Don’t Bother Fixing These Things When Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home? Relax! 5 Things to Not Bother Fixing First

Don’t Bother Fixing These Things When Selling Your Home

When your real estate agent first comes to assess your property, they will also do a comparative market analysis to see how your home sticks up to similar properties in your area. It will likely also be your real estate agent or home inspector that will start telling you which repairs and renovations are necessary if you are to fetch the best price when your home sells.

It goes without saying that certain repairs are definitely worth undertaking, as they typically yield a high return on investment, even if they may be a little costly. Other renovations, though, could be throwing money in the water that could be better spent in other ways.

The rule of thumb is that defects or conditions that have an effect on the intended operation or function of major systems around the house should be fixed. This might include things like environmental or safety hazards, pest infestations, broken or malfunctioning appliances, or leaks.

Think good and hard when you start calculating what areas of the home you want to spend money on – here are some things you can cross of that list from the very beginning, because they won’t necessarily offer huge financial returns when the property is sold.

1. Fixing cosmetic damage

Your real estate agent will be the first to tell you that improving cosmetic damage around the house creates a better impression with buyers that are seeing your property for the first time. And while first impressions certainly count, buyers might overlook cosmetic damage if the amenities and appliances in the house are in good and working order.

Sure, peeling paint, a weathered back door and scuffed floors may make things look a little run-down, but if you are looking to save some cash on repairs and renovations, you’ll rather want the money to be put to good use. That means taking a keen look at every appliance and fitting in the house.

Meticulous buyers know exactly what to look for, and understand which repairs could see them burning a hole in their own pockets just after they’ve forked out a notable chunk of cash to buy the property.

Cosmetic repairs are relatively cheap, as opposed to larger repair jobs like fixing a leaking roof, repairing electrical faults of replacing worn out pipes or gutters. Even if, and perhaps especially if things look a little more shoddy than you’d like, undertaking a good scrubbing around the house already makes things look better.

If you are selling a fixer-upper, these recommendations are even more relaxed, as buyers looking to flip a property shortly after buying it normally plan for expenses associated with the property. Remember that the selling price will certainly be affected, though, chiefly if the repairs that the property requires are far-reaching. But, overall, you can save money by leaving cosmetic issues the way they are – chances are that the buyer will want to repaint the walls to their own liking anyway.

2. Updating kitchens and bathrooms

If the property you are selling is a bit older, you might feel the need to update the out-dated décor in the bathroom or kitchen. These two rooms are very susceptible to becoming the subject – at significant cost – of fleeting décor trends that don’t stand the test of time, which is probably the reason for the harvest yellow tiles and the burnt orange bathtub from the 70s.  

However, frantically Googling “bathroom trends 2020” could just lead to repeating the same mistake again. Your strangely-coloured bathroom, or the kitchen that doesn’t look unlike the one Julia Child used should be a lesson in avoiding trendy décor, and spending large sums of money to replace fixtures sometimes just isn’t worth it.

It would serve you better to rather spend money on replacing old taps or pipes, or finally getting that annoying leaking toilet fixed. You can be sure that prospective buyers will notice things like leaks or kitchen appliances that don’t work the way they should. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking these things won’t bother buyers – very often, what seems like a small problem could signal big trouble down the line. Small leaks don’t exactly send alarm bells ringing, but could actually be a sign of much bigger plumbing problems like corroded pipes or bigger leaks that could lead to a spike in water accounts. Buyers know that these aren’t small matters and would prefer to steer clear of anything that’s going to cost them a lot of money later on.

That avocado green bathtub, toilet and basin combination, though? It is much easier and much cheaper for the buyer to replace. Yes, the kitchen and bathroom are two rooms that you want to use to impress buyers, but adhering to whatever style is popular at a given time will just be a waste of your time and money.

3. Doing partial fixes

If your real estate agent says that the state of the bathroom, kitchen, or of any other room or area in the house is something that should be fixed if you want to make a profit on the sale, doing the job halfway won’t do you any favours.

If you have a limited amount of money available to spend on renovations and repairs, spreading things out so you are able to make minor renovations to a number of different rooms won’t benefit you at all.

If you are planning to renovate a room, rather go all the way and make it shine. There’s no point in replacing worn-out countertops, but leaving the weathered kitchen cabinets the way they are.

A partial fix is as good as no fix at all. Speak to your real estate agent about those areas of your house that have the potential of yielding the best return on investment, and focus on making these look really good.

4. Repainting in trendy colours

Again: trends are mostly fleeting – don’t opt for trendy colours when you repaint, as these might be out of the door in a year or two. Most real estate agents advise home sellers to repaint rooms in neutral colours, as this appeals to the largest group of potential buyers. Keep in mind that the buyers will probably want to redecorate according to their own preferences once they have bought the house.

Also remember that everyone’s décor taste is different. Adore Home or Elle Decoration can say a trend is here to stay as much as they want, but if certain décor styles don’t appeal to the people coming to view your property, they simply don’t appeal to them.

Try to see your home through the eyes of prospective buyers. They’ll want to imagine themselves in this space, but it might be difficult to do if they are overwhelmed by a wall colour that doesn’t sit well with them.

If you absolutely must repaint, opt for neutrals that are not quite white, like beiges, creams or light greys.

5. Renovating beyond your suburb’s norm

Look, the rest of the suburb will make as big an impression on potential buyers as your own home does. This is exactly why you shouldn’t spend too much money upgrading a property that looks completely different from neighbouring properties.

This sentiment is twofold, though: if you go too far, your property will definitely stand out, but it will also make the sore eyes surrounding it come into an even clearer focus, which is not something you want. This is because the rest of the suburb will look worn-down and worse for wear compared to your home, potentially letting buyers think the neighbourhood is worse than it actually is.

On the other hand, if your house is the sore eye, it does pay to make it at least look similar to the properties that surround it. In this instance, paying attention to kerb appeal is even more important than it would be under normal circumstances. Your real estate agent’s comparative market analysis will give you a good illustration of what comparable properties in your city or suburb offer in terms of features and fixtures. You’ll do well to pay attention to these, using what the neighbours are doing as your own guideline.


Putting your property in the best light is key to ensuring that you sell your home for the price you envision. With that being said, some repairs and renovations to the property are utterly unnecessary. Fixing small cosmetic damage to the property, opting for current décor trends and colours, or undertaking half-done renovations can cost you a lot, but won’t do much to impress potential buyers.

Leaving certain things for the next owner could definitely have an effect on the price your home fetches, though. This is why it could be more profitable to fix or replace those parts of the property that immediately put off would-be buyers. All the major systems in your home should be working, and skimping here could actually see your home spending a lot more time on the market.

Is your budget limited, and you’re not sure which repairs and renovations are essential? Let a qualified and experienced real estate agent, recommended by Perfect Agent, advise you on what features will aid a sure-fire sale.