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  • Hayley Thornton

The Repairs Worth Making to Sell Your Home (Especially in a Cooling Market!)

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

As the market begins to shift, some repairs are worth making before selling, while others may see little to no return.

Earlier this year, sellers were able to place their house on the market and receive multiple offers in a matter of just one day, or even hours. Inevitably, as the market begins to correct and interest rates start to rise above 6%, selling a home might take a little more work than it did just one year ago. Sellers are now waiting a couple weeks longer to get the offer they want. This leaves sellers starting to ask the question again:

What improvements should we make before selling?

Making small repairs and cosmetic updates can result in a huge difference in the final sales price and how quickly you attract a buyer. Let's take a look at the improvements worth making to help sell your home and get the most return.

Not all repairs are worth the time, energy, and money that they cost to make. According to the National Association of Realtors recent study, the top three interior remodeling projects that have the highest return on investment are refinishing hardwood flooring, installing new wood flooring, and upgrading insulation.

Refinishing hardwood floors is one of the few projects that recouped more than it cost. Refinishing hardwood floors had the highest percentage cost recovery at 147 percent, while a kitchen upgrade had a 67 percent cost recovery.

When getting ready to sell, large projects like kitchen and bathroom remodels tend to become very costly and can take much longer than expected with supply shortages. Further, the cost recovery on these kinds of projects is far less than simpler fixes like paint and flooring finishes.

Instead of investing money in big projects that you may never recoup, consider small things that might turn a buyer off and fix those things. Get rid of any odors and give the house a deep clean, getting rid of anything you do not want or need. In general, the more open floor space you can show potential buyers, the better.

Spend a weekend working on the curb appeal of your home– cleaning the windows, mowing the yard, and power washing the driveway. Updating your landscaping with fresh plants and mulch can make a big difference on a buyer's first impression of your home.

One of the easiest ways to increase the resale value of your home is a quality professional paint job. Updating with a fresh coat of paint to cover up any dings and general wear typically goes a long way in helping sell your house faster and for more. Using neutral paint colors, like white, beige, or gray, will allow buyers to better imagine themselves in the space. It basically gives them a clean slate to picture their lives in the space and even consider the colors they want the walls to be in the future.

According to Greater Nashville Realtors data, the median sales price of residential homes in the Greater Nashville area increased almost 16% between Q3 of 2021 and Q3 of 2022. Although sales have slowed down, sellers still have a chance to capitalize on the current market. There is also still a huge influx of out-of-towners looking to call the Nashville area home.

A real estate agent can review and share recent sales in the area to give a better understanding of what buyers are willing to pay and what a home is worth in its current state versus with repairs. Agents can also recommend trusted contractors that can give you an estimate of the cost of certain repairs.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider when determining which repairs and improvements to make before selling. In some situations, your home may be ready to sell in its current condition. Before putting money into repairs that you may not recover, reach out to a trusted, local real estate agent that can help guide you in getting your house prepared to sell.

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