Why do Sellers Wait to Sell a Home before they Fix it?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 REB.0759001

The other morning while getting ready for work, my wife commented that the house seemed exceptionally dry. Ours is a warm air heat system and at the end of the last heating season the humidifier went. I immediately went out and bought a new humidifier, but didn't put it in right away. Over the summer I forgot to finish the job.


As my wife was commenting on the still not repaired humidifier, she ended the conversation with the comment, "I suppose it will have to wait until we sell the house. Isn't that when sellers fix things so they will be right for the new owners?" Aside from the obvious dig, the truths to her words were prophetic. I know that I often recommend pre-listing inspections for homeowners that have had the house for a long time so that they can get a non biased report on the condition of their home. Not only does this give them a better reality of their property but they will get an indication of how a potential buyer will see the house when given the inspection report.


A pre-listing inspection need not be as expensive as a full-blown inspection because the sellers don't necessarily need the multiple page report, but should be well serviced with a professional summary. This will give them enough material to make necessary repairs to items that would be immediate turn away's to a prospective buyer with limited extra money.

Major remodeling would be entirely the prerogative of the seller. Simple heavy duty cleaning and a fresh coat of paint can make baths and kitchens more attractive without the cost of a complete overhaul. Of course the value of the overhaul must be factored in the asking price of the home. Buyers will be more apt to come into a home that needs some work but is at least priced to reflect the work needed.

In addition, the simple inspection will give the sellers a true indication of the energy efficiency of their home; the roof life left; the possibility that their home has become occupied by wood boring inspects or worse; the condition of decks and porches; and of course all electrical or plumbing issues that exist based on shortcuts taken over the years.

The other advantage to getting the little repairs done and in a timely manner is the elimination of the subtle, or not, reminder of the little things that got forgotten.

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Ed Silva  RE/MAX Professionals,   203-206-0754


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Dennis Duvernay Broker/Owner
Hillview Realty - Northbridge, MA

She got you Ed....Better thank her...LOL

Dec 26, 2009 02:49 AM #1
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I am still living in a home I fixed up to sell....it's so true. About 5 years ago I was so annoyed with the projects that had built up, I decided to sell the home and move into one that was already upgraded, and then once it was all fixed up to sell (new carpet, new landscaping, new paint) I couldn't part with it. So the plumbing, HVAC etc was a small price to pay for staying in my pretty house. :)

Dec 26, 2009 02:50 AM #2
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

Thanks for information. We lear a lot from Active Rain Blogs. Best Regards,

Dec 26, 2009 02:54 AM #3
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Ed, so did her little dig work?  Did you get off your donkey and finish the job? 

My wife has away of doing that to me to, but it doesn't work ....... LOL

Dec 26, 2009 08:40 AM #4
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Ed, I find this an interesting perspective on pre-listing inspections;

A pre-listing inspection need not be as expensive as a full-blown inspection because the sellers don't necessarily need the multiple page report, but should be well serviced with a professional summary. This will give them enough material to make necessary repairs to items that would be immediate turn away's to a prospective buyer with limited extra money.

The cost and my time for a pre-listing inspection varies little from a home buyer inspection. Since I do not perform my own termite inspections and home owners can get them for free this is the cost difference. In order to produce a summary a report must be compiled first.

Occasionally I do a walk through pre inspection. This involves no report and is simply me walking through the home and pointing out potential issues. The cost for this service is much less.

Dec 26, 2009 08:47 AM #5
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Hey Ed, you are absolutely right, it happens all the time. And then don't the Owners comment on how much they now like their house? It's the same with staging!  Good luck with the humidifier!

Dec 26, 2009 10:40 AM #6
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

If.....(when).....we ever sell our home, we're inspecting.  My hubby stays up on everything, but I've rather not find out after we put it on the market.  Hope you get the humidifier fixed soon.

Dec 26, 2009 01:18 PM #7
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi Ed: Really - I don't know why that is with so many many people.  I have always wondered why myself.


Dec 26, 2009 01:41 PM #8
Walter Grewe III
Long and Foster Realtors - Roanoke, VA
Realtor, SFR, A-REO, Roanoke Homes and Real Estate


I think and know its true for me, that people become complacent in their surroundings. There are a ton of minor issues that could be fixed/repaied in my home, but I often find other more enjoyable activities.

Dec 27, 2009 02:53 AM #9
Re/Max Partners
RE/MAX Partners, LLC - Prospect, CT

When the head person says fix something then it's time to get it fixed.

Dec 29, 2009 08:12 AM #10
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Echo, anyone? ;-)

Getting things done ahead of listing a home would make life for the sellers sooooo much easier. Having a pre-listing inspection at the least would alert them to potential issues that would show up in a home buyer's inspection report.

Jan 19, 2010 03:55 AM #11
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