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What to Fix Before Selling a House?

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RESOURCES - Selling a House:
Selling a House? No-doubt then you've asked yourself this common question, "Should I fix-up the house or just sell it as is?"
This article will show you how to answer that question and make sure any money you spend is spent wisely.
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Selling a House - The Big Home Improvement Myth

TV programs about property make great entertainment but few are truly educational.

The problem with many is that they "over-egg" the myth that any:

  • Modernisation
  • Renovation
  • Decoration
  • Restoration

Will automatically add £££'s on to the price you sell your house for.

This myth has led many homeowners to choose unprofitable home improvement projects.

They didn't make their money back when they sold.

At best they made their homes more saleable but didn't add any real value. Thankfully rising property values masked their mistakes.

Selling a House - Improvements that Make Sense

As you'll find our in our other article, How to Add Value Before Selling Property the improvement projects that make money take an average of 4 - 8 months to complete.

If you're planning on selling a house within the next 6 months, it's best to put ideas of basement and loft conversions etc. to one side.

Save them for your next property and instead:

"Make sure the condition of your house can't be used against you (i.e. remove an excuse for a buyer to renegotiate on your price)"

We say this because when you're selling a house, renegotiation starts when buyers find faults in the building survey.

If the building survey finds that:

  • The electrics are past their best
  • The roof leaks
  • The gutters are rusted through
  • The plumbing should be in a museum
  • The floorboards feel spongy of fragile (probably woodworm)
  • You live "inner-city" without an alarm system
  • You don't have central heating

You have a problem and these kinds of essentials are best to get sorted before you go to market.

If you decide not to fix these things, at least get quotes for the work needed.

That way, when the buyer tries to negotiate you know exactly what a fair price reduction would be (and can show proof).

"The next step is to make your house as presentable as possible, for as little money as possible"

When it comes to selling a house, many homeowners rush to spend a disproportionate amount of money purely because they believe it's a sure fire way of increasing their profits.

They blindly believe that £1 spent will automatically become £3 profit.

That's the "home improvement myth" we talked about earlier at work!

The only people who benefit from this myth and make money are the likes of:

  • Magnet
  • Homebase
  • B&Q
  • Wickes
  • Ikea

Just look at who sponsors the TV "make-over" programs to see who the real winners are.

When selling a house, think carefully before replacing your:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms-suites
  • Double glazing
Or installing:
  • Decking
  • A conservatory

These are not automatic profit making projects.

They may well make selling a house easier but after fitting costs you're lucky to re-coup even 90% of the money you spent!

Most buyers want to stamp their own taste and personality onto the property they buy.

Save your money and give buyers the opportunity to do that!

Selling Your House in the Next 6 Months?

Follow this rule of thumb when selling a house. It will stop you wasting money on unnecessary improvements:

"If it ain't broke don't fix it!"

When you're selling a house just present what you have as well as you can.

In other words, unless a room or element (e.g. Carpet) of your house is:

  1. Deeply unattractive
  2. In total disrepair
  3. Unsanitary

Don't bother spending any money replacing it and if you do have to spend, don't overspend!

Spend just enough to bring your whole house up to a reasonable (and consistent) standard (i.e. All the house looks good, not just a few rooms).

Selling a house is all about meeting buyers' expectations so take a peek at your competition (i.e. Houses like yours currently for sale) if you're unsure what "reasonable" looks like.

After all, that's what your buyers are doing!

RESOURCES - Selling a House:

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