Before Your Make Repairs . . . Think About The Buyer

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 26 September 2017 13:38

So you’re preparing to sell your house and need to make big economic decisions. Should I fix my property or sell “as is”? What repairs should I make? Home improvement renovations are costly choices. Remodel correct and gain thousands, remodel wrong and lose thousands. The first question to ask should always be: who is the buyer? No intelligent improvement strategy can be made without answering understanding who will acquire this property. The main categories for smaller residential properties are landlords, low-price buyers, and luxury buyers.

Landlords. Got a multi-unit property? Whether it’s a duplex, triplex, or quad, preparing a home for a landlord is different than for an owner occupant. Advice you read about curb appeal? Throw it out the window. Colors to paint your house to sell fast? Irrelevant. Landlords aren’t swayed by emotion: it’s a matter of dollars and cents. Tenants notoriously do not care for their apartment (they don’t own it after all) and it is a fair bet to re-finishing is necessary upon turnover. Landlords – being real estate investors –have their own strategies for maintaining property as they’ve been through the process. It’s a dangerous game to spend thousands to anticipate the wants of a professional landlord. As a rule of thumb, just make sure major systems are functional and the property is “move-in ready” for a tenant. This allows all landlords (turnkey and those willing to do repairs) to bid and drive-up price. Finishings above the “bare bones” won’t pay off.

Lower-Price Buyers. Lower price-point buyers look acquire property in affordable neighborhoods. Depending on the neighborhood, this can range as low as $75,000. In-ground pool, quartz table tops, porcelain flooring, internet capable refrigerators. The finishings could be worth more than the house! Prospective homeowners looking to buy on the cheap will dispense with niceties they can live without. You also don’t want to sink thousands into a home making it an “outlier” property that doesn’t fit the neighborhood. If you know the property is for a lower price-point buyer, make sure the finishings match expectations.

Luxury Buyers. Selling a condo with a $2,000/mo HOA? Single-family house worth over a million dollars? Buyers in these ranges are not concerned with saving a few bucks. The house should be pristine and perfect to attract the richer buyers.

Besides considering the buyer, review active and sold comps.  See how your house stacks up. Is it already in better condition than the comps? You may not need any repairs. Well below the neighborhood standards? You can sell a handyman house as-is or fix it up yourself.

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