renovate before selling home

Should You Sell Your Home As Is, or Spring for a Renovation? Here’s How to Decide

Should you sell your home as is or renovate?

When home sellers decide to put their property on the market, they often wonder how much they’ll have to spend to make the property seem appealing to a large group of potential buyers.

This also entails deciding what renovations or repairs should be done before the property is listed. But are these repairs really necessary, or will a quick cosmetic fix suffice in creating a good impression?

Every home is different, and many other things could influence the time a property spends on market, but if you are wondering if selling as is might just be the easier route to choose, read on.

Assess the potential workload, time, and money it’ll take to upgrade

Taking into account what the potential return on investment will be if you do decide to undertake repairs or renovations is one of the key factors that will influence a decision to go for the renovation, or rather sell the property as is.

In this regard, you can count on the advice included in the home inspection report. When done by a certified home inspector that knows their stuff, home inspections can go a long way in ensuring that home sellers advertise their home at a price that is not so high it scares off potential buyers, but still allows for profit on the sale.

A home inspector will take a thorough look at the property, and will assess the condition of the home, checking for structural faults, problems with utilities, and mould and pests. Their finding will be contained in the home inspection report, and this document will give you a good idea of any potentially significant repairs that need to be done.

In their comparative market analysis, your real estate agent will assess the home, too, also considering other factors like the neighbourhood, nearby amenities and the price that comparable properties in the city or suburb sell for. The home inspection report will reveal faults that may influence the sale, and your real estate agent will be able to gauge whether comprehensive repairs and renovations are really necessary, keeping your current financial status in mind.

The bottom line is that sellers should definitely get an overview of exactly renovations will cost, as well as assessing the workload that said renovations might require, and estimating how long they will take.

If, for example, the home inspection report shows that the kitchen needs to be upgraded, you will need to get a range of quotes from different contractors in order to get a good idea of what you are likely to pay. While the kitchen is one of the rooms in the house that often makes or breaks a sale, an overhaul of this space could prove too expensive for you to manage.

In a case like this, your real estate agent might advise that you rather conduct small, more cosmetic renovations like giving the home a fresh coat of paint to try and make the home seem more appealing to potential buyers, instead of spending a lot of money on renovations that might not yield a return on investment that justifies them. However, if the repairs pertain to the bathrooms, kitchens or the roof, you might just want to consider doing them anyway, as these are three factors that could cause your home to stay on the market for a much longer time than you might have envisioned.

Take your location – and the market – into account

Where your property is located has a definite influence on both the days it spends on market, as well as the price it ultimately sells for. If your property is located in a sought-after, up-and-coming neighbourhood, it will obviously be more appealing to buyers – but the market conditions at play at any given time will definitely also have a hand.

The property market is famously unpredictable, although real estate agents can usually give you a good idea of whether the current market favours home sellers, or people looking to acquire a property. Ask you real estate agent what current market conditions are like – if a buyers’ market is the status quo at that moment, you might want to consider taking some time to do the repairs over a period of time and putting your home on the market when conditions are more favourable. This takes the pressure off having to fork out large amounts of cash immediately.

If the property is being sold in an area that is being eyed for further development, however, you might be better off selling the property as is. If developers are planning to renovate the homes in a specific area on their own, or are planning to demolish the homes in order to develop the land for other purposes, you are likely to get a good price without even having to do any significant renovations or repairs.

‘As is’ doesn’t mean ‘falling down’

Unless your home is going to be demolished anyway, it will be a mistake to present a shoddy property to potential buyers. Even so, some small cosmetic renovations like repainting the property (or certain rooms) could reap greater returns than you might think in the long run.

There is definitely a group of buyers that specifically look for property they can completely renovate and re-sell, but even these buyers will be hesitant to spend money on a home that looks like a dump.

The photos used in your online property listing will be the very first impression potential buyers have of your home, and if these pictures don’t catch their attention immediately, you won’t be able to count on a great turnout when the time comes to put the property on show.

Even if the home requires some more weighty repairs, buyers’ minds are more at ease knowing that they won’t have to re-do the house completely. Ask your real estate agent about essential repairs, but also ask them what smaller upgrades could prevent your property from sitting on the market for too long. These experts of real estate know and understand what appeals to buyers and what tends to put them off. Don’t disregard the guidance real estate agents provide – they’ve been in this game for a long time and won’t make suggestions that will not benefit you financially in the long run.

Selling your home as is won’t stop buyers from trying to negotiate

Buyers looking to acquire a property that they can completely renovate and flip for a profit are still looking for a good deal. Should you decide to sell your home as a fixer-upper, you should remember that buyers will try to spend as little as they possibly can to get the property, anticipating the amounts they’ll have to spend on large-scale renovations.

When it comes to haggling about the price you want for your home, you’re better off letting your real estate agent handle negotiations on your behalf. Not only is your real estate agent far more objective than you’ll ever be, but they also understand how to sell at a good price.

Home sellers tend to get emotional about the sale of a property they’ve had for a while, and emotional reactions during negotiations will do precious little to further your cause. Real estate agents, on the other hand, know the property they are marketing, warts and all, but also know how to highlight those aspects of the house that can push the price up.

Get the assistance of a real estate professional to help you decide

Real estate agents that are qualified to operate in the property realm and have collected years of experience and knowledge about the property market they do business in are simply your very best allies when trying to get your home from “for sale” to “sold”.

Real estate agents may charge commission for their services once the home has been sold, but this is a small price to pay for their expertise. They will take all the aspects of the property – including the home inspection report – into account, before weighing in on whether it is better to sell as is, or whether renovations could lead to a much better financial result for buyers.

In addition, real estate agents have access to large databases of potential buyers – also of buyers that are specifically looking for fixer-uppers. If you want to make sure the largest possible pool of potential buyers know about your property, selling with a real estate agent is the best choice you can make.


To renovate or not to renovate? Whatever you think the answer may be, you’ll have to rope in some experts before making a final decision. The property inspection report, compiled by a certified home inspector, will immediately point to repairs and renovations that are crucial, and a qualified real estate agent will consider all of these before recommending that you renovate.

Still looking for an agent that knows how to sell fixer-uppers? Perfect Agent has an extensive list of agents that can’t wait to help you sell.