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  • Writer's pictureMark Buskuhl

What Not to Fix When Selling Your House: Complete List

Updated: Mar 26

Selling your house can be an exciting and daunting task all at the same time. You want to make sure that it is in the best possible condition, but you also don't want to spend much money on unnecessary repairs and upgrades. So, how do you decide what not to fix when selling a house?

In this blog post, we will guide you through understanding the market and which fixes are truly unnecessary. We will also provide you with a comprehensive list of things that you should not fix when selling your house & Additionally, We will provide Some Fix List & answer some frequently asked questions about selling your home, including whether or not you should sell for cash and what renovations will increase your home’s value.

How to decide what not to fix when selling a house?

When deciding what not to fix when selling a house, prioritize major repairs that impact the sale price and avoid upgrades based on personal preferences. Refrain from extensive renovations that may not recoup their cost in the sale price. Consider the age and condition of the home and consult with experienced real estate professionals to prioritize repairs and upgrades based on market trends and buyer preferences. This ensures that the home is presented in good shape for prospective buyers, without wasting time and money on unnecessary fixes that may result in a higher price.

Understanding the Market: Why Some Fixes Are Unnecessary

Market trends significantly impact home sales, guiding your decisions on home improvements and avoiding unprofitable fixes. Analyzing the market can help identify impactful home improvements, enabling informed decision-making for better returns. Understanding the local market conditions is crucial, as certain minor problems may not affect the overall value substantially. Making well-informed choices based on market analysis can go a long way in ensuring that you don't waste time and money on unnecessary repairs.

Identifying Unnecessary Fixes Based on Market Analysis

Some Fixes Are Unnecessary
Some Fixes Are Unnecessary

Investing in home improvements aligned with market demands is crucial. Market analysis guides decisions on essential fixes, prioritizing improvements based on trends. Avoid unnecessary expenses by analyzing market trends to reveal crucial home improvements. Focus on home repairs that resonate with buyer expectations and preferences, as indicated by the National Association of Realtors. Making informed decisions based on market analysis can go a long way in saving you both time and money.

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What not to fix when selling a house (do-not-fix list)

Avoid spending unnecessary time and money on minor cosmetic issues like scuffs, scratches, or outdated fixtures. Non-structural damage, personalized features, and landscaping can be overlooked. Considering market conditions, it's essential to differentiate between minor problems and deal breakers. An experienced Cash House Buyer can provide a comparative market analysis to help prioritize fixes and determine the asking price. Don't waste money on unnecessary repairs; focus on what truly adds value to your home.

1. Cosmetic flaws

When selling a house, minor cosmetic flaws like scuffed paint or small cracks should not be fixed. It's best to avoid expensive renovations such as completely remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. While small repairs like leaky faucets or loose doorknobs are worth fixing, major repairs should be avoided. Remember that buyers may have their renovation plans, so it's important to avoid over-improving the house. Instead, focus on decluttering, cleaning, and staging the home to highlight its best features and embrace the normal wear and tear.

2. Minor electrical issues

When selling a house, minor electrical issues like flickering lights loose outlets, or a light switch that goes to nothing may seem insignificant. However, fixing major electrical problems is crucial, while small issues can be left for the buyer to handle. Hiring an electrician for minor repairs can be costly and may not increase the home's value. It's important to disclose any electrical issues to potential buyers to maintain transparency. Prioritizing necessary repairs, including addressing a light switch that goes to nothing, can save time and money in the selling process.

3. Driveway or walkway cracks

When preparing to sell a house, it's important to assess the driveway and walkway for cracks. Minor cracks are generally expected and may not significantly affect property value. However, extensive damage should be addressed to prevent safety concerns. Simple cosmetic repairs for minor cracks can be left for the new owner. Over-fixing small issues may not yield a return on investment and could result in unnecessary expenses.

4. Grandfathered-in building code issues

Grandfathered-in building code items, which are not required to be updated by law, can be a big deal when selling a house. It's important to disclose any known issues, such as outdated electrical systems or non-compliant building materials, to prospective buyers before closing the sale. Upgrading these items may involve significant home repairs and can be costly and time-consuming, especially in comparison to new appliances or cosmetic improvements.

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5. Partial room upgrades

When selling a house, partial room upgrades may not be worth the investment as they can still appear outdated compared to the rest of the home. Buyers often prefer to customize the space themselves, making partial upgrades irrelevant. Instead, focusing on overall cleanliness and decluttering can greatly improve the house's look and feel. It's also important to prioritize upgrades that add significant value, such as a new roof or HVAC system, based on market conditions and advice from experienced real estate agents.

