Determining what repairs or enhancements need to be done prior to listing your home and as a result of the buyerís inspection can be a difficult decision. Here are a few guidelines to help you with these decisions.

What Needs to Be Done?

Letís be honest; we all know of things that need to be repaired or enhanced in our homes. But, do they need to be done prior to listing the house for sale? Many sellers have unnecessary repairs done prior to listing while missing necessary repairs. Follow these steps to an informed decision:

    1. Complete the enclosed home evaluation form with as much detail as possible.
    2. Contact Handy Hadley and request their professional evaluation of your home. Give them the evaluation form you completed. The professional evaluation will include issues that need to be resolved, may need to be resolved, and a line item estimate for each. Keep in mind, this is not an inspection, but will help you determine what work if any needs to be done.
    3. Have your realtor and a Handy Hadley representative meet with you to determine what repairs/enhancements need to be done. Donít make the mistake of leaving your realtor out of this meeting. Your realtor is a professional who knows how best to sell your home. Some repairs to not pay for themselves. Your realtor will be key in making an informed decision.
When Does the Work Need to Be Done?

Some repairs need to be done prior to your home going on the market. Others can be done after your home is on the market. And some can wait until they are noted on the buyerís inspection. Handy Hadley and your realtor will help you determine the most cost effective timeframe for your repairs to be completed.

Who Needs to Do the Work?

There are many contractors to pick from. You may have a friend, relative or neighbor who is in the home repair industry. The timeframes and requirements revolving around the sale of your home present a unique set of circumstances that most contractors are not aware of and cannot handle. Handy Hadley specializes in home repair for homes being sold and purchased. If you chose to use another contractor, be sure they have a track record and quality references from the real-estate industry.

It is important your contractor fully understands the type of repairs that need to be done. As the old saying goes, "there are multiple ways to skin a cat." So there are multiple ways to complete many home repairs. It is hard for some contractors to understand that the seller is the customer but the potential buyer is who will judge the work. The buyerís perception of the workmanship could influence their purchase decision. Be sure your contractor understands your timeframes. Missing a deadline could impact the sale of your home, costing you more than you saved by going with the "lowest price".

A licensed tradesman (electrician, plumber, and heating and air conditioning) must do some repairs, especially those required by the buyer before closing. Your contractor should know and understand the local and state building code regulations so you donít have any unexpected delays at closing.

When talking with contractors, ask if they are insured. If so, ask the specifics of their liability limits. They should carry a minimum of $1,000,000 or the value of your home. Are they bonded? You will be more comfortable knowing the contractor has been approved for a bond prior to letting them in your home. Have they had any complaints filed against them? Check your potential contractorís Better Business Bureau file.

You may be thinking that you could do the repairs yourself. Sometimes, depending upon the repairs, DIY (do it yourself) is a great way to save some money. But, it is important to be aware of local building codes and requirements. Be honest with yourself about your abilities. Donít let the quality of repairs cause a potential buyer to lose interest. A lost sale could cost significantly more than having a professional complete your repairs. Finally, do you have time to get the work done? Delays in getting your home on the market could cost you a potential buyer.

Donít let the cost of repairs keep you from having the work done. Your realtor can help you determine what needs to be done to maximize your return on your house investment. As with many things in life, there is a balance. Your realtor and selling team can help you find the perfect balance for your home in your area in your market.