Selling Your Los Angeles Home – Should I Fix it Up First?

Or should I sell it As Is?

Is your home a standard/equity sale? Are you considering selling your Los Angeles home? Do you have some repair items that need your attention? Do you have paint that is peeling, baseboards that need touch up (or replacing), screens that need repair or replacing? Do the windows open? Are there water stains on the  ceiling?

There are SO many considerations when you are considering selling your Los Angeles home.

Unless you are willing to “discount” your sales price, then I would recommend repairing all those items that you have not addressed. Because those potential buyers are going to move on to the next property. Currently, there is inventory for buyers to choose from, and there are not only equity sales, short sales and bank owned properties.

Keep in mind, that your Los Angeles property has only ONE chance to make a first impression – ONE! If someone walks in, sees peeling wall paper, dirty baseboards, paint that needs to be re-done, the potential buyer is thinking, well if they did not address these items, what else have they not addressed? The concern becomes that perhaps the major systems of the property have been neglected such as the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical that suddenly they may have concerns over, and suddenly the home becomes more of a project than they originally bargained for.

If you are not sure where to begin, initially, I would recommend walking around with your Realtor® take inventory. Your Realtor® may recommend a professional home inspection, or utilizing a licensed contractor to evaluate and make recommendations repairs.

The following is a few recommendations for you to consider when selling your Los Angeles home. If your home has deferred maintenance, then you may want to have a professional home inspection and find out what needs to be addressed right up front. Your Realtor® can provide with resources for a home inspector. And this is a report that you can provide to potential buyers, so they know what was identified, and what has been repaired.

  • Are the windows in good working order? If it is a sliding glass door, does it work properly – does it actually slide? You may consider replacing windows as needed, and replace screens with new screens where necessary.
  • Do all the doors and handsets work? Do the locks work? Do you have keys for all openings?
  • Consider the systems in the home – has the electrical been updated? The home inspector will identify electrical issues during the home inspection – these are all items that will be on the home inspection report. Consult a contractor or home inspector to evaluate, and make recommendations for repair.
  • What about the plumbing? Does the hot water heater work?
  • Does the garbage disposal work? Does it make loud noises?
  • Are there any leaks in the home? This should be addressed whether or not you are selling your home. Water damages a home if left without repair.
  • Does the roof leak? If so, you may want to have it repaired prior to listing the home for sale.
  • How is the plumbing? Very important – is there plumbing leaks? Are there signs of leaks? Is there discoloration in the ceiling?
  • Has there been a termite inspection? Is there dry rot? Are there visible signs of termites? In the warmer climates, and during the warmer months, at times termites may be seen swarming, and the savy buyer, inspector will observe this.
  • Is there any evidence of mold? If a buyer, Realtor or other suspects there is mold, then a mold remediation may be recommended for the property. This is extremely important and should be addressed if there is any suspicion of mold.

Buyers in today’s market are savvy, and they are not only looking for the best possible investment with their money, but they want to be sure that their investment is going to be in a property that has been well maintained.

If you are considering listing your house for sale, then I would recommend repairing those items which may be an immediate “turn off” for someone when they walk through the door. Buyers are not always able to see “past” the challenges, and may prefer to walk away and find another property more suitable for their needs.

Is the property clean? This is incredibly important – potential buyers may walk in and see that a property is dirty and they are unable to see past it to see the “potential”.

Keep in mind your house has ONE chance to make a first impression, and you want it to be the best. Therefore, repair those items which need to be repaired, and maintain the receipts which may be provided during disclosure if requested.

Originally posted at

If you are a first-time home buyer in Los Angeles and think that you have to settle for one of those starter homes, think again!

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