Is It Worth Investing In Repairs Before Your Sell Your Home?

Owning a home of your very own may be an exciting thought, but forking over money to fix broken things, maybe not so much — particularly in this economy. Personal finance company SoFi put together a list of repair costs to provide an overall picture, and it's not pretty. Repairs like termite damage can set you back between $575 to $3,000. Repairing or replacing a broken AC or heating system? $350 for air conditioning repairs and $4,500 to install a furnace. Water damage, meanwhile, can cost you $2,600 ... and that's just the start.

So we get it if undertaking home repairs may not be on the top of your list, especially when you have other, more important expenditures to consider. The good news is that saving your money on home repairs could well turn out to be the smartest thing you did, particularly if you're looking to sell your home in a hurry.

As Real Estate Witch points out, putting your home on the market and in the condition that it is right now, or "as-is," could mean you can find and snag a cash buyer while you save money on repairs in the process. But is ignoring fixes always the right way to go?

Not all repairs are equal

When it comes to home repairs and selling a home, most experts will say that it all depends, because repairs could either add significantly to — or do nothing for — the value of your home. On the one hand, some repairs are non-negotiable, particularly those which might turn your home into a hazard if they aren't addressed. These include problems like major water damage and leaks, problematic plumbing, old or outdated electricals and wiring, as well as serious issues involving your roof, basement, and foundation. Another potential area of concern includes the absence of any safety equipment, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

But not all repair work can be considered urgent, particularly if they don't address a serious concern, and as a result, they don't move the needle on the amount a prospective homebuyer is willing to pay. These repairs are usually small and can be explained as part of wear and tear over the years. They may include small fixes to your existing carpet or floors, windows, and window treatments and accessories, as well as chipped or scratched paint, wobbly doorknobs, or damaged and dirty grouting.

Make an informed decision about repairs

There are a few things you can do before making a final decision on whether to invest in home repairs before putting your home on the market or to leave things be — especially since you may be in a hurry to sell and undertaking repairs could mess with that timeline. The Balance recommends conducting a proper comparative market analysis or CMA, so you can assess the kind of homes that were sold in your area and how much they went for recently. Doing that will give you an idea of where your house stands in terms of desirability.

You might also want to speak to a Realtor you can trust, to find out whether the cost of repairs can be recouped by selling your house at a later date, or if these repairs or upgrades aren't likely to result in any upward changes to the price of your home. Carrying out this research can help you make an informed decision about what your next steps should be.