Repair or Replace? How to Handle Maintenance Issues Before Selling Your Home


Selling a home can be more stressful than people realize. If you want to get the best deal, your home should be in the best condition possible. But how will you present such a home if maintenance issues plague it?

If you don’t possess DIY skills, it can be more convenient to replace broken things than repair them. But would you really spend a ton of bucks for a maintenance issue you can fix for little to none?

Buyers will likely refuse to cover repairs or replacements, so choosing neither isn’t an option for you. So, let’s figure out which is more practical in the following scenarios:

Broken Roof


Roof damage is one of the worst maintenance issues. It leads to other pesky problems like leaks, rot, and broken siding. But replacing a roof is expensive and labor-intensive.

Thankfully, you can repair a broken roof yourself if the issue is just broken shingles. If your house is still new, you might’ve stored some spare shingles from your roof installation. Take them out and replace the broken shingles with them. Ensure that your patch job matches the professional installation of the rest of your shingles.

If you can’t make your patch job 100% polished, there’s no problem as long as the repair did its job. Replacing broken shingles can extend the life of your roof for 10 to 15 more years. If you replaced the roof instead, the roof would start a new life cycle, but you’d spend money on something unnecessary. Besides, a new roof can still get broken.

If the damage covers a large area, partial re-roofing is more practical. It costs thousands of dollars less than replacing the entire roof. Again, ensure that the new roof matches the new to avoid devaluing your home. In addition, leave the job to pros because a botched DIY partial re-roofing can cause lopsided effects at the ridges, putting buyers off.

Broken Appliances

Providing brand-new, high-end appliances isn’t necessary for a home sale. You can’t recoup the costs, and the buyers may not even like the new appliances. The clever move is to repair the minor issues and get rid of irreparable appliances.

The general rule is to get appliance repair services if it would cost more to replace them. Indeed, it’s impractical to throw a $1,000 washer and dryer away when a technician can fix it for $50. If the appliance’s issue would cost more than $50 to fix, determine if repairs would cost 50% less than a replacement. Your choice should be the cheaper one.

If you have appliances nearing the end of their lives, remove them from your home. Including them in the sale only to break down shortly after the buyers have moved in may bite you back.

Broken Kitchen Cabinets

An appealing and functional set of kitchen cabinets is vital in a home sale. People may buy homes simply because of an efficient kitchen, which is largely due to ample cabinets. Hence, if your kitchen cabinets have come off their hinges or become misaligned, you may be wondering if repairs or remodeling will fix them.

You can repair sagging shelves, worn-out drawer slides, loose hinges, and softened drawer bottoms. You can also tighten knobs and handles. If the paint needs redoing, apply a fresh coat of paint to the cabinets, preferably choosing a neutral color to appeal to a universal taste. You can also change dated hardware.

Replace kitchen cabinets only if water damage is the issue. Repainting or re-polishing may hide the damage, but if water has already degraded the wood, such solutions will only hold up for a short while.

A kitchen remodel isn’t always necessary unless your entire kitchen’s design is dated and inefficient.

Faulty Plumbing Fixtures

Nobody likes to move into a house with leaking bathrooms. So inspect every plumbing fixture for leaks and other issues. Don’t forget to check on the heaters as well.

The best way to fix a plumbing leak is before it happens. While you can’t predict when your pipes or fixtures will leak, you can check the water supply and waste line fittings to get an idea. If the connections are loose, tighten the fittings because leaks are probably imminent.

You can also fix runny toilets or unclog drains without a pro. But if the problem is the sewage system or your heater has flooded the bathroom, call a plumber to fix the problem.

There are reasonable times to choose replacement over repairs. But when you’re selling a home, don’t forget that you’re making improvements for the next owners, not for you. So go easy on the spending but don’t offer half-baked solutions to your buyer.

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