Before listing your home for sale, it’s smart to take inventory of its own shortcomings. This will allow you to set a fair listing price — and manage your expectations.
If your current windows are old, failing or not energy efficient, think about a total replacement to improve your home’s marketability and make the sale smoother.
On average, sellers make 2.2 renovations or improvements to prepare to market their home, with 79% making at least one improvement.
Should I replace my windows before selling my house?
You should replace your windows if you foresee the old windows becoming an issue during the sale process — either because they’ll raise red flags throughout a buyer’s inspection or because they could negatively affect your listing price. Just be prepared for the financial burden of a large undertaking.
Replacing windows is a pricey endeavor, so first determine if it is a necessary measure or a skippable cosmetic fix.
When to replace windows
Older windows might deter buyers searching for a move-in ready or energy-efficient home. In addition to updating windows for marketability, here are a few cases where you really should consider replacing some or all of your windows.
Inoperable windows: Replace windows with broken glass or broken latches, springs or locks.
Drafty windows: Mature windows are less energy efficient because of how they have been designed, but all windows can start letting drafts through as your home stinks.
Inefficient windows: Older windows don’t block UV rays as well as newer windows, which means they let heat more easily.
Can I market with no replacing my windows?
A home with outdated windows still ought to sell on the open market, but anticipate negotiations from buyers to cover the cost of window replacements. There are two ways this can happen:
Buyer requests a repair before closure: This is usually a more cost-effective choice for sellers, because you have control over what type of windows are installed.
Buyer requests a credit for new windows: This is usually the more expensive alternative, because the buyer may ask for a credit that can cover top windows, and they won’t be as worried about shopping around for a fantastic deal.
Average cost to replace windows before selling a house
Windows and doors are some of the more expensive pre-listing repairs. New windows price between $600-$900 per window, depending upon material. Your installer may also charge $100 per window for removing the old windows and frames.
According to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Price vs. Value Report, here’s what average U.S. homeowners spend on window replacements:
New vinyl window cost
Vinyl windows with vinyl frames and casing offer good thermal resistance and are more affordable than wood windows.
- Average national cost: $16,802
- Average resale value: $12,332
- ROI: 73.4%
- New wood window cost
Wood windows with wood frames offer great thermal resistance but are pricier than vinyl.
- Average national cost: $20,526
- Average resale value: $14,530
- ROI: 70.8percent
Be aware that the majority of home improvement jobs do not carry a 100% return on investment. In fact, according to Remodeling magazine, there are not any home developments in their 2019 report that can recoup every last dollar spent.
But even without a great financial return, pre-listing upgrades can pay off in a faster sale, higher sale price and smoother negotiations.
Just how much value do new windows add into a home?
New windows can positively impact a buyer’s willingness to