The Most Expensive Repairs for a Home You’re Trying to Sell

Workers on a roof replacing shingles for a roof replacement.

When a property needs to sell and sell fast, it can be extremely demoralizing to realize that it needs repairs, especially when those repairs are going to cost a lot of money. You have a choice: you can either make these expensive house repairs, or you can sell the house at a discounted price, knowing that the new buyer will have to deal with the expense.

But what do you choose to fix and what do you choose to leave? These are major home repairs, and the decision will come down to the amount of time you have to sell the house, the money you have in the bank, and what kind of offers you can get for it without repair.

The Most Costly Home Repairs

#1. Foundation Repairs

Found repair is a big expense and a cracked foundation is something that is surely going to get flagged by the home inspector. There can be many signs that the home foundation is bad. Some are less noticeable than others: you might find that certain doors or windows don’t open and shut properly-that’s because the house isn’t perfectly square anymore.

But more noticeable problems will be sloped floors, bad drainage or even cracks in the foundation that allow water to seep into your basement.

The average cost of a foundation repair can cost a few hundred dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. In the worst case scenario, you could be looking at $15,000 to $20,000 for a foundation repair.

#2. Roof Replacement

Have a leaky roof? You may not realize you do until you get up into the attic. But you can be sure that the home inspector will look there. And not without good reason, too, because water damage in the attic can lead to rot and mold, which can be highly dangerous.

Go outside and look at your roof. If you notice shingles missing or a droop in a portion of the roof, or if inside the home you see brown spots on your ceiling, then call in a roofing contractor to get an estimate. It might be nothing more than replacing some shingles which will cost a few hundred dollars, but a full roof repair or replacement can be $5,000 to $10,000, or even more for large houses.

#3. Termite Damage

This problem is best found in your crawl space or in your basement, and the signs you should be looking for are, well, swarms of termites. You can also look for the bodies or wings of dead termites.

In the best case scenario, the termites are new and you simply need a good exterminator. That might cost $500-$600. If you have structural damage to the house-especially to those beams and joists in the basement-then it’ll be more like $6,000 to $10,000.

#4. Electrical Issues

An electrical issue may be nothing more than a light switch that needs to be rewired. But if your home-especially an old home-has repeated bad electrical problems, including frequently tripping circuit breakers, shocks from outlets or appliances, or flickering lights, then you might need to have parts of your home-or your whole home-rewired.

Repairing an outlet or a lightswitch can be less than $100, but replacing all the wiring in your home? You’re looking at $15,000.

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