Last week, we looked at the [best renovations for ROI on selling your house], but some things need to be done even if there is no significant financial return.
General maintenance and repairs are the easiest example. These type of
things often do not offer much ROI, if any at all, but are more of a
negative if left undone. For example, replacing one broken window may
not offer much return, but if left cracked, it's an ugly eyesore that
could turn buyers off - particularly if it is in a highly visible
My advice would be to start with the little things. Oils creaky hinges,
replace broken or battered cabinet hardware (handles, etc.), tighten
loose door knobs. These are small and low-cost repairs that will still
help to contribute to the overall impression a buyer gets from a
Next, look at the more time-consuming or expensive repairs. One example
is to replace a garage door if it is in terrible shape. Or at least repair it, if possible. You will
almost definitely not recover the cost of replacing it, but if it is
falling apart it will have a detrimental effect on the sale. Not only
may it affect the prices that buyers offer, it could prevent many from
even looking at the property as they drive buy and get a poor impression
of the property's condition.
I actually have first-hand experience with this. A client once did
everything I suggested - everything that is except changing the garage door that was
falling apart in spots. They even re-painted the interior, moved
furniture, cleared out the basement, and put a lot of clutter in
storage. But they didn't change the garage door, even though I said
that was top priority. So when I held an agents-only open house, the
agents coming through commented more than once that the house was in
better shape than they expected.
The property was relatively new and actually pretty nice, but the builders had apparently used poor quality doors that deteriorated faster than one would expect (I heard from neighbours that many had the same issue). Unfortunately, the eyesore on the exterior set poor expectations. Showings were slow for that property
until they did change the door.
So, before you start looking at renovations for resale and thinking
about ROI, have a good look at the property through buyers' eyes and ask
yourself if there is anything you should do on the repairs &
maintenance end of things first.
If you'd like a neutral arm's length
opinion, I would be happy to have a no-obligation walk through your
house with you and give my advice as an experienced professional.