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Lisa Fermanis CLHMS, CNHS, RCC
RE/MAX Suburban

Should You Replace a Fence Before Listing Your House?

As you prepare to sell your home, you might realize that it needs repairs. If your fence is in bad shape, replacing it might help you quickly find a buyer.

Reasons to Replace a Fence
First impressions are everything when selling a home. You don’t want a damaged fence to be one of the first things that potential buyers see. If they do, they might assume that you neglected the rest of the property and might not even bother to get out of their car and come inside.

A fence that’s falling down or that has missing boards or damaged metal is a safety hazard and a security risk. For a family with young children or pets, the condition of your fence might be a dealbreaker.

A damaged fence can injure a child or a pet. It can allow a pet to escape from the yard or give a young child an opportunity to leave the yard and possibly wander into the street.

A fence that’s in poor condition can give an intruder easy access to the property. Someone can break into the house, garage, or shed or harm the house’s residents. A neighbor’s pet or a wild animal can enter the yard through a damaged fence and injure a child or a pet.

Options to Consider
If your fence is severely damaged, you might have to take it down and replace it before you put your house on the market. That can be a costly option, but it can pay off. A new fence can instantly improve your property’s curb appeal, make it more appealing to buyers, and help you get a sum that’s close to your asking price, or maybe even higher.

You might want to install a fence that’s made with a different material. If you have a rusted or unattractive metal fence, a new one that’s made of wood or vinyl will make the property look better and provide more privacy for the next owners.

It might not be necessary to install a brand-new fence. If the fence looks unattractive but is otherwise in good condition, a fresh coat of paint or stain might be all it needs. If damage is limited to certain areas, the fence might only require minor repairs.

Prioritize Home Upgrades
Your house might have other, more pressing problems that need to be addressed before you put it on the market, or you might have a limited amount of money available for repairs. Small, inexpensive improvements often have more of an impact on buyers’ impressions than large, expensive projects. If you aren’t sure which upgrades you should prioritize, ask your real estate agent for advice.