6. Partial upgrades to bathrooms or kitchens

When considering selling your house, it's essential to evaluate the impact of partial upgrades to bathrooms or kitchens. These minor cosmetic fixes like new paint or cabinet hardware can be more cost-effective. However, partial upgrades can make a space look outdated or mismatched. Instead, focus on deep cleaning and decluttering to enhance the overall appeal. Buyers often prefer to customize the space themselves.

7. Removable items

When preparing your house for sale, it's important to consider the condition of removable items such as curtains and wall decor. These items don't require fixing and can easily be replaced by potential buyers. Leaving them as-is can help save time and money on unnecessary repairs, while also allowing buyers to envision themselves in the space. Avoid making major changes to the home's layout and focus on decluttering and deep cleaning instead. This approach can make the home more appealing to prospective buyers.

8. Old appliances

When selling a house, buyers may prefer choosing their appliances rather than paying extra for yours. Upgrading appliances can be expensive and may not significantly increase the value of your home. Consider offering functional appliances as part of the sale or providing credit for outdated or dysfunctional ones.

9. Carpet or flooring

When selling a house, worn or outdated carpet or flooring, such as old carpet, can deter buyers, but it's not always necessary to replace them. Offering a credit or adjusting the price could be a good idea instead of replacing the flooring. A deep cleaning or professional steam cleaning may suffice if the flooring is in good shape. It's essential to evaluate the condition of the flooring against the potential return on investment as replacing flooring can be a big deal in terms of cost and may not significantly increase the home's value.

10. Windows and window accessories

When selling your house, minor window repairs such as fixing a loose latch or replacing a cracked pane may be necessary. However, major window repairs or replacements are not worth the cost and will not add significant value to your home. Upgrading window accessories like blinds or curtains can improve aesthetics without costly replacements. Prioritizing cleaning or repainting existing windows is a better investment than replacing them.

11. Rusty Gutters

Rusty gutters, although unsightly, may not impact the functionality of your home. Replacing them can be expensive and may not significantly increase your home's value. Improving their appearance through cleaning or a fresh coat of paint could suffice. Remember, buyers might still make an offer even if the gutters are rusty. It’s crucial to prioritize more essential repairs before considering replacing them.

12. Fading Exterior Paint

Faded exterior paint can give a classic look and might not require a complete repaint. If the faded paint is still in good condition, it may not affect the house's value. Repainting the entire exterior can be a costly and time-consuming process. Buyers might prefer to select their color scheme and repaint after purchasing the house. Rather than repainting, consider touching up any areas with chipping or peeling paint.

13. Sticky Interior Doors

Sticky interior doors can result from humidity, foundation movement, or poor installation. Repairing them can be costly and time-consuming, with no guarantee of a return on investment. Instead of fixing, consider adjusting hinges or sanding the door edges. Be transparent about sticky doors, and use them as a negotiation point rather than an obstacle. Prospective buyers may accept minor issues if the overall value and potential of the property are high.

14. Broken Sockets or Outlets

When preparing to sell your home, addressing broken sockets or outlets is crucial. These electrical issues pose a safety hazard and may decrease your home's appeal to potential buyers. Replacing damaged outlets and sockets can be a relatively affordable and easy fix, making a significant difference in the overall presentation of your home. Additionally, ignoring these issues can lead to more severe problems like fires and electrocution. Before listing your home, it's advisable to hire a licensed electrician to thoroughly inspect all electrical components.

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What are some fixes I should make prior to selling a house?

To prepare your house for sale, it's important to address major structural issues and make minor repairs like fixing leaky faucets and patching holes. A fresh coat of paint and deep cleaning can transform its appearance. Consider updating outdated fixtures to enhance the overall appeal.

1) Light landscaping to increase curb appeal

Enhancing your home's curb appeal with simple, light landscaping can attract potential buyers and increase your property's value. Trimming overgrown plants, mowing the lawn, and adding fresh mulch to flower beds can make a great first impression. It's essential to avoid costly landscaping projects that may not yield a good return on investment.

2) Neutral paint

Neutral paint colors, including bold colors, offer a versatile backdrop for potential homebuyers to envision their unique style, making it a popular choice in real estate. This color scheme can broaden the appeal of your property and potentially increase its market value. It’s imperative to ensure the paint is well-maintained without any signs of deterioration, such as peeling or chipping. By creating a soothing ambiance, neutral colors, including bold colors, contribute to a welcoming atmosphere that resonates with prospective buyers, potentially facilitating a faster sale. Consider engaging a professional painter to achieve a flawless finish.

3) Anything glaringly broken

Fixing any significant structural issues that might deter potential buyers is crucial. It's essential to address safety hazards such as faulty electrical systems or plumbing. Additionally, don't overlook cosmetic flaws like peeling paint or outdated fixtures – these can also negatively impact the sale. Consider taking care of minor repairs like leaky faucets or squeaky doors to enhance the overall appeal of the house. Remember, first impressions matter, so prioritize addressing anything that looks neglected or run down.

