The Cost To Fix

There is a well known concept in software development based on Cost to Fix. It highlights the importance of identifying problems as early as possible by quantifying the cost of fixing bugs at various stages of the development process. If a problem is identified right up front during requirements specification costs $1 to fix, the same problem discovered in design will be 5 times that, during coding 10 times, and so on until a problem not discovered until after the software is operational is 150 times or more costly to repair.

Invest the time and effort to fix them up front is the message!

The same compelling logic applies when selling your home.

If a problem that you identify and fix prior to listing or marketing your home has a cost of $1, then that same problem can cost you $10 is discovered by a buyer during marketing, even more - maybe 20 times if found during negotiations and so on, leaping as you go along. 

Why? After all the issue has not changed. 

Just like software development the later the issue is uncovered the more significant the impact of the problem (because it affects more people) and the 'messier' the situation becomes. It's a stone thrown into a pond - the longer you leave it the wider the ripple. The cost is the reduction in value of the property that comes from the more conservative estimates to fix buyers will make, the loss of trust and suspicion about what else is wrong that has not been uncovered, and the risk the sale could fall over. Of course if the issue is not identified until after settlement the cost escalation can be very dramatic - lawyers are expensive! Just ask anyone that has sold what turns out to be a leaky home.

When put into that context spending time before sale to check your property is a smart investment. Look at purchasing a pre-sale inspection, examine your home carefully for issues and repair known problems.

The message is the same - fix issues up front! If they can’t be fixed, or you choose not to fix them make sure you disclose them early. It will pay dividends......

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