Keeping a home in good repair can pay significant dividends when it’s time to sell.
Buyers often look for homes that require few repairs, and no one wants a deal to fall apart because the home inspector found an issue the buyers can’t stomach. A little prevention can spare you from the pain of watching a buyer walk away.
Here are some of the most important things you should consider repairing before selling your home. Opendoor buys and sells thousands of homes per month, and we’ve also highlighted some of the most common repair items found by our estimators.
→ Haven’t heard of Opendoor? We’re an easier way to sell your home with a cash offer and the ability to choose your close date.
Kitchen and Bathrooms
The kitchen and bathrooms of a home have the most mechanical systems, such as plumbing and electrical. That means they also have the highest likelihood of damage. Here are the components you should double-check:
Kitchen appliances.. Make sure the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and microwave are in good working order. Fix any leaks, and replace the coolant or freon in your fridge or freezer if necessary.
Cabinets. In both the kitchen and bathrooms, everything should be in good condition, free of water damage or rot. Cabinet doors and drawers should open and close smoothly. Fix loose hinges, unclog or replace stuck drawer tracks, and replace broken knobs or handles. You can handle most of these tasks yourself, with a screwdriver and a trip to the hardware store.
If the cabinets are painted, make sure the paint isn’t chipped or peeling. If it is, sand them down and apply a fresh coat. Severely damaged cabinets may need to be replaced, a task that may require a contractor unless you’re skilled at home renovations.
Sinks and faucets. Water features should run leak-free, and all drains should operate free and clear. The overflow drain, which prevents overfilling a bathtub, should be in good working order. Hot and cold options should operate as marked on the faucets.
Bathtubs and showers. Fixtures, such as the shower head, should be fully operational, and drains should be free of clogs. If acrylic on a bathtub is peeling, you may need to resurface the tub or replace it. The exhaust vent, which removes the steam from the shower, should be fully operational. Any broken shower tiles should be replaced.(Video) Strange Doll House Remodeled Into a Dream Home | Flip or Flop | HGTV
Next, it’s time to take a look at other general interior surfaces.
Walls and ceilings. Repair nail holes and minor dings and dents in the drywall. If you see discoloration, such as water damage that’s been repaired, repaint the walls. Painting is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to refresh a room. Massachusetts-based real estate agent Bill Gassett recommends removing wallpaper since it’s unlikely buyers will share your style.
Flooring. From laminate to carpet, everything should be in good condition. Replace any chipped or cracked floor tiles, or refinish scratched or dented hardwood. Replace torn carpeting, or have it steam-cleaned, especially if you have pets.
HVAC. Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) should be in good working order, clean and free of leaks. Your thermostat should operate properly. If you have any doubts, hire an HVAC technician to perform a tune-up and give you an assessment of your system’s condition.
Water heater. Similarly, your water heater should be in good working order and not leak. All pipes should be insulated.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Your detectors should be in good working order, and less than ten years old. Test your detectors, and replace the batteries if needed.
Electrical panel and circuit breakers. Everything should meet current codes. Specifically, replace your panels if you have Zinsco/Sylvania GTE and Federal Pacific labels. Call an electrician if your home has one of these brands. If you have an older system, such as one that uses a fuse box, you may also want to get it checked or updated, since it may be hard for a new owner to find parts, or the system might be rigged for modern usage in a way that it wasn’t originally meant for, making it prone to problems.
Repairs vs. Upgrades
Let’s make a crucial distinction between repairs and upgrades or improvements.
Upgrades are optional, discretionary ways in which a homeowner tries to maximize the value of her home. Replacing new, good-condition carpeting with hardwood floors, for example, is an upgrade. Replacing old, poor-condition carpeting is a repair.
Think of it this way: upgrades can boost the value of your home. Repairs keep your current value from falling.
→ Try our home improvement calculator to see which projects can add the most value to your home.
According to a 2018 “Cost vs. Value” analysis from Remodeling Magazine, several exterior projects hold the highest payoff with regard to resale value.
Here are some projects with a high payoff ratio that you might want to consider to tackle.
Garage door. Obviously, it needs to work. So do any remotes. The door should also meet all local codes and safety criteria. You may need to replace the mechanism if a coil spring is broken, or if the door features large dings or dents.
