In some parts of the country, handyman services made up nearly half of all home-improvement projects undertaken in the six-month period before a home sold, according to real estate website Porch.
Real estate agents and sellers prioritize repairs and aesthetic improvements that prospective buyers are likely to notice, such as upgrades to flooring, cabinets, fences and doors, says Matt Ehrlichman, chief executive of Porch, which tracks home-improvement projects.
For the analysis, details of 675,000 home-improvement projects that had been submitted to Porch by homeowners, architects, builders, real estate agents and others were compared with home listings and sales data from realtor.com, which partners with Porch. The findings: Home sellers in the Northeast and Midwest were most likely to hire a handyman for minor repairs in the six-month period before the home sale. Homeowners in the West were most likely to hire a general contractor for larger improvements. In the South, home sellers were most likely to pay for electrical upgrades and repairs.
“Just doing these minor things will help your house sell quicker and typically for more money,” says Brad Carlson, a real estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in The Woodlands, Texas.
Carlson once had the listing for a three-bedroom home with dated brass fixtures throughout. The house sat on the market for over two months with no offers until the seller finally agreed to swap the fixtures for more modern ones. Two days and $800 in new fixtures later, the home sold close to its listing price at $214,900