There was a sort of silly article last summer, “What You Can Do if Your Air Conditioner Breaks Before Selling Your House”—a title designed to ensure that Carmel readers who plan on selling their Carmel house will put everything on hold while they find out “what they can do” if their A/C goes AWOL.
A more recent article—also a must-read for home sellers with broken A/Cs—was titled, “Can You Sell A House with a Broken Air Conditioner?” The answer was ‘yes’—but with a resulting “severe impact” on the sale price. The author pointed out that “it is wiser and safer to get your A/C fixed” before listing it.
Both rate a solid “10” on the duh meter.
But both bring to mind some serious surveys. Carmel homeowners can find dozens of online lists showing the costs and probable Returns On Investment that various maintenance upgrades are likely to garner. For instance, a weather-beaten front door is one item that merits refinishing (or even total replacement) due to its prominence in setting the stage for successful showings. Less likely to pay for its cost is a “major kitchen remodel.” The National Association of Home Builders authored a study which showed that minor remodeling efforts—like replacing cabinet fronts with more stylish ones—are likely to return 25% more of their cost than do more comprehensive kitchen projects.
Nowhere in these lists do broken air conditioners—and what to do about them—make an appearance. Perhaps that’s due to the way seasonality can affect their value. In January, disclosure of a broken central air system could seem a lot less important than a roofing defect. But in July and August, a showing that turned out to coincide with one of Carmel’s heatwaves could be a very short (and disastrous) one.
I’m afraid that the more accurate answer to “can you sell a house with a broken air conditioner?” is probably, “not until winter!” And the answer to the original “what can you do?” question is, “Just fix it!”
Of course, the busted A/C issue is a simple one—but determining which of all the possible fixes and upgrades merit action is a lot more complicated. We bring our wide experience to assist clients with those and the many other choices that create a successful sale. Call us!