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5 Items to Avoid Fixing Before Selling a House

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5 Items to Avoid Fixing Before Selling a House

An easy trap to fall into is fixing a bunch of things around your house before selling it. Here’s the hard truth – many of those repairs are not worth doing. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, everyone loves a new kitchen. Renovating it can be worth your while before trying to sell a property. Besides major items like that, most things are worth leaving.

Here are 5 things to avoid fixing in your home before attempting to sell it.

1. Cosmetic Upgrades

For the most part, don’t worry about cosmetic issues in your home before selling it. Buyers might have their own preferences and plans for these changes. Let them envision their own style. Focus on cleanliness and decluttering instead. This makes a better impression without the cost.

Since cosmetic upgrades are so minor, they don’t add much value to your home after they are completed. Why spend unnecessary money when you don’t need to? If a homebuyer is performing an inspection, that is when they’ll point out cosmetic issues they don’t like. It’s up to you both to negotiate repairs from there.

What’s the easiest way to sell a house when considering repairs? Sell it as-is! We spoke to a home-buying business called SD House Guys, who had a few things to say on the topic. “It’s easy to get caught up in minor repairs during a home sale. Many homebuyers prefer to purchase properties completely as-is. That way, there isn’t a bunch of back and forth regarding cosmetic issues. Normally it’s not worth fixing small things before selling a home to a buyer who plans to renovate it anyway.”

2. Old Appliances

Replacing old appliances can be expensive. Buyers may not value new appliances as much as you think. They might prefer to choose their own. Instead, make sure existing appliances are clean and in working order. Highlighting that they are functional can be just as effective.

Plus, you never know how long the appliances will last for the next owner of the property. The dishwasher that you think is on its last leg could have another half a decade underneath its belt. Don’t give up on appliances unless it’s totally necessary.

Many homebuyers also prefer to put their own appliances in the home after purchasing it. They would care too much if it has used or new ones in there. Avoid overspending on appliances before selling your home when it’s not the most important thing to the end buyer.

3. Small Cracks in Walls and Ceilings

Small cracks are common in many homes. They usually result from settling and don’t indicate major problems. Fixing these can be costly and time-consuming. Most buyers won’t be deterred by minor cracks. If they’re concerned, they can address it after purchase.

There are buyers who will get immediately turned off when they see the slightest cracks. And there are also buyers who won’t flinch over most issues like these. A huge crack can indicate that there’s an issue with the foundation. Professional homebuyers will know what to look for in terms of that.

Don’t sweat the small cracks. If there’s a major crack, talk to an experienced homebuyer about it. If they think your foundation is off, see if you can still sell it as-is for cash. It’s not worth spending thousands of dollars yourself if you can just find a buyer who will take it now. Plus, if your foundation is in rough shape, you have bigger problems to worry about.

4. Minor Electrical Issues

Minor electrical issues like non-functional outlets or outdated light switches can be left alone. Fixing these requires an electrician, which can add up. Most buyers understand that older homes have these quirks. If it’s not a safety hazard, it’s best to leave it.

If your home is really old, there’s a good chance that most of the electrical will have to be replaced anyway. While it could add a little value to your property, it won’t be leagues more. Typically, it makes sense to leave this item instead of fixing it before selling your home. Experienced homebuyers and house flippers will know exactly what to do with a property like yours.

5. Landscaping Overhauls

Major landscaping changes can be costly and might not add much value. Basic yard maintenance is sufficient. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and clean up any debris. This will make your home look well-kept without the expense of a full overhaul.

Landscaping isn’t getting cheaper. While a refreshed lawn looks great, it doesn’t add a bunch of value to your house. Why do it before selling?

Unless you’re in a fancy neighborhood and listing your home on the market, landscaping usually isn’t worth doing before selling. House flippers and real estate investors won’t care how fresh the mulch is in your front yard. Avoid falling into the trap of going all out on landscaping your property.

However, there is a time and place for fixing up the outside and exterior of your property. If there’s a ton of trash that prevents people from walking through and around parts of your house, it could be worthwhile to clear that out. The last thing you want is to schedule showings with interested homebuyers without being able to walk the entire property.

Clearing out trash can be helpful when trying to sell your house quickly. You don’t have to clear out everything. However, make sure that there is at least a path that you can walk interested homebuyers through. If you live in a hoarder home, clear enough stuff out so that people can get eyes on the entire property. Most buyers want to know what they’re getting into before purchasing a place.


When selling a home, focus on what matters. Major repairs that impact the home’s safety and functionality should be addressed. For everything else, save your time and money. Buyers often prefer to make these changes themselves. Present a clean, functional, and well-maintained home. That’s what truly sells.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Selling a home in its current condition could create economic interest if you must sell quickly, don't have the money to do any renovations, or are looking for a cash deal.

Not generally, because the majority of real estate brokers advise against upgrading equipment that is in good condition.

Putting a few trees or blossoms, cleaning the garden, painting the exterior of your house, and cutting the greenery are a few low-cost ideas to improve your house's exterior appearance without paying a lot of money for maintenance.

Absolutely, it is imperative to solve significant building problems. These flaws can limit your capacity to sell the home and serve as significant obstacles for potential buyers.

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