Sunday, February 16, 2014

Deferred Maintenance--The Bane of a Home Selling

Deferred Maintenance

The Bane of Home Sales

Frequently, whether previewing a home with seller looking to prepare a home for sale or showing homes to a buyer, deferred maintenance is more present than not present.

What is deferred maintenance?  Deferred Maintenanc is needed repair work in a given house that has not been performed.

At times, deferred maintenace is as show in the picture above.  Walls with "stale" paint and tile grout needing cleaning are maintenance items that are common.  These items reduce a home's value to the buyer as the "home doesn't shine" and there is money/time/labor to be expended to correct the issue.

Factors like dated lighting, peeling mirrors, brick steps needing pointing and like are really cosmetic issues that could have been resolved easily by the seller at any time for minor cost.

On the other end of the spectrum, expensive deferred maintenance that will frighten away many home buyers and are frequently unaffordable(by finances or perception) for the home seller.

Roof issues are one of the most frequent.  Samples above could be simple tab replacement or may be indicative of a roof past its prime.  With roof replacement typically being in excess of $3000 tends to be passed on to buyers.  This can be due to cost or perception of "the roof isn't leaking so the buyer has nothing to worry about".  In such situations, the buyers highly discount the price due to inflating the cost of repair.

Another major deficiency is stained or warned carpet.  Though the cost is more reasonable to the seller and typically is acknowledged as a item to address.  The logistics of moving furniture and disrupting the daily event of the house causes sellers to refrain from replacing the carpet.  

You can think of any major factor of a house that hasn't been addressed in years and most likely cost and the fact that the item not addressed still serves its purpose is the reason that deferred maintanence is present.  Heating and cooling are prime examples.

In summary, deferred mainteance items are present in many homes.   Buyers hate to see it. Sellers frequently acknowledge the issue. Yet, the cost of repair and the knowledge that "nothing is really broken" makes the Sellers resilient to do the repair.

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