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Should we wait to list until the repairs are made?

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Should we list now or wait until after the repairs are made?

Dear Phyllis,

I enjoy keeping up with real estate trends and reading your column. We have owned our home for over twenty years and it needs remodeling. At minimum we have a month’s worth of repairs and improvements prior to getting our home on the market; we plan on painting, refinishing hardwood floors and updating the baths. Should we list the home now, and just explain what work we are doing, or should we wait to list until the repairs are made?


Dear JLE,

I am delighted that you enjoy my real estate column. Please don’t commit to any improvements in your home until you speak to a real estate agent or home stager. There is currently a shortage of inventory (homes for sale) and we are once again experiencing a seller’s market.

Refinishing hardwood floors and painting seem like practical updates which should pay for themselves, but allow a real estate professional to help you make those decisions. They can also assist you with color selections. The scope of repairs that you might consider depend on many variables, such as your home’s price range, amount of inconvenience you are willing to suffer and return on investment. Having your hardwood floors refinished will be inconvenient. A real estate agent can assist you in developing a workable (and realistic) list of repairs and timetable.

There is nothing to prevent you from signing a listing agreement today. Many home sellers derive months of extra assistance from their Realtor by committing to hiring them early in the process. Your agent can start to advertise your home as “coming soon”; prepare marketing materials, etc. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by involving a real estate agent early on in the process. We are paid by the job, not the length of time. Hiring a Realtor today will allow you an extra month or so of our knowledge and work at no additional cost to you.

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One thought on “Should we wait to list until the repairs are made?

  1. Carrie says:

    My friend in Arizona wants to sell and had a long list of repairs and improvements she planned. When she ran it by her realtor she was shocked to find many of the things she thought were a must were not going to help her bottom line at all. She has saved time and money and effort by consulting a professional

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