Fix it? Or leave it?

Photo by Tierra Mallorca

These are important questions that a homeowner should consider before spending thousands of dollars that might not make a difference.

It is true that the younger generations have high expectations and seem to prefer a home that has been updated. Just remember that an older home has character and a modern flair might not work. You can spend time and money renovating but where does it stop?

If you have minor repairs that you have been putting off for years, this might be the time to call in a handyman. Major updating such as replacing flooring or adding a granite countertop can be costly and what if you pick the wrong colour or an unsuitable product? Buyers view properties with the question in mind “What do I need to do to make this home my own”. They will look at the location, style of home and condition.

For someone who has limited funds for renovations, they might overlook your home. But don’t worry, there are always Buyers who understand that they might have to put a little effort into making a new home their own. For many years there has been financing available allowing Buyers to make improvements. The program is referred to as “purchase plus improvements”. Mortgage Companies may allow extra financing for repairs or renovations. However, a Buyer needs to qualify for this program.

When purchasing a home, most Buyers will have a property inspection condition. This is paid for by the Buyer and is for their benefit. The Property Inspector is hired by the Buyer and looks for defects. Often a Seller doesn’t know there is an issue until a property inspection. If you don’t know about a problem you cannot disclose it. When a Buyer is aware of a substantial repair to be made, they may want to renegotiate the purchase price or ask that the problem be fixed at the Seller’s expense prior to the possession date. This is at your discretion and you are not obligated to do so.

It is OK to sell a property in “as is condition”. If there are hidden defects that you know about, it is advisable to disclose these in writing to a prospective buyer. There are many older communities in Calgary which are transforming. Developers are buying properties with the intention to renovate, or tear down the existing home and build brand new homes.

It is important that you consult with a Real Estate Professional and ask the questions. Fix it or leave it? If you spend money on improvements, will there be a benefit? Buyers will be comparing your home, its condition and location to other properties. An honest seller and a realistic price will often attract a potential Buyer.

Making a move can be overwhelming but with a little planning it can be an exciting time!