In Tips

A contractor points at a water stain on a ceiling.

Avoiding Major Repairs That Will Drive Down a Home’s Sale Price

Well maintained homes that welcome buyers as soon as they pull up to the curb, and which make buyers feel at home throughout the walkthrough will increase the chances of a quick sale and high bids. On the other hand, homes that are poorly maintained, appear neglected, or show signs of major issues, will drag down bid prices and swiftly scare buyers away.

A blend of smaller maintenance issues like worn wood floors, outdated fixtures or wallpaper combined with larger warning signs such as dilapidated siding or water stained ceilings, can quickly turn a buyer off. While a property doesn’t have to be full of flashy, all-new features, it does need to show as a well-maintained home in good working order.

Read on to discover a few repair issues that can be greatest hindrance to selling a home.

Warnings of Foundation Issues

While foundation concerns develop over time, when cracks in the basement or uneven floors in a home finally show, it may be too late. Cracks in walls and floors, a tilting chimney, uneven flooring, and a sagging crawl are warnings to buyers that significant issues may be hiding under a home.

Foundation repairs can cost tens of thousands of dollars and are sure to turn away buyers. Before placing a home on the market, sellers must be sure to have professionals inspect and address:

  • Cracks in walls, doors and windows
  • Concert weakness
  • Bowed basement walls
  • Gaps between crown moldings and the ceiling

Poorly Maintained Roofing or Siding 

Most buyers will notice moss growth or missing shingles on a roof, as these are signs of neglect that can lead to costly leakage and damage to ceilings, walls and other areas of a home. Dry rot, often caused by poor ventilation, or sagging and crumbling are also major deterrents to potential buyers.

Adding a new roof and replacing cracked, outdated or worn vinyl siding has been found to yield high ROI. Homeowners have been found to recoup up to 80% of the cost for roof and siding upgrades.

Plumbing Problems

While plumbing issues may not be immediately evident in a home, water stains, sagging floors and mildew point to real problems that may be lurking under the surface.

Sewer lines and older septic tanks can present significant issues. Savvy buyers will run water in the kitchen and baths and flush toilets to ensure proper drainage and water pressure. Buyers will also notice the age, location and condition of a water heater, so it is wise to ensure it is up to code and in good, working order.

Plumbers can inspect sewers and a home’s overall plumbing system to ensure there aren’t any cracks, breakage in pipes or other significant issues. Since major plumbing repairs—particularly to a sewer line or septic tank— can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000, intelligent buyers will walk away if significant plumbing issues are present in a home.

Benefits of a Pre-Sale Inspection

Investing in a pre-sale inspection to catch issues ahead of time can help ensure a smooth sale process. Sellers that invest in this step can ensure any significant repairs are completed before placing a home on the market. This can help to increase a home’s value and ensure high bids from buyers. Addressing issues presented by the pre-sale assessment will also reduce the chances that sellers will be forced to make fixes or to adjust the sale price to a less favorable sum later on in negotiations.

Buyer-ordered inspections are designed to provide bargaining power to the buyer, exposing current issues or presenting potential problems to help drive down the sale price. A pre-sale inspection boosts the seller’s negotiating power should any issues arise.


Taking the necessary steps to ensure a home is in presentable, working condition from the ground up will help to boost bids and facilitate quick sales. Addressing major issues is a must before placing a home on the market. A pre-sale inspection can help to identify hidden problems and prevent any surprises during negotiations with a buyer.

While some buyers may still find issues with even a well maintained home, it is best that opportunities to discover any major problems are significantly reduced. This will help prevent potential buyers from walking away before even making an offer.

Have a buyer who needs repairs before listing? Market Ready can help! Contact us today for a free estimate.