General InformationShould You Replace Your Windows Before You Sell Your Home?

July 22, 2021
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Why On Earth Would You Replace The Windows On A Home You Are Selling?

Window replacement is a major investment and something most do with an eye toward decades of trouble-free use. So why do people replace the windows on a home they intend to vacate in short order? Well, let’s explore the concept together.

The Mentality Of Home Buyers

Homebuyers are looking for two things once they’ve settled on the area in which they wish to live. First is a house they can turn into a home for their family. The second is a home that isn’t facing any major renovations in the near future.

House Into Home

Turning a house into a home is not a complicated process. Homebuyers are anxious to end the troublesome house shopping experience, so they are more than willing to make allowances for minor inconsistencies with their dream. Consequently, they convince themselves that the minor tweaks they envision can be easily accomplished on their own.

Maring The Dream

Major renovations, however, don’t fit nicely in everyone’s dream home scenario and can scuttle a sale in a heartbeat. So while they won’t necessarily care about the windows so long as they function as advertised, the required home inspection will have much to say.

These days, home inspections look beyond mere function and place home features into two categories: energy efficient or not energy efficient, and that is especially true of windows. Older windows, even if maintained perfectly, are not energy efficient.

Dollar Signs

Homebuyers view mortgages in the light of monthly payments, making the huge purchase cost easier to handle while ignoring the large pile of debt they are about to take on. But home remodels don’t get the same treatment. The full cost of the remodel is all that is considered, even if financing is used.

So, a couple looking to buy one house with new windows for $260,000 will look at an equally nice house with older windows and is priced at $230,000 as a bad risk. Sensible? No. But true? Yes. And trust me, if you have older windows that can’t compete with modern efficiency standards, most buyers will consider them in need of replacement.

The result is that buyers will want to enter into an upgrade agreement where the seller covers the cost of replacing the windows or ask for a significant drop in the selling price. You will eventually reach a point when you are so anxious to get out from under your mortgage that you’ll agree to one of the other proposals.

Why Windows Are So Important To Buyers

Today’s Massachusetts homebuyer is most likely in their 30’s and deeply concerned about their impact on the world. They use phrases like “carbon footprint” in earnest and value every opportunity to keep their footprint as small as possible.

Heat Loss

Compared to modern windows, older windows may as well be just holes in your walls. They transmit outdoor heat and cold into your home with ease, and their framing has little to no insulative capacity at all.

However, the best modern windows react differently to outdoor temperatures and let heat through in the winter and keep the cool air inside during the summer. They also have great sound insulation properties, and their frames are installed with insulation and seals that won’t allow any air to get through.

Sun Damage

Modern windows, especially of the fiberglass variety, all but ignore the sun’s rays on their surfaces and can be designed to let in only harmless energy from the sun. On the other hand, older windows transmit all of the sun’s energy through the panes and can even focus its effect, resulting in fade spots on the flooring and furniture and UV radiation damage to everything it touches.

Climate Control

Modern windows do such an excellent job at keeping all elements of the outside world at bay that energy bills will shrink just because they were installed in a home. The HVAC system will run less often and with smaller swings in temperature when it does run.

The Bottom Line

While you may not care about any of this, and certainly not a maximum of $400 in energy savings over a whole year, your buyers will. And once they start thinking about your window replacement, they’ll start worrying about other inefficiencies in your home. The negative thoughts will snowball from there, and they will soon be making their excuses as they make their way out of your home.

Now, if you replace your old windows with modern and efficient windows, that whole train of thought never gets started. Of course, they may want a more efficient HVAC system, a cool roof, or even new siding, but those feel more like preferences to a buyer and are acceptable after-sale costs. Sensible? No. True? Yes.

New windows will get you:

  • More offers
  • Higher Offers
  • Better Home Inspection Reports
  • A Quicker Sale

Old windows will get you:

  • Fewer Offers
  • Discount Requests
  • Complicated Purchase Agreements
  • A Painful Sales Process

It doesn’t need to make sense to you; it only needs to make sense to the buyers because, in the end, they are the ones in control.

If you are getting ready to sell your Central Massachusetts home, contact us at Solid State Construction for a free consultation.