Exterior doors. Major dings or dents are a no-no. Hardware like door handles should be in good condition, and weatherstripping should be intact, and most homeowners can fix those issues themselves. Sliding glass doors should be properly aligned on tracks. The door leading to the garage should be fire-rated and code-compliant. You may need to call a contractor to replace doors or slide tracks.
Roof. The roof shouldn’t have any broken or missing tiles, shingles or ridge caps, as these components protect your home from water damage. Replace any problem spots immediately. Cracks, bubbles, and blisters in the sealant are also common. Fix any damage to the underlayment, which is the layer underneath the roof shingles or tiles. Interior water damage can mean a roof leak, so if you see any, call a professional.
Eaves. The eaves are edges of the roof that overhang the exterior wall. They consist of the fascia, the board to which the gutters are installed, and soffits, which connect to the fascia. Everything should be free of water damage and rot. You may need to hire a contractor to replace some boards. Repaint any areas where the paint peels since the paint provides weatherproofing and protection.
Drainage. Yard drainage should slope away from the foundation. If water collects by the foundation when it rains, you may need to have contractor re-grade the yard or bust out concrete to fix the issue. Likewise, if the downspouts eliminate rainwater at the foundation of the house, but there’s no runoff, that’s a problem.
Foundation. Your foundation, stem wall and retaining wall should be structurally sound. Hire a contractor to give you a professional opinion if you see any indicators of an unstable foundation, such as sagging floors, horizontal cracks in the foundation, and either horizontal or vertical cracks along any walls, interior or exterior.
→ Want to skip the work? Get a competitive, cash offer from Opendoor in your inbox in 24 hours.
Decks. The deck or patio should be structurally sound, with code-compliant guardrails. Support columns, also known as infill spacing, should be structurally sound, as well. The deck should not have water damage or termite damage. You might apply a coat of polyurethane over the deck to prevent future water damage.
Landscaping. The trees, shrubs, plants and other vegetation around the property shouldn’t interfere. For example, if your home is next to a tall oak tree and the branches are touching the roof, you’ll want to trim back those branches before they cause serious damage. Make sure no trees or shrubbery are touching the home.
Fencing. Wooden fences shouldn’t have any rotting or water-damaged boards. The gate on all fences, wooden or metal, should open and close smoothly. Rust or chipped paint needs fixing, but you could do that yourself. Scrub the fence with a rust converter and a wire brush, and then prime and paint over the affected areas.
If you’ve maintained your home throughout the years, you may not face these issues. Routine preventative maintenance, such as testing the smoke alarms monthly, weatherproofing the deck every year or so, and replacing missing shingles, shortens your repair list when you decide to move.
A home is an investment, and regular maintenance — a little DIY elbow grease, a call or two to the pros on occasion — helps keep your investment strong.
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- Skip the hassle of listings, showings, and repairs.
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The house closing process – what sellers need to know
Is Opendoor final offer really final? ›
The final offer you receive from Opendoor includes deductions for repairs, which can range from 1-2%, and seller closing costs, which can range from 1-3%. Note: According to its terms of service Opendoor might not be able to make a final offer to buy your home if the estimated repairs exceed $20,000.How do I get the best offer on Opendoor? ›
- Providing Opendoor with receipts for renovations and repairs. Proof of improvements you've made to your home increase the chance that Opendoor will raise its offer.
- Requesting offers from other iBuyers in your area. ...
- Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) done on your home.
If things change and they no longer want to proceed with the sale, just send an email to your dedicated experience partner letting us know you need to terminate the contract. You'll see their contact information at the bottom of your offer.Can Opendoor rescind offer? ›
There's also no obligation–you can cancel your contract at any time before closing at no cost. Learn more about our pricing and how selling to Opendoor works.Does Opendoor back out of buying a house? ›
And at closing, you might also be eligible for a 1% buyer's rebate. To make sure you love your new home, Opendoor backs its houses with a 90-day buyback guarantee for a 3% fee.Can you negotiate a best and final offer? ›
Your offer is not legally binding, so you can always adjust it if you change your mind after you've submitted your best and final. The sale will not complete until contracts are exchanged, so you have until then to update your offer, negotiate, or pull out of the sale completely.Do home sellers always pick the highest offer? ›
But do sellers always accept the highest offer? The short answer is no. While the offer price is certainly one of the main things the seller will look at, it's not the only thing that matters. Savvy sellers (and sellers with smart Realtors) know that they need to consider the entire offer, not just the price.Is first offer on house usually the best? ›
Sometimes it works out to negotiate or wait for another offer, but an old real estate adage states that the first offer is the best offer. Even if the offer is disappointing, there may be good reasons to give it serious consideration. Here are a few: It's an all-cash offer with no lender involved.How do you win a buyers offer? ›
- Have Your Preapproval Letter In Hand. ...
