Do I Need to Make Repairs Before Selling My Home?

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Homes are one of the hardest things to sell. Along with all of the traditional problems that come with selling — setting the right price, finding the right buyer, and so on — you also need to take into account the needs of lenders.

More than 60% of the homes in America currently have a mortgage on them. Because homes are such a big-ticket purchase, selling a home without following lender qualifications is going to radically reduce the number of people who are able to buy a home.

Below, we’ll discuss one of the biggest things that lenders may require from a home: repairs.

Why Are Ugly Properties Less Likely to Get Mortgages?

All loans present a certain amount of risk, which means that real estate’s high price tags represent a particularly big risk. When lenders foreclose on a home, they aren’t necessarily going to make back the amount that they initially lended for the purchase of the home.

This is more likely to happen on homes that haven’t had the proper repairs. These homes will scare many buyers off, which is why they end up scaring so many lenders off.

What Sort of Repairs Do Lenders Expect You To Make?

While superficial repairs are great for increasing the value of the home, small imperfections aren’t going to scare away lenders. Instead, you need to look at structural issues that aren’t as easily fixed. These include things like problems with mold or the foundation of your home.

Are There Any Other Repairs Buyers Might Want You To Make?

Of course, lenders aren’t the ones actually making the decision about which home to buy. While it’s advantageous to make sure that your home is up to their standards, it won’t matter if no one wants to buy your home in the first place.

There are two different schools of thought on this. One says that you should only focus on the bigger problems in your home that are likely to scare off buyers: the structural issues that lenders are also going to want to see.

If that’s impossible, some say that it’s worthwhile to focus on lower-cost repairs that can still improve the appearance of your home. Even if the structural problems make selling the home more difficult, superficial repairs can at least make a good impression and show that you’re putting time and money into the home.

Ultimately, though, your options will be limited if your home is in too much disrepair to qualify for a mortgage. In this case, you want to get a buyer fast, someone who doesn’t require a loan and can make any necessary repairs themselves.

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