6 Ways to Lower Your Repair Costs When Selling Your House on Martha's Vineyard

Jen Hawkins O'Hanlon, REALTOR®


You’ve decided to sell your house. Now all you need to do is list it, wait for the best offer, and then collect your money. Well, not quite. Before you think about listing, you need to get your house ready to sell. And, unless it’s a brand-spanking-new house, that means making some repairs. Making repairs ensures that you’ll get top dollar and that you’ll have to make fewer concessions. But you don’t want to spend a ton of money that you may not get back at sale time. Here, then, are 6 ways to lower your repair costs when selling your house on Martha's Vineyard.

1. Prioritize and Plan

As with any important endeavor, but especially when selling your house on Martha's Vineyard, you should begin by prioritizing and planning. Determining what issues need to be addressed, which ones are most urgent, and then proceeding in a planned methodical fashion will go a long way toward helping you lower repair costs.

“You probably already have a pretty good idea of what repairs are needed on your house, but it’s always a good idea to map out exactly what’s on the docket and to make distinctions between small repairs and large ones. Working on your own or with your [agent], prioritize your list of repairs, starting with high-priority repair needs such as fixing a mold problem, and ending with low-priority repairs like chipped grout in the master bath. Making this list will help you get a big picture view of the repairs that your home needs and can help you figure out what you might want to tackle on your own for a successful sale.”

The standard advice is to tackle the big problems first, but don’t ignore the smaller issues. “Sometimes,” industry pros say, “fixing low-priority repairs can offset the impact of high-priority ones.” So be sure to consult your Martha's Vineyard agent to determine the best plan of attack. To discover more about this, just call (508) 212-8278.

2. Perform Major, Non-negotiable Repairs

Some repairs fall into the have-to-do category. So when selling your house on Martha's Vineyard, make sure to perform these major, non-negotiable repairs because you’ll sell faster and get a better price for your house – which, ultimately, is a savings on repair costs.

“Some repairs are major safety issues that are almost certainly going to stand in the way of your sale. This leaves you with an option: take care of them now and then list, or struggle to sell and deal with them later.”

Such repairs and issues include:

    • Mold and mildew
    • Pest infestations
    • Roof problems
    • Plumbing problems
    • Cracked/damaged foundation
    • Electrical/wiring problems
    • HVAC system issues

3. Don’t Do More Than You Need To

If you really want to lower your repair costs when selling your house on Martha's Vineyard, you also need to make sure you don’t do more than you need to, that is, not over-repairing or over-improving. Making repairs that won’t yield a good ROI at sale time will not save you money.

So be sure to look at other homes in the neighborhood and get the agent’s input. Here’s what the pros advise in this respect…

“Before you put your house on the market, there are things you might want to do that will make it more marketable to homebuyers. For example, you might want to add a fresh coat of paint or invest in curb appeal by freshening up your landscaping. These are good ideas, but you don’t want to go so far that you’re improving your home more than what’s in line with your neighborhood. Even if you have the most beautiful house in the neighborhood, there are going to be limitations to what you can sell it for based on the location. Over-improving can lead you to either price your home too high, or you can end up losing money.”

4. DIY as Much as Is Feasible

If you have the skills and the time, DIY-ing as much of the repairs as possible is a good way to save on repair costs when selling your house on Martha's Vineyard. It’s much cheaper than hiring a professional, and many of the tasks are easier than you may think.

A lot of the low-priority repairs, especially maintenance tasks, don’t require any special skills, just a little elbow grease. You could, for example, change out cabinet hardware yourself and clean the gutters.  And remember, as we mentioned above, these smaller things can have a big impact.

5. Comparison Shop for Professional Services

When you do have to call in the professionals – contractors, plumbers, painters, and so on – be sure to shop around. Getting the best value from them can also lower your repair costs when selling your house on Martha's Vineyard.

Here’s what industry experts say: “When you’re preparing to sell your home before you hire any professionals to do some comparison shopping. You want to balance a sense of value with the quality of services. This includes choosing a real estate agent as well as a photographer, a home inspector, and others. Again, as with a real estate agent, you might be able to negotiate on fees to save more money.”

6. Hire an Experienced Local Agent

Unfortunately, selling your house on Martha's Vineyard is going to cost you some money, so you want to do everything you can to reduce those costs. And one of the best ways to do that is by hiring an experienced Martha's Vineyard agent. Your agent will know exactly which repairs will have the most impact in the local market. She will also be able to guide you through the whole selling process while helping you lower costs and maximize profits. So if selling your Martha's Vineyard house is on the horizon, be sure to contact us today at (508) 212-8278.


As a team, we work in harmony for the benefit of our clients. We handle multiple transactions at once and are able to execute a complex marketing strategy by leveraging team resources. We can be in several physical locations at once to ensure showings are always possible for our buyers and sellers. Our clients benefit from the combined experience of our agents and administrative staff.

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