Life is busy and as the old saying goes, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, for many property owners, deferred maintenance and home improvement projects that have piled up really end up slashing their bottom line when they go to sell. Even in a hot seller’s market, home repairs that have been ignored can severely detract from maximizing your potential earnings. There are three major reasons why home maintenance issues can affect your bottom line:
- Deferred maintenance defers some potential purchasers creating a smaller buyer pool for your home
- Peeling paint, rotten door and window casings, cracked masonry, and separating caulk, while minor maintenance issues, can pile up in a buyer’s mind and keep them from considering a property. Bigger home repair items like an HVAC system, roof, outdated or problematic plumbing (like Quest), can cause a purchase to cross your property off of their short list when comparing to other properties in their price range or ideal neighborhood. Obviously there are some projects that are smart to leave for the next owner, however, if it is a problem that you’ve had with the property for a while and it hasn’t been addressed, it will certainly become a problem for the potential purchaser either in their initial offer or during the home inspection negotiations.
- Deferred maintenance will haunt you during the home inspection negotiations by slashing your bottom line
- It is a good idea to keep up-to-date with maintenance issues around your home. Check your crawl space, ensure it is staying dry. Change your HVAC air filters on a monthly basis. Powerwash your exterior Hardiplank siding and brick. Control water near your home’s foundation. These tasks really don’t take too much time and can save you lots of money when you go to sell your property. Home inspectors are looking for systems and elements of the home that are failing or are in disrepair. Prior to putting your home on the market, it is a good idea to go ahead and take care of these items. It will be cheaper to have them repaired by the contractor that you select, rather than allowing a purchaser to make that call during the home inspection negotiation period. Lots of deferred maintenance items are going to end up costing you potentially thousands of dollars to ensure that you keep your potential purchaser interested in the deal.
- Deferred maintenance could kill your deal entirely
- For many sellers, issues yielded during the home inspection are things that they had no idea were going on with the home. If you are proactive about keeping up with monthly and yearly maintenance, it is less likely that these types of problems (mold in the crawlspace, underperforming HVAC equipment, faulty wires/plumbing) will actually exist.
-Josh White, Sales Partner and Realtor®, Story House Real Estate