- Make The Highest Offer. ...
- Write A Personal Letter. ...
- Offer An All-Cash Deal. ...
- Drop The Contingencies. ...
- Skip The Inspection. ...
- Be Available. ...
- Make A Backup Offer.
Enjoy a 90-day buyback guarantee: Opendoor guarantees buyers will love the experience and purchase the home of their dreams at the best price, or we will buy qualifying homes back within 90 days.
Can you cancel a door-to-door sale? ›
To cancel a door-to-door sales contract, the consumer must mail or deliver a signed and dated written notice to the seller's address as it appears in the sales contract.Which is better Zillow or Opendoor? ›
Remember: Zillow is optimized around home buyers, while Opendoor is optimized around home sellers. The bottom line: With similar conversion rates, neither company has built a better mousetrap, but Zillow's mousetrap is exponentially larger.Can buyers pull out after offer? ›
While an offer may be formally agreed between buyer and seller, it is not legally binding on either party until contracts have been exchanged. However, because Exchange happens right at the end of the process, this means that they can change their mind and pull out of the sale at any time, for any reason.Can an offer be taken back? ›
An employer can withdraw a job offer if the conditions of the offer are not met. For example, if your references show you might not be able to do the job. You can ask an employer why they have withdrawn a conditional job offer.Can I change my closing date with Opendoor? ›
Not a problem. You can change your close date right from your dashboard. Depending on how close you are to your existing close date, you may need to request a Late Checkout so you can stay in the home after your sale. If you need help, feel free to connect with your Customer Experience Partner.Is Opendoor a house flipper? ›
We are not a home flipper, and this is a common misconception about our business. Home flippers aim to fix and flip homes for maximum price appreciation. Their business model is to buy low and sell high, whereas our model is to make an offer and provide a service.Why do people sell to Opendoor? ›
Sellers choose Opendoor for the simplicity, certainty and convenience. When you sell to Opendoor, you get the simplicity of an online platform, the certainty of a competitive offer and the convenience of skipping repairs and showings and choosing your moving timeline.Should I negotiate if I am happy with the offer? ›
It really depends. Some people feel you should take the first offer if you're happy with it. Never negotiate just for the sake of negotiating. Other people disagree with that position and believe anytime you're given the chance to negotiate, you should.What is a cheeky offer on a house? ›
A cheeky offer is defined as an offer that is between 10-25% below the asking price on a property. Sellers tend to put their property on the market for a higher price. This means that potential buyers can offer a lower amount in the hopes of purchasing a property at a lower price.When should you not negotiate an offer? ›
If you've done your homework, and you know that the salary being offered is right in line with your industry, your experience, and your geography, don't negotiate just for the heck of it. If you've got no justification for your request for more, think long and hard before you push for more.
What is a strong offer on a house? ›
If you're ready to buy a home, you're probably wondering about how to write “a strong offer.” When we say “strong offer,” we're talking about writing the best offer – an offer that's going to have the best chance of getting chosen by the seller.What makes a strong offer when buying a house? ›
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. ...
- Leave some 'wiggle room' in your offer amount. ...
- Research the market and the seller. ...
- Make a respectable offer. ...
- Go easy on the contingencies. ...
- Use your own real estate agent — not the seller's. ...
- Keep your emotions in the background.
