When it comes to home sales, your HVAC system can be a sticking point as easily as it can be a selling point. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing an HVAC system when planning to sell, but there are some tried-and-true strategies that you can employ depending on your situation. Below we’ve compiled our best tips for home sellers with HVAC questions.
Do: Schedule a full maintenance inspection and cleaning. You should be doing this every six months. If you haven’t, now is the time. This is essential as it will let you know the exact condition of your home’s HVAC system. There’s a large difference between a furnace with a couple winters left and one that you should’ve replaced already. By having your equipment serviced, inspected, and cleaned, you equip yourself to make an educated decision about the relative costs of replacing and selling without replacing.
Don’t: Expect your money back. New HVAC systems are like new cars, you’re never going to see a 100% return on your investment. Even if you install the new system weeks before selling, it won’t add the price of the system to the home. This shouldn’t automatically scare you away from making a change, just plan it in advance. HVAC systems typically last 10-15 years. If you replace your system a few years before selling, you can enjoy consistent comfort and still have a modern system in place for the next homeowners.
Do: Consider your target market. People looking at million dollar homes have different needs and different desires than those looking at fixer-uppers. If your home has been fully renovated outside of the HVAC system, that system is the difference between a home that is ready to move into and one that needs work. That can disqualify your house from consideration by anyone who is looking for a no-hassle home purchase. Whereas, if your home needs TLC in a number of areas, that twenty-year old furnace isn’t really going to stick out.
Don’t: Ignore the marketing opportunities. A new HVAC system can cause prospective home buyers to overlook a home’s flaws. The knowledge that they’re getting new equipment that will last well into the future can give prospects peace of mind when viewing your home. If you make an efficiency upgrade, like adding a smart thermostat, comparing your utility bills to your area’s average is a great way to highlight the benefits of your home.
Do: Remain flexible. An outdated HVAC system isn’t the kiss of death for most homes, but it could require a bit of compromise on your part. When selling homes with older HVAC equipment, it isn’t uncommon for seller to negotiate a price break to help cover a new system or an aftermarket warranty for the old system. Do your homework beforehand and gather prices for a new HVAC system for your home so that you are negotiating from an educated position.