Should I sell my house as is or fix it up? Doing it by the numbers
By Amanda Scali

24/11/2016 12:00am

Should I sell my house as is or fix it up? Doing it by the numbers

To answer the question, should I sell my house as is or fix it up, I have another one to ask you.

If your home were to be advertised for sale tomorrow, would it be described as ‘a fixer-upper’ or ‘nothing to do here’?

If it’s the former, when the time comes to sell, the decision whether to put it on the market as it is or spend money on repairs and improvements comes down to the numbers.

Should I sell my house as is or fix it up? Pluses and minuses

It’s important to balance the cost of fixing up your house against the potential increased sale price you could achieve by doing so.

Conversely, if your house is quite run-down, you will need to weigh the possibility of recouping less than you had hoped on its sale as it is against the costs of doing repairs and maintenance to make it more appealing to buyers.

We tend to become used to our own surroundings and not to notice small signs of wear and tear that can add up to unsightly damage.

Ask your agent to point out such issues for you, which you can likely rectify with minimal expense.

The real estate light bulb moment

One inexpensive way to brighten up a home almost instantly is to replace all the light bulbs with soft-white ones in the maximum wattage recommended for the fittings.

This simple move can make such a difference that you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it when you moved in.

Do be aware that, sometimes, selling your house as it is may actually be more attractive to some buyers, who will see its condition as a bargaining point and/or would prefer to put their personal stamp on it by doing their own redecorating or renovations.

The one time the decision to fix it up or not is easy to make is when your house is on a development site and likely to be bulldozed.

Consider the hidden costs

The costs of major renovations that include structural changes are likely to exceed any increase in sale price you may gain, especially when they so often blow out from initial estimates.

Consider too, the fact that you will lose time getting your house on the market and, unless you are in a position to move out during the work, you will have to suffer disruption to your household and routine while it is undertaken.

If you can spend virtually nothing and do very little, it may be worthwhile risking a slightly lower sale price in order to avoid unnecessary complications in your life.

All this probably seems a little confusing and you may feel that you lack sound information on which to base your decision.

Help with working out the numbers

Based on their experience, your local real estate agent can advise you on what, if anything, is worth doing to your house before you put it on the market and identify any must dos—such as plumbing and electrical faults.

We know McGrath Real Estate agents can tell you whether the condition of your home is comparable to others for sale in the area.

And our team can also shed light on whether other factors, such as its proximity to shops, schools and transport, may help to compensate for minor shortfalls in its appearance or condition.

Because no-one can know for certain how much value they will add to their home by fixing it up before putting it on the market, it makes sense to spend as little as possible on rectifying the most obvious problems.

If you want sound advice on whether the repairs or remodelling you plan for your house before selling it will provide you a good return on your investment, talk to the local experts at McGrath Real Estate.

For more than four decades we’ve been helping sellers in Adelaide’s western and coastal suburbs to get the numbers right before they choose to sell their houses as they are or fix them up.