Offer to top the highest bid by $1,000 up to a certain amount. This way, you run less chance of being outbid by anyone. Pay for the house in cash. This reduces closing costs and brings closing day faster—which is probably in the seller's best interest if they're trying to buy another home at the same time.What is a realistic first offer on a house? ›
As with all negotiations, when you are making an offer on a house, start low. A good rule of thumb though is to offer 5% to 10% lower than the asking price. Don't forget that sellers often take this into account and deliberately put their house on the market for more than they expect or would accept.How many times should you see a house before making an offer? ›
Experts say you should visit a home 3-6 times before making an offer. It may not always be possible to visit numerous times, especially in hot markets, but if you can, you should. Current Condition and Potential - When you visit a house for the first time, it could be love at first sight.What's the lowest you should offer on a house? ›
Typically, a lowball offer is considered to be at least 20% below the asking price. If you're offering 10% below, the property should be in a good condition but may just need some cosmetic work done. The goal of offering 10% below the asking price is to use those extra funds to cover the repairs.Why do buyers like cash offers? ›
A cash offer is an all-cash bid, meaning a homebuyer wants to purchase the property without a mortgage loan or other financing. These offers are often more attractive to sellers, as they mean no buyer financing fall-through risk and, usually, a faster closing time. Have you received a cash offer on your home?How do I make a bidding war on my house? ›
- Price your home below market value. ...
- Set a deadline for any and all offers. ...
- Build up interest. ...
- Set the perfect stage. ...
- Create a sense of urgency. ...
- Plan ahead.
Don't play around with the asking price of the home. Do your research and if the house warrants full price, offer full price. Submit proof of the market and comparables if you're offering less than the asking price, but be aware that anything under the asking price opens the door for a bidding war.What is the difference between preliminary offer and final offer on Opendoor? ›
Additionally, you also get a preliminary cash offer within 24 business hours. But this price does not include repair costs, service fees, or closing costs. Opendoor deducts a service fee of 5% from the final cash offer once you accept its preliminary offer. 💡 DID YOU KNOW?
How can I check my offer status in Opendoor? ›
How can I check whether Opendoor has received any other offers for a property? You can check on the agent portal opendoor.com/make-offer and input the address of your buyer's interested home to see if there are any current offers.Does Opendoor give cash offers? ›
Homefinder customers will have the option to request an Opendoor cash offer for their home from Opendoor's website. Sellers can compare listing their home with a competitive cash offer, and choose what's best for their situation.What is the 3 day rescission rule? ›
If you are refinancing a mortgage, you have until midnight of the third business day after the transaction to rescind (cancel) the mortgage contract. The right of rescission refers to the right of a consumer to cancel certain types of loans.Is it illegal to knock on doors selling? ›
Doorstep selling is legal. If you buy anything on the doorstep or you allow the sale to take place in your home, your consumer rights are protected by law. The item you buy must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.What is a 3 day cancellation clause? ›
The Cooling-Off Rule gives you three days to cancel certain sales made at your home, workplace, or dormitory, or at a seller's temporary location, like a hotel or motel room, convention center, fairground, or restaurant. The Rule also applies when you invite a salesperson to make a presentation in your home.Is selling a house to Opendoor worth it? ›
Does Opendoor pay a fair price? Yes, according to an industry insider, Opendoor pays a fair price for homes. Real estate tech strategist Mike DelPrete found that in 2021 Opendoor consistently paid more for homes than its competitors in Phoenix, the largest iBuyer market in the U.S.Does Opendoor use appraisals? ›
Schedule inspections and finalize details with your lender
As part of that process, your lender will typically order an appraisal, which is an independent valuation of the home. One of the benefits of buying an Opendoor Exclusive is that it comes with an Appraisal Price Match Guarantee. Learn more.
If you want to get the most money for your home and have it marketed to the right buyers, you need to hire a traditional real estate agent. Opendoor is only a good option if you need to unload your property super-fast and you're willing to sell it for much lower than the fair market value.What happens to deposit when buyer backs out? ›
You instantly forfeit the deposit you submitted with your offer. You are also at risk of being sued by the seller for money they have lost on the sale of their home. Understanding the purchase agreement and adding conditions to protect you from unforeseen circumstances is essential.What is gazumping in real estate? ›
Gazumping occurs when an agent or seller accepts an offer you make to buy a property at an agreed price but the property is sold to someone else. This usually happens when the vendor sells the property for a higher amount.
At what point can you pull out of a house sale? ›
You can pull out of a house sale at any point up until the exchange of contracts. Once you have exchanged contracts, then you have entered into a legally binding contract that will mean you are subject to its terms.Can I decline an offer after accepting it? ›
Yes. Technically, anyone can turn down a job offer, back out of a job already started, or renege on an acceptance at any point. Most states operate with what is called “at will employment.” This means the employee and the employer are not in a binding contract.In what five ways can offer be terminated? ›
- Termination of offer by revocation.
