“Red Flag” - Finish the job or lose the sale

The Johnson’s had a problem -- a leaky roof. Now that their home was about to be up for sale, Johnson arranged to have it repaired. Good thinking, Johnson -- almost!

After the job was finished at great expense, the yellow water stain still remained on the ceiling. Mr. Johnson thought he had already spent enough on the roof and any prospect would believe him when he showed the repair bill.

The old adage of being “penny-wise and pound-foolish” bore fruit. Each prospect asked about the stain. The receipted bill never quite put their minds at ease. One structural problem in a home is a red flag waving and warning -- “Don’t get involved with this headache.

Fortunately, for the price of a restaurant dinner, the ceiling was repainted. It was finally sold, but only after too many of the best prospects had gone on to other properties. The moral is obvious. The fewer apologies you have to make for your property, the easier it is to sell. If you have any obvious red flags waving -- remove them!

There is another reason to take care of conspicuous repair work. Then a potential buyer sees obvious things that have not been taken care of (i.e. porch steps, unpainted front porch, stained walls and ceilings), they begin to wonder about the state of repair of the “not-so-obvious” items, such as the furnace, hot water heater, septic system, plumbing leaks, etc.

In most cases, $1 spent in repairing a deferred maintenance item will return $3 to $4 when you sell.