William Raveis Real Estate
John Mahan, William Raveis Real EstatePhone: (508) 331-8339
Email: [email protected]

What not to fix when selling a house: A basic guide

by John Mahan 11/05/2023

peach toned picture with text about home seller tips

Before selling your home, you likely have a list of repairs to make - but how do you know what not to fix when selling a house? While most upgrades and repairs add value to your home and please potential buyers, some might not be worth the money or effort.

To help you decide, here are some tips for knowing what to fix:

Consult a real estate agent before making repairs

An experienced local real estate agent will understand the local market and be able to identify any repairs or upgrades needed to get the sale price you want. In some cases, you might be able to skip certain tasks on your repair list if other features of the home shine brighter in the market.

Don't fix & replace with trends

Removing damaged items such as light fixtures and sink faucets can easily change the appearance of a house. Replacing doors and trim can also offer an immediate facelift.

However, avoid an abundance of trendy design choices. What's trending now might be off-putting to some people. Maintain maximum potential audience approval with the use of contrasting colors and common fixtures styles that appeal to the majority.

Focus on major repairs first

Make it your goal to tackle any serious or expensive issues first. Smaller fixes can be left to the end of the process, as they won't require as much time and money. Things like major plumbing repairs, flooring replacement or HVAC work are all examples of fixes that should come before a simple paint job.

Don't do a major renovation

Although some costly renovations will increase the overall home sell-by price, it's not always worth it to start a huge project before selling a house. Check with your real estate agent and compare your home to similar properties in the area to help you determine if a major change is worth the time, money and effort.

What else should I fix?

Once you're finished with your own repair list, hire a home inspector for a professional opinion. Their detailed reports can help you identify any last-minute issues you might have missed.

Otherwise, focus on boosting your curb appeal by refreshing your landscaping, replacing your garage door or adding fresh mulch to the garden.

 peach toned infographic about home seller tips

Home repairs can impress potential buyers and earn you a higher potential sale price. However, it's important to prioritize your projects, so you don't end up spending more money than you make. 

About the Author

John Mahan

I'm John Mahan, Sales Associate with William Raveis Real Estate, Harwich Port Office.

Throughout his childhood, John Mahan spent summers on Cape Cod at his parents’ home in Dennis Port. His intro to the Cape was, as he puts it, when his parents “carried me down the stairs at Sea Street Beach when I was a week old.” With a lifelong connection to Cape Cod, it seemed only natural for John and his wife, Mary, to move to Harwich – where they still reside – with their two young children in 1996.

Prior to moving to Cape Cod, John lived in the Worcester-Auburn area where he worked for Mass Electric for 10 years and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Utility Workers. When John and his family moved to the Cape, he worked at NSTAR for six years.

John began his career in real estate in 2002 when he joined Team Waystack Realty in Harwich Port. He has been a consistent top producing realtor in the Harwich area for the past 20 years. John’s approachable demeanor, combined with an integral understanding of the Cape Cod residential real estate market, have allowed him to build trusting, long-term relationships with his clients – both sellers and buyers.