- Termination of Offer By Lapse Of Time.
- Termination of Offer By Death.
- Termination of Offer By Rejection.
- Termination By Counter-Offer.
If the reason you initially turned down the role is no longer an issue for you, the best way would be to approach the hiring manager directly. It is always better to call them and speak with them directly; this will show confidence, and give you a better chance of explaining yourself.Does Opendoor do a final walkthrough? ›
One of the advantages of selling to Opendoor is you don't have to worry about a buyer qualifying for financing; you get the certainty of a competitive, all-cash offer. The final walk-through typically occurs 24 hours before closing.Can you negotiate Opendoor final offer? ›
Yes, Opendoor will negotiate offers. Our counteroffers do come by email and we will negotiate by email and/or phone until an agreement is reached.What happens if Opendoor offer expires? ›
Your Opendoor offer expires after 7 days. If you schedule a virtual walkthrough, we will extend your offer expiration to 14 days. You can request a new offer from your dashboard, so it's always up-to-date based on market trends.How accurate are Opendoor offers? ›
Opendoor typically pays slightly less than what your house would likely sell for on the open market. Unfortunately, Opendoor usually won't negotiate — you have to accept its price or walk away. But, since you can request an Opendoor offer with no obligation, you can reject the offer if you decide it's not worth it.Is a final offer a final offer? ›
What is a Best and Final Offer? A best and final offer represents the ultimate offer to be made in a negotiation or bidding process. Parties use the terminology to convey the intention that further negotiation will not be undertaken – the offer may only be accepted or rejected.Is an offer to purchase Final? ›
An offer to purchase offer is a legally binding contract; once you sign it, you cannot easily change it. As a prospective buyer, you should make sure your finances are in order and obtain bond pre-approval before making an offer.
Are all sales final on offer up? ›
Once money has been exchanged for an item, the sale is final. Resolve any questions or issues with the seller before you pay.Is it better to use a realtor or Opendoor? ›
If you want to get the most money for your home and have it marketed to the right buyers, you need to hire a traditional real estate agent. Opendoor is only a good option if you need to unload your property super-fast and you're willing to sell it for much lower than the fair market value.What Cannot terminate an offer? ›
If a party attempts to negotiate new or additional material terms to the offer, the original offer terminates. Attempting to offer ancillary or non-material terms may not terminate the offer.What brings an offer to an end? ›
In conclusion, offer can be terminated by Revocation, Rejection, Lapse of time, Conditional Offer, Operation of law, Death, Acceptance and Illegality.What makes an offer to be terminated? ›
An offer may be terminated through lapse of time, the death of the offeror or offeree, the failure of some condition or contingency, by rejection (or counter-offer), and by communication of a revocation of the offer. An offer may be revoked any time prior to its acceptance.Can I accept two offers on my house? ›
Yes. Buyers can negotiate multiple contracts on multiple accepted real estate offers, and at the end of the process, they can choose the property they are willing to buy. Some buyers use it to have backup contracts in case a deal fails to go through.Can a seller accept two offers at the same time? ›
While laws vary by state, in general, up until that contract is signed by both parties—even after counteroffers have been sent out—all new offers can be considered and accepted. Once both parties have signed it, however, the seller is pretty much locked into the deal.Can a seller decline a full price offer? ›
Home sellers are free to reject or counter even a contingency-free, full-price offer, and aren't bound to any terms until they sign a written real estate purchase agreement.What is the most sold thing on OfferUp? ›
- Clothing. It goes without saying that one of the best things to sell on OfferUp is clothing. ...
- Electronics. ...
- Collectibles. ...
- Tools. ...
- Sports Cards. ...
- Baby Supplies & Gear. ...
- Furniture. ...
- Fitness & Sports Equipment.
You can withdraw an offer by message before meeting up. You can also decline to buy an item if you've met with the seller to inspect the item and it isn't what you want. Be polite! Thank the seller for their time, especially if they've met up with you in person.
What does Mark sold mean on OfferUp? ›
This will remove the item from your view, your public profile, and search results. Your messages about it will also be archived. More about archiving. It may take about a day for the archiving process to finish, but items marked as sold will show that label to anyone who finds it in the meantime.