There are millions of Americans struggling with financial issues on a daily basis. Some of these cases worsen to the point where families and individuals must consider selling their home to make ends meet. Once this decision has been made, another question that often follows is, “should I fix up my house before I sell it?”

Today, we’ve received a question from a woman in this particular situation. Her name is Joyce, and the question is rather long. However, please take the time to read the entire question. The topic is very important. 

“We would like to place our home on the market, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The much-needed work varies from room to room. In general, we need to paint the wooden trim, fix the bedroom closet, repair a tiny leak in the basement, and replace some plaster on a closet. We don’t currently have the funds to make all of these renovations. Should we borrow some money in hopes that the investment will be regained with the sell of the home?” 

Here’s a complete list of repairs that Joyce mentioned: 

  • Painting the wooden trim 
  • Stripping paint off the windows and restaining
  • Plastering a bedroom closet 
  • Repairing a small leak in the basement 

At first glance, I’m not sure why you feel the need to borrow money to make these repairs. I wouldn’t expect the cost of these repairs to be excessive, especially if the work can be completed yourself. 

This important question doesn’t warrant a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. The reality is much more nuanced. First and foremost, Joyce, you want a house to be in the best condition possible when placing it on the market. The obvious reason being that buyers are more likely to purchase a home that doesn’t need significant repairs. There aren’t many buyers looking for houses that would require additional investments. 

Instead of making drastic improvements that require major investments, it’s advisable to focus on simple things that can be changed. It will be easier to recoup an investment from affordable improvements that make a major difference in functionality or appearance. All of the repairs mentioned in your question appear to fit this description perfectly. 

I assume that you won’t have to approach the bank to do some painting. In short, you should do whatever is possible with the amount of money available to make your house look as good as possible. There is a direct correlation between the appearance of a house and the price for which it will sell. You’ll attract many more potential buyers by making a few key upgrades. 

It’s important to determine which upgrades will yield the most value after the sell. In other words, you should only invest in affordable improvements that can be made to yield the highest payback. After all, there’s no point in investing more money into a home than you’ll receive back after the sale. 

When using a real estate agent, it’s important to ask his or her opinion on the matter. With so many contacts in the industry, your agent might be able to point you towards an affordable carpenter or handyman. There is no reason to need thousands of dollars to improve the appearance of a home before making a sale. 

There is a plethora of information on the internet about staging a home before a sale. You can learn about some simple steps that can be taken to drastically improve the look of a home. For example, removing personal items, decluttering, and cleaning the home thoroughly are all excellent options. Even repainting the front door can increase the appeal of a home. Feel free to consult online and print resources for more ideas on affordable renovations.

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The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel helps people get out of debt. We offer free consultations to people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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