What Not to Fix When Selling a House: A Comprehensive Guide for the Home Selling Process

What Not to Fix When Selling a House: A Comprehensive Guide for the Home Selling Process

Selling a house can be both exciting and stressful. Homeowners often find themselves thinking about which repairs or upgrades to tackle before listing their property. Understanding what not to fix when selling a house can save money and make the home selling process smoother. Not all repairs are necessary or cost-effective. Here’s a guide to help you navigate which repairs to skip, ensuring you spend money wisely and increase your chances of a successful sale.

Major Renovations and Structural Changes

Major Renovations

Avoid taking on major renovations like full kitchen or bathroom overhauls. While new appliances and fixtures can attract buyers, they are often too expensive and may not provide a good return on investment. Instead, focus on minor updates like a fresh coat of paint, new cabinet hardware, or updated light fixtures. These smaller changes can refresh the space without the hefty price tag.

Adding a Room

Adding extra square footage, such as a new bedroom or bathroom, is expensive and usually does not make financial sense. Potential buyers might not be willing to pay significantly more for additional space. Instead, stage existing rooms effectively to highlight their potential.

Structural Changes

Removing walls to create an open floor plan is another costly endeavor that may not pay off. Structural changes can lead to unforeseen complications and high renovation costs. Prospective buyers might prefer to make their own renovations after purchase to suit their tastes.

High-End Upgrades and Custom Features

Luxury Appliances

High-end, brand new appliances might look appealing but do not necessarily increase your home's market value. Most buyers are content with mid-range, reliable options. Instead of splurging on luxury brands, consider newer models that are functional and modern.

Custom Features

Customized elements like built-in entertainment systems or specialty rooms (e.g., wine cellars) can alienate some buyers. These features might not align with the personal taste of most buyers, reducing the pool of interested buyers.

Smart Home Technology

Investing in smart home technology can be hit or miss. While some buyers appreciate these features, many do not consider them essential. Simple upgrades like programmable thermostats are sufficient and cost-effective.

Cosmetic Overhauls

Extensive Painting

Repainting your entire house in trendy colors is not necessary. Neutral tones are best, as they appeal to a wide range of buyers. A fresh coat of paint in key areas can make a big difference without the expense of a full repaint.

Flooring Upgrades

Replacing all floor coverings, such as hardwood flooring or carpets, can be expensive. Focus on refinishing hardwood flooring or cleaning existing carpets instead. Minor repairs, like fixing minor cracks or scratches, can also help.

Landscaping and Exterior

Extensive Landscaping Projects

Curb appeal is important, but spending too much money on elaborate landscaping is not necessary. Simple tasks like mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, and planting flowers can increase curb appeal effectively. Consider repainting the front door and ensuring the exterior looks clean and inviting.

Exterior Overhauls

Major repairs like replacing the roof, windows, or siding should be considered carefully. Unless these elements are in terrible condition, minor repairs and cleaning can suffice. Pressure washing the exterior and fixing broken seals or loose outlet plugs can make a noticeable difference.

Electrical and Safety Issues

Outdated Electrical Service Panel

Upgrading an outdated electrical service panel can be very costly. Unless there are safety hazards or building code violations, it is often best to leave this to the new owners. Addressing minor electrical issues, like a broken light switch or loose outlet plugs, can be enough.

Building Code Violations

While addressing major building code violations is crucial, minor issues can often be left for the new owners. Consult with an experienced real estate professional to determine which issues are deal breakers and which can be negotiated during the home sale process.

Personal and Minor Repairs

Highly Personalized Decor

Highly personalized decor or fixtures might not appeal to prospective buyers. Neutralizing the space by removing personal items and choosing simple, classic decor can help buyers envision themselves in the home.

Unfinished Projects

Complete any unfinished projects before listing your house. Prospective buyers might be turned off by incomplete renovations, as they suggest additional work and expense.


When considering what not to fix when selling a house, focus on cost-effective home repairs that enhance the appeal without overspending. Not all repairs are necessary or financially wise. Consulting with a local real estate agent or experienced real estate professional can help you prioritize the right improvements.


Connect With Us

A Las Vegas Premiere Real Estate Brokerage