repairing old wood fence

Repairing or Replacing a Fence Before a Move

There comes the day when a person wants to buy a house. Perhaps they are tired of apartment living and now desire a home of their own, one where it is possible to paint the walls and put down new carpet without asking a landlord’s permission. After house shopping for a while, most people come to see a pattern. Homes that appear neglected on the outside generally have been neglected on the inside as well. Once prospective customers draw this conclusion, they tend not to wish to see the interior of any house whose exterior fence is in a state of disrepair. Therefore, every homeowner getting ready to sell a house needs to take a fresh look at the state of their property’s fencing.

Look with Fresh Eyes

Imagine being a homeowner wanting to sell their house. When preparing their house for sale, one of the first things that they must do is to look at their home with fresh eyes. Take a walk around the block and then approach the house and look it as if for the first time. What does it look like? What overall first impression does the property give to people who might be interested in buying it? How great is its appeal? What is the first thing that people see? What does the fence that goes with the property look like? Does it add to the overall appeal?

First Impressions Say a Lot

Both perimeter fencing and front yard fencing are part of the overall property design and they speak volumes. It is natural that people tend to assume that an unkempt or neglected home exterior is indicative of the interior. Any given potential homebuyer has dreams of what they hope purchasing a house will do for them. They perhaps dream of the home and family they hope to establish. When arriving at a home for sale, one whose once-white picket fence is now algae green in places, with a number of broken pickets and a gate that sags, they are apt to want to make haste to run the other way. If the fencing of a property going up for sale is in any way an eyesore, it should be removed, repaired, or replaced.

Circumstances Vary

Each homeowner will have to weigh the pros and cons of such situations to his own circumstances. What one homeowner would choose to hire someone to do for him, another might do for himself. Things that need to be factored into such an equation include one’s desire, time constraints, physical ability, specialized knowledge applicable to the task, urgency, and more. One person might enjoy creating a special project out of restoring the home’s fence but industry experts say that as a general rule that homeowners should repair fences that have minor to moderate damage (up to 30%) and to replace the ones whose repairs would be lengthy and expensive as replacement is the more cost-effective option.

Consider the Purpose

Homeowners should always consider the purpose of the fencing they’re evaluating, as it may have a substantial bearing on their decision making process. For example, suppose that the property includes a house, a barn, and five acres. It is located in an area dense with mini-farms. It is nearly a given that anybody moving into the area will have horses with which to fill the barn and graze the pastures. Like as not, they’ll be more interested in the quality of the fencing than of the house. Take strip of privacy fencing at the edge of a home lot. It’s starting to buckle and serves no good purpose, as trees have grown up to provide better privacy than the fence ever did. The homeowner in this scenario would be well-advised to simply remove the fence altogether. If the fence was installed to perform a function it should be able to perform that function before property is listed.

Good Fences are Inviting

Think of a home’s fencing as if it were a picture frame. Fencing, like a frame, ideally complements and displays its contents. Fencing is an integral part of any home’s presentation. It provides the first inkling that an approaching stranger might have as to the level of pride that the homeowner has in his property. Fencing should set a property apart. It should invite people in. It should tell the world that this is the home of wonderful people. A weary and dilapidated fence tells a different story, however, one of neglect. Unfortunately, it is a story that automatically repels a certain percentage of potential buyers.

Good Fences Function Well

Good fences function as intended. Livestock fences contain livestock. Privacy fences provide privacy. Perimeter fences keep the bad guys out and the family safe and snug. Deer fences keep one’s garden safe from roaming wild deer. If the fence in question is one that the new homeowners are likely to want to use, then it needs to be in good condition if it is to be there at all.

Inspect Fences Before Listing

Before making the decision to repair or replace one’s fence, inspect it carefully. Because fences are outdoors, they take the brunt of whatever the weather has to offer. They’re subject to damage from the weather. The degree to which fences degrade when exposed to the elements depends largely upon where they’re located, how they’re constructed, and how frequently they are used. It may be that the fence needs no major repairs. Many times a shabby looking fence just needs to be spruced up a bit with a powerwash and a coat of paint. New hinges and hardware will make the fence pop, and is set to send the perfect message to the potential buyers who come to see the home.

Always Get Multiple Quotes

If a homeowner has the requisite desire, the necessary knowledge, enough time, and all the correct tools then they may wish fix or install that fence themself. The homeowner gets to decide what is best. Nobody will do the job with more investment than a homeowner will, as they are already invested in the success of the property’s sale. However, if the homeowner is a busy working professional who has little enough free time already, then they are better advised to call around and get multiple quotes for the job, no matter what job that turns out to be: replacement, repair, or even removal.

Every seller dreams their home will star in a real-estate romance, one where the perfect couple comes driving by, falls in love with the house and pays the full asking price just hours after being listed. The appropriate use of the fencing around one’s home and in their landscape will do as much to further this objective as anything. It will do more than just catch the eye of people passing by. It will draw the perfect new owner straight to the home’s front door.

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