7 Things Not to Fix When Selling a House

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What Not to Fix When Selling a House in Today's House Market

When it comes to selling your home, it’s easy to get caught up in the belief that you have to take on numerous expensive repairs to make it market-ready. This mindset can be quite overwhelming, not to mention costly, and the truth is, not all fixes will increase your property’s value or accelerate its sale. In this guide, we’ll share expert tips on how to strategically utilize your home sale and repair budget, helping you avoid unnecessary expenses. We’ll navigate through the common misconceptions about home repairs and improvements, shedding light on the seven unnecessary fixes that you can skip to save both your time and money. So, take a deep breath, and let’s get started!

Understanding the Home Selling Process

Before we dive into what not to fix when selling your house, it’s essential to have a general understanding of the home selling process. When you decide to put your home on the market, there are typically three main stages that you’ll go through- preparation, listing, and closing.

During the preparation stage, you’ll be getting your home ready for potential buyers to view. This includes decluttering, deep cleaning, and making any necessary repairs or improvements. Once your home is listed, you can expect to have showings and open houses as interested buyers come to see your property. Finally, during the closing stage, you’ll negotiate with potential buyers and finalize the sale.

It’s important to note that every home-selling process is unique, and there may be variations in the steps involved. However, having a basic understanding of these stages will help you make informed decisions when it comes to repairs and improvements for your home.

Average Costs of Repairing a House for Sale This Year

The cost of repairing a house for sale varies greatly depending on the specific repairs needed, the age and condition of the home, and the local market conditions. However, on average, home sellers in 2023 can expect to spend between $10,000 to $20,000 on pre-listing repairs and improvements. This broad range accounts for several potential areas of repair, which can include structural elements, electrical work, plumbing, HVAC systems, and cosmetic updates like painting, flooring, and landscaping. It’s worthwhile to remember that these are averages, and the actual cost for any individual home could be significantly higher or lower. Each house is unique, as are the tastes and preferences of buyers in any given market, but understanding these average costs can provide a starting point for budgeting your potential repair and improvement expenses. Now, let’s take a look at the seven unnecessary fixes that you can skip to save time and money.

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7 Things Not to Fix When Selling a House

Deciding what to repair and what to leave as it is can be a challenging task for many home sellers. With a plethora of advice circulating, it’s easy to get lost and spend money where it’s not needed. To assist you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled a list of seven things that typically don’t require fixing when selling a house. These areas often lead to unnecessary expenditure and don’t significantly contribute to increasing the value of your home or attracting potential buyers. By focusing your efforts and budget elsewhere, you can streamline your home selling process and make it more profitable. Let’s delve into these seven unnecessary fixes.

1. Minor Cosmetic Blemishes

Minor cosmetic blemishes like small scratches on the floor, tiny holes in walls from hung pictures, or slightly faded paint are not things to worry about. These imperfections are expected in lived-in homes and most buyers understand that. Fixing these minor blemishes won’t significantly boost your home’s sale price, but will certainly take up your time and money.

2. Outdated Decor

If your home has outdated decor, like old-fashioned wallpaper or vintage light fixtures, it’s not necessary to update it before selling. Decor is highly subjective and what one person considers outdated, another might see as charming or retro. Plus, new owners will likely want to decorate according to their tastes.

3. Landscaping

A well-maintained yard can certainly add curb appeal, but extensive landscaping projects aren’t necessary to sell your home. Focus on basic maintenance like mowing the lawn and trimming overgrown shrubs. Expensive additions like water features, patios, or outdoor kitchens might not bring the return on investment you’re hoping for.

4. High-End Appliances

Swapping out functional appliances for high-end versions isn’t typically a selling point unless you’re in a luxury market. Most buyers care more about the appliances being functional than their brand. If your appliances work fine, there’s no need to upgrade them.

5. Luxury Amenities

While luxury amenities like a home theater or a wine cellar might be appealing to some, they often don’t have a high return on investment. Not all buyers are willing to pay a premium for these features, so it’s best to skip these additions.

6. Basement Renovations

Fully renovated basements can be a bonus to some buyers, but they often don’t add a lot of value to a home. Finishing a basement can also be a significant cost and it’s usually not recouped in the sale price. As long as the basement is clean and dry, leave it as it is.

7. Roof Replacement

Unless your roof is in dire condition and causing problems like leaks, there’s no need to swap it out before you sell. Roof replacement is a major expense and it’s unlikely to provide a return on investment. However, if there are minor repairs that need to be made, it would be beneficial to fix those to assure potential buyers that the roof is in good condition.

