, essential repairs need to be made. Undertaking costlier repairs or renovations are likely to have little or no effect on the inevitability of sale or price, and represent an unnecessary cost.


The other major factor in deciding what to repair is how urgently you want to sell.


If you want to sell your house “yesterday” – or if the days on market are longer than you would like, then you need to remove every barrier that could potentially short-circuit a sale. For example, some buyers will pull out of a sale because of a seemingly insignificant fault, like a door knob that falls off in their hand.


There is a distinctive difference between repairs and renovations, with repairs being regarded as restoring something back to its original condition, while renovations are improvements or upgrades.


So what are the repairs to consider before selling a property?


Remove older wallpaper or give the wall a fresh coat of paint. Make sure all switches and lights are working properly or install brighter bulbs in gloomier rooms.


In the kitchen, make sure all draws and doors are working properly. Bench top needs to be pristine, with no chips or cut marks. If you need to replace a benchtop considering installing a granite top which will generally add value.


Bathroom repairs should include replacing or repairing leaky taps, clean grouting between tiles, and if missing, repair or replace any chipped tiles.


Consider removing old carpet on wooden floors and polishing the floor boards. When deciding what to repair, put yourself in the shoes of the potential buyer and work out what would cause you to have second thoughts about buying, and for peace of mind, repair whatever is a potential deal-breaker.


- Mark Forde