Deferred Maintenance -- Just Say No!

Services for Real Estate Pros with Lang Realty

Picture Courtesy of Bay Cities ConstructionThere is a dramatic difference between deferred maintenance and a "fix 'er upper".  When I take a listing, I try to go through the home paying close attention to detail.  I like to know all about the items that I feel materially effect the value of the property.  I also like to know about those items that may not necessarily effect the value of the property but may make the property a little more difficult to sell vs. a comparable home for sale in the neighborhood.  

If a home is a handyman special or a fix 'er upper, the Buyer is coming in with the expectation that the home needs a lot of work.  Deferred maintenance is a different story, however.  When it's evident that a home has not been maintained, then it cuts into the saleability of the home and/or the maximum sale price a Buyer is willing to offer for the home.  

While you may think that an old paint job may only reduce the price by a few thousand dollars, the Buyer may not want to go through the hassles of repainting because the "other homes available in the neighborhood" are move-in-ready.

So, here are my thoughts:

  1. If it's broke, fix it
  2. If it's old and effecting the sale price, consider replacing it (keeping in mind your return)
  3. If it's ugly, be prepared to sell the home for less 

In this market there are a lot of homes competing for that one "special Buyer".  You must do whatever you can to entice each and every person walking through the home to want to purchase your property.

NOTE:  I am not saying that you should replace a kitchen prior to putting your property up for sale as you would likely not see enough return to justify the expense.  But, if you are planning on living in a home and enjoying the improvements you make, you may be able to justify the expenditure when you sell later as the property may sell faster.

Posted by

Rick Schuster

Licensed Real Estate Broker - Jaycee Realty, Inc.
Licensed Title Insurance Agent - Home Guardian Title, Inc.
Licensed Mortgage Broker - Leading Edge Mortgage Corp

2101 NW Corporate Blvd, Ste 211
Boca Raton, FL 33431

561-206-2835 - via Google Voice
561-988-2546 -Fax

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Comments (9)

Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Rick - good post. Too many times, homeowners go the DIY route, and then "forget" about it and "assume" it won't show up on the home inspection.

Sep 20, 2011 01:05 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

  With lots of short sales...deferred maintenance is EVERYWHERE.... when you can't pay the mortgage, maintenance easily slips to the bottom of the list....

Sep 20, 2011 01:15 AM
Bill Burke
BurkeLord® Real Estate Powered By Keller Williams Metropolitan - Bedford, NH
Associate Broker/REALTOR® Licensed in NH & MA

Good Post. It's so true!

Sep 20, 2011 01:19 AM
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Whle the condition of the home affects the saleability, but it will also affect the appraisal.

Sep 20, 2011 01:26 AM
Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties - Cumming, GA
Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204

Great post Rick. I wish every seller out there would read it.

Sep 20, 2011 01:35 AM
Bill Blankenship
Lisa Von Domek & Associates, LLC / Real Living Real Estate Group - Midlothian, TX

Good post, Rick...move-in ready is more desirable than DIY, with prospective homeowners.  

Sep 20, 2011 01:57 AM
Rick Schuster
Lang Realty - Boca Raton, FL
List with Rick, Sell it Quick!

Carol and Kathy: Good point(s).  With all the DIY stores like Lowes and Home Depot it's easy to do the simple jobs yourself and then forget about them.  And then, as Kathy states, the poor condition of the property will ultimately effect the appraised value of the property.

Sally:  Deferred maintenance IS everywhere.  Unfortunately, I am now surprised whenever I enter a home that is in excellent condition.  In most cases the homes I am seeing need work.

Gayle and Bill:  Thanks for the comments.


Sep 20, 2011 01:59 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Rick. Very good information here. Your take is on the money and it is good to see. Fix it or take less. Fix it or it may not sell at all. Fix it and stay, but fix it.

Sep 20, 2011 03:03 AM
Rick Schuster
Lang Realty - Boca Raton, FL
List with Rick, Sell it Quick!

Lisa/Sheila -- thanks for reading and commenting on the post!  I agree with the both of you! 

Sep 20, 2011 04:17 AM