4) Outdated light fixtures and fans

Updating light fixtures and fans is essential as outdated ones can make a house look old and uninviting. By replacing them with modern fixtures, you can give your home a fresh and updated look. Moreover, upgraded fixtures can increase energy efficiency, reducing utility bills. Consider using LED lighting for both indoor and outdoor fixtures and opt for simple yet elegant designs to avoid overspending on luxury fixtures.

5) Curtains and Curtain Rods

When selling a house, curtains and curtain rods play an essential role in staging. They are considered personal items that buyers may not appreciate. Removing them can help showcase the window and natural light, giving a sense of openness. Alternatively, leaving them up can give buyers, including buyer’s agents, an idea of room size and potential decor options. If curtains are left up, consider neutral colors or subtle patterns to create a welcoming atmosphere and highlight the natural light. Ultimately, it depends on the overall aesthetic and staging of the home.

6) Major Home System Issues

Addressing major home system issues such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and home inspection problems is crucial before selling. Roof repairs should not be overlooked either, as they are essential for the overall condition of the house. Foundation issues can discourage potential buyers; hence, addressing them, if possible, is advisable. Remember that cosmetic issues like paint and minor repairs can often be negotiated with the buyer. For better guidance, consulting with a Cash House buyer or home inspector is highly recommended to determine the most beneficial fixes.

7) Health And Safety Concerns

Failing to address health and safety concerns before selling a house can lead to expensive legal issues for the seller. It's crucial to hire a professional inspector to identify any potential problems, such as mold or structural damage, and provide an inspection report. Addressing these issues upfront not only increases the home's value but also attracts more buyers. Neglecting health and safety concerns may result in lowball offers or no offers at all, making it important to prioritize these fixes.

Should I sell my home for cash?

Consider selling your home for cash if you want a quick and hassle-free option. However, keep in mind that cash buyers may offer less than market value, so do your research. Compare the pros and cons of selling to a cash buyer versus listing with a real estate agent. Consult with a trusted real estate professional before deciding.

FAQs About What You Shouldn’t Fix When Selling A House

Common misconceptions often lead sellers to believe that extensive home repairs are necessary before selling. However, certain issues like minor electrical problems or outdated appliances may not warrant immediate attention and can save sellers money in the long run.

While some issues may not immediately turn off prospective buyers, consulting with a local real estate professional can provide valuable insight into market conditions and help determine necessary repairs to enhance the overall appeal of the home.

What renovations won’t increase my home’s value?

Renovations that have a personal touch, such as unique wallpaper or paint colors, won't add value to your home. Over-the-top luxury upgrades may not be worth the investment, while high-maintenance features like swimming pools can deter buyers. A deck or patio is a much better idea. Focus on practical updates that appeal to a wide range of potential house buyers.

What renovations will increase my home’s value?

Renovations that can boost a home's value vary depending on location, market trends, and buyer preferences. Common upgrades include kitchen or bathroom updates, adding square footage, and improving energy efficiency. Consulting a real estate professional or appraiser before major renovations is recommended. Small updates like fresh paint, new light fixtures, and landscaping can also enhance a home's value.

Will staging my home help it sell?

Staging your home can be a game-changer when it comes to selling. It can attract more buyers, increase the perceived value, and help your home sell faster. From decluttering to adding fresh flowers, simple staging techniques can make a big difference. Consider hiring a professional for optimal results.

What is the most common reason a house doesn’t sell?

The most common reason a house fails to sell is typically due to overpricing. Other factors that can hinder a sale include poor presentation, limited marketing efforts, or unfavorable location. Additionally, personalized decor and neglecting necessary repairs can deter potential buyers and make the house less appealing.

Do I have to make repairs if I’m selling my house as-is?

Repairs are not mandatory if you're selling your house as-is. However, it is important to disclose any known defects to potential buyers as required by law. Selling as-is may attract investors or those willing to take on repairs themselves, so consider pricing the house accordingly.

What do I have to fix at a bare minimum?

Basic safety issues, like broken stairs or leaky roofs, should always be addressed. Additionally, minor cosmetic fixes such as fresh paint and landscaping can add value to your home. Focus on resolving any issues that could deter potential buyers, such as mold or water damage.


When selling your house, it's important to prioritize your time and money on the right fixes that will add value. Not all repairs are worth the investment, and understanding the market is key to making informed decisions. Cosmetic flaws, minor electrical issues, and driveway or walkway cracks are some examples of things you don't need to fix. Instead, focus on light landscaping for curb appeal, neutral paint, and addressing any glaringly broken items.

For more answers to common questions and to get quotes, Looking to Sell Your House Fast For Cash in Dallas - Fort Worth?

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