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What Not to Fix When Selling a House: 5 Things You Can Skip

Home sellers understand that first impression matters in the real estate business. If you want a top-dollar offer, the house needs to be in the best condition possible. However, this notion overwhelms a lot of average sellers thinking they have to do full-time renovations. While it’s essential to make your house desirable to buyers, over-improving your home may cost more than the return on investment (ROI).   

The trick to saving time and money is knowing which repairs are necessary and which aren’t.

Some attempts at repairs and improvements simply won’t justify the cost and work they require. Here’s a list of five things you can skip when selling a house. 

1. Cosmetic flaws

Cosmetic flaws, such as scratches on the floor or outdated bathroom finishes, are only minor issues. And most of these issues don’t necessarily affect the value of a home. Besides, no buyer expects a house to be 100% perfect. But, they do expect to buy a home without major structural damages, faulty plumbing, or electrical system issues.

Avoid wasting your money on cosmetics buyers can easily overlook. Instead, focus on the bigger problems that could prevent your home from passing its inspection. 

2. Minor electrical issues

Repairing electrical issues ensures that all appliances, lighting, entertainment, and all electronics are operating. But if your electrical system is functional and working as it should, don’t sweat trying to fix it. Minor electrical issues may include a light switch that goes to nothing, dead outlets, or a loose electrical socket, which are barely noticeable to buyers. Again, focus your repair efforts on damages that can be dangerous or inconvenient to buyers. 

3. Partial room upgrades

It’s probably better not to start casually performing partial room upgrades, especially when you don’t have the time and budget to finish them. Upgrading and remodeling a room, such as bathrooms and kitchens, can be incredibly expensive. Costly room upgrades that are incomplete or unfinished add little to no value and may not be worth the investment.  

4. Driveway and walkway cracks

Your home’s curb appeal is one of those factors that can influence a prospective buyer’s decision. But minimal cracks in the pavings of driveways and walkways won’t automatically scare off buyers. Unless the cracks start to present safety risks, just leave them be. Otherwise, the cost of repairs could end up being a net negative.    

5. Old appliances

Unless your appliances are really old, broken, barely functional, or severely worn, there’s no need to replace them. You can make them more presentable by giving them a thorough cleaning instead. New appliances won’t have much impact on your home appraisal anyway.

But if you decide to replace them, there’s no need to buy top-of-the-line and brand-new appliances just to impress the buyers. You can save some cash finding slightly used ones in the online market for a fraction of the price.


Prepping your home to show up on listings is an investment, but don’t be tempted to fix everything you think is wrong with your house, especially if these things won’t add value or help the home sell faster. Moreover, don’t lose money on expensive repairs that won’t yield a return worth the investment made.  

You’ll price your house out of competition in the market, yet it won’t guarantee top-dollar offers from prospective buyers. You don’t need to make your home perfect as long as you can show buyers its potential.     

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