An attractive, well-kept home will sell faster than one in need of major repairs. That simple truth leads a lot of homeowners to start making small repairs before they list their home for sale, and the logic behind oiling squeaky hinges and correcting the alignment of drawers before showing your home to potential buyers is obvious. But what about more costly upgrades?
Replacing your windows is one of the most dramatic and effective ways to enhance a home. But does replacing windows before selling your home make financial sense? The answer to that question is complicated, and depends on several factors.
How Is the Local Real Estate Market?
New windows help sell a home. A recent National Association of Home Builders survey found that 87 percent of potential buyers consider new, more energy-efficient windows “essential or desirable” in the home they’re shopping for. The line “new windows throughout” in a real estate listing can draw more potential buyers to your home. So, replacing old windows may give your home a competitive advantage in the market. Consider a free consultation today.
Does it need one? If homes are selling quickly, and buyers are generally getting the price they ask for, in your local real estate market, replacing the windows may not be necessary.
Consult with a local realtor to find out how well homes are selling in your area.
Are Your Existing Windows Going to Cause Inspection Problems?
If they’re warped, water damaged, holding moisture between the panes or otherwise in obvious poor shape, replacing them may be essential to selling your home. Virtually any buyer is going to have a professional inspection done on your home (virtually any lender is going to insist on it). If the inspector is likely to flag the windows as a problem, you’ll be faced with replacing them later in the process, when you’re consumed with your own move. Better to get it out of the way beforehand.
Are Your Existing Windows an Obvious Drawback to Buyers?
One useful trick – walk through your home as if you were considering buying it, and make a pro/con list about its features. Home shoppers are likely to look for signs of water damage around the windows, and throw them open to see if they move easily…so do that yourself as you evaluate your home. If the windows are an obvious check in the con column, you may want to eliminate the concern.
Are There Other, More Pressing Repairs?
You are likely to spend money improving the condition of your house before selling it, and you may find that the money you can budget for that is best used elsewhere. A roof that’s letting water in demands immediate repair, and may take priority over windows that are functional but could stand to be improved.
Are There Tax Incentives to Help You?
Some states and localities offer tax incentives for energy efficient windows, which could be a selling point to buyers. Investigate your options before making a decision.
Are the Windows Energy-Efficient? Soundproof?
Windows enhance a home in ways beyond the visual. That vital first impression a potential buyer gets on walking through your home can be ruined by loud train or highway sounds, while new windows will dampen neighborhood noise and help create the sense that your home is a cocoon from the outside world.
Likewise, check for drafts and rooms that hold in treated air poorly.
Does Your Home Need A Touch of Character?
Replacing all of the windows in your home can be too costly, but sometimes, replacing just one can help sell a home. A dramatic, statement window gives your home personality, and may be the market edge you need to get a great price.
Should You Replace the Front Door?
When we consulted with realtors and home builders, several noted one particular improvement that does seem to have a greater return on investment than any other step – a new front door. As you consult on possible window replacement, be sure to consider a more charming entry door, too.