Selling My Home in North Jersey: What Repairs Should I Fix?

Beautiful young couple at home standing on ladder painting walls in their new house using paint rollers. Home makeover and renovation concept.

Selling a house in Hudson or Essex Counties are a challenge even in the best of markets. If appearance were the only concern, the seller is getting away easily with a fresh coat of paint and some decent landscaping. What about more serious improvements, however? What if there are structural matters that need tending to? Maybe a new roof is in order or the driveway needs to be repaved? 

If the seller is in a hurry, he or she might accept less money to move out fast. Still, some well-spent resources might make a profitable sale more likely.

In a Hurry? Take Care of These Things First

When balancing the need for a quick sale against the desire for a fair offer on the house, sellers should never neglect a few inexpensive measures that will make the property more attractive. As noted above, fresh paint and a well-manicured lawn go far to build interest in the house. Other modest enhancements include:

  • Pulling up old carpeting
  • Repairing any broken windows
  • Removing peeling wallpaper (and painting wherever it was)
  • Decluttering cupboards and closets…storage space is always a buyer concern
  • Replacing aging lighting with more modern fixtures
  • Knowing if you property has an underground oil tank

Sellers can do some–if not all–of these tasks themselves, saving money in the process.

What Repairs Should the Buyer Make?

There are no hard and fast rules here. Most buyers will count significant fixes against the size of their offers. For the seller, again, the choice is between an expedient sale and a sufficient financial return.

Oil Tank?

If you property has an oil tank it could be problematic for the sale.  We recommend getting a “tank sweep” conducted by an environmental firm to determine if there is an oil tank on the property.  This is basically a radar or sonar device used to find any anomalies underground that shouldn’t be there. If there is an oil tank, it could mean remediation and all kinds of expenses, in this case it might be best to credit the sales price to have the buyer deal with this.  We will explore this issue more in another upcoming blog.

What Do Buyers Place the Highest Value On?

Of course, each buyer has his or her individual taste and priorities. Yet some preferences are common among those seeking new homes. A National Association of Home Builders survey revealed, for example, that 91 percent of respondents placed a premium on the presence of a dedicated laundry room. Nearly that many sought energy-efficient windows and appliances. Large majorities also look for comfortable patio space, ceiling fans, and spacious garages and closets for storage.

How to Impress Buyers with Seller-Financed Repairs

Sellers can use the priorities mentioned above to their advantage. Optimizing space is key so investing in a temporary storage pod is well worth the modest price. Make sure any green energy logos on windows and dishwashers are made front and center during any walk-throughs. If a patio is lacking, demonstrate the space available so the buyer can at least envision one. Appealing to imagination helps to make the property a more viable option.

What Seller-Made Repairs Yield the Best ROI at Re-Sale?

Real estate journalist Jennifer Bradley Franklin lists some capital improvements that boost a home’s sales price:

  • Replacing garage doors
  • Covering vinyl siding with stone veneer
  • New kitchen countertops
  • Adding a deck

None are cheap. An expert on real estate investment can advise about the most fruitful and least costly repair options. Contact us today for a cash quote on your home.

Request a free, no obligation consultation.