Remember that every house is unique and what works for one might not work for another. Always consider your specific market and the feedback of a real estate professional before making any major decisions about what to fix or not to fix.

7 Things Not to Fix When Selling a House

Types of House Repairs 

While it’s beneficial to avoid unnecessary repairs and improvements, certain upgrades can significantly enhance your home’s appeal and increase its selling price. Understanding what these repairs are, along with the associated time and cost commitments, can help you make smart, cost-effective decisions.

1. Essential Structural Repairs

Structural issues such as foundation cracks, roof leaks, or a faulty HVAC system can significantly deter potential buyers. While these fixes can be costly and time-consuming, leaving them unaddressed can make your home challenging to sell. For instance, repairing a foundation can cost on average $4,000-$10,000 and take 1-2 weeks, but it’s an investment that can prevent a potential deal-breaker for buyers.

2. Electrical and Plumbing Systems

Electrical and plumbing issues aren’t just inconvenient—they can also be hazardous. Repairing these systems ensures the safety of your home and can prevent more expensive problems down the line. While these repairs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and might take a few days to a week, they’re critical for a successful home sale.

3. Exterior Paint

A fresh coat of paint can dramatically improve your home’s curb appeal. While professional exterior painting can cost an average of $1,800 to $3,000 and take 3-5 days, this relatively small investment can have a significant impact on your home’s first impression and overall market value.

4. Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. Upgrading outdated fixtures, flooring, or countertops in these areas can significantly increase your home’s appeal. While these upgrades can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 and take a week to a few months to complete, they can provide a significant return on investment.

Remember, every home and market is unique. It’s vital to consult with a real estate professional to understand which repairs are most beneficial for your specific situation. While these repairs require a financial investment and time commitment, they can help ensure a smoother, more profitable sale process.

Do House Repairs Actually Improve its Value?

Yes, certain house repairs can indeed improve a home’s value. However, it’s essential to make a distinction between necessary repairs and aesthetic upgrades. Buyers expect a home to be in a suitable living condition and any structural, plumbing, or electrical defects can significantly decrease the home’s value. Fixing these issues not only prevents a decrease in value but can also make your home stand out from similar properties in the market.

On the other hand, aesthetic upgrades such as a kitchen remodel or a new coat of paint can potentially increase the home’s value. These types of improvements can attract more buyers and possibly lead to higher offers. However, it’s important to note that the return on investment for these enhancements can vary based on market trends and individual buyer preferences.

To maximize the value of your home, it’s advisable to prioritize necessary repairs and make thoughtful decisions about aesthetic upgrades. Consulting with a real estate professional can provide valuable insights into what improvements are most likely to yield a positive return on investment in your specific market.

Do House Repairs Actually Improve its Value?

Should I Sell My House or Fix it Up?

Ultimately, the decision to fix or sell as-is depends on your specific situation and goals. If you’re in a hurry to sell, making significant repairs might not be feasible or financially wise. In this case, selling your home as-is can be a viable option.

However, if time is not a factor and you have the resources to invest in necessary repairs, it can be beneficial to fix up your home before selling. This can help attract more potential buyers and potentially increase the home’s value.

It’s important to carefully weigh the costs and potential benefits of each option before making a decision. Consulting with a real estate professional can also provide valuable insights into whether or not it’s worth it to make repairs before selling your home.

If selling your house as-is sounds like a better option working with a we buy houses in Tennessee company may be the perfect solution. These companies specialize in buying homes as is and can save you time, money, and the stress of making repairs before selling.

It can also be a great way to sell if your home isn’t selling on the traditional market. This can happen for various reasons including a slow market or an overpriced home. In these situations, making repairs may not be worth it, and selling to a company that buys homes as-is can be the best solution.


In conclusion, selling your home involves making strategic decisions about repairs and upgrades. While some fixes can enhance your property’s appeal and value, others may not yield the return on investment you anticipate. It’s also important to consider the costs, both in time and money, of these improvements. If you need to sell your house fast in Alabama, Tennessee, or Georgia, or if your home isn’t moving on the traditional market, consider working with a company that specializes in buying homes as-is. For instance, if you are located in Tennessee, you can take advantage of services with Nexus Homebuyers, saving you from the stress and expense of unnecessary repairs. This solution not only ensures a fast sale but also enables you to make the most of your home sale and repair budget. Always remember to consult with a real estate professional for personalized advice tailored to your specific market and situation.

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