I get this question all the time. So I wanted to share with you my thoughts and observations on why you absolutely should fix things up before you try to sell.
“The carpet needs to be replaced, but maybe we should wait and see if the buyer asks for that.” No. Buyers tend to have the mindset that “what you see is what you get”, and often have a very hard time visualizing how beautiful the house will look once that green 70’s style shag carpet is gone. Some sellers think that it would be better to let the buyers have a credit for the carpet so they can pick it out themselves, but to a potential buyer, that is just another hassle and another thing on their to-do list. In the time it takes to think about what kind of carpet they want… they’ve already started thinking of a different house.
“Should we do these repairs? Can’t we just wait until the inspection and see if the buyer asks for us to do them?” No. Seeing a list a mile long of things that need to be addressed on an inspection report is a huge red flag to buyers, and often offers them a way out of their agreement with you. Once they see that laundry list of “little things”, it can shake a buyer’s confidence, and they can easily fall out of love with the house. It is far better to take care of caulking the windows, stopping that faucet from leaking, and having your HVAC system serviced before any buyer ever walks through. You may even consider hiring your own inspector. Beside the fact that your home will show in it’s best light and you will reduce the chances of scaring away a buyer, the biggest benefit to you is that you will have the time to make the repairs without being under pressure. I mean that in a typical scenario, a buyer will ask you to fix it, and give you a time limit to do so before closing. You have about 25-30 days to call out a contractor, have them look at whatever the issue is, order parts if needed, and then come fix it. You don’t have the luxury of time. IF you do the repairs on your own, you get to take your time deciding on the right contractor at the right price (maybe that is YOU) and having the work done when it is convenient for you.
My advice to you, get your home as ready as possible before putting it on the market. Clean, fresh, staged, fixed up and ready to move right into, that is what buyers are looking for. And once you’re ready, call me so I can get it from FOR SALE to SOLD.