What repairs will help sell my home?

The Repairs That Will Help Sell Your House in a Cooling Market


10/16/20221 min read

More sellers are remodeling properties to avoid cutting prices, not surprisingly though, some projects pay off more than others.

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With mortgage rates now pushing 7%, buyers are harder to come by and easier to turn off, real-estate agents say. Making repairs or even small cosmetic improvements that buyers care about could make the difference between getting your asking price or giving a discount.Between mid-July and mid-August, about 95% of home sellers made updates or repairs before listing their properties, up from 71% of sellers six to 12 months ago, according to Realtor.com. They spent an average of $14,163.

Not all renovations are worth the cost for sellers, data suggest. The top three interior remodeling projects with the highest return on investment are a hardwood-flooring refinish, new wood flooring and an insulation upgrade, according to a recent National Association of Realtors report.

“Sometimes, the upgrades that aren’t the sexiest pay off the most,” said Judy Dutton, executive editor at Realtor.com.

A big remodeling project, such as a new kitchen or deck, might not be worth the investment and delay a seller’s timeline, given supply and labor shortages, said Jessica Lautz, a vice president at NAR. Focus on more affordable projects that appeal to buyers and look beautiful in photos, such as refinishing hardwood floors, she said.

A hardwood-flooring refinish has a 147% cost recovery, meaning homeowners are likely to recoup well more than the cost, said Ms. Lautz. For comparison, a kitchen upgrade has a 67% cost recovery.

Consider the smaller things that are likely to turn buyers off and fix them fast. Mitigating strong odors is a relatively low-cost fix that helps sell a home, said Mark Barnes, a Realtor in Charleston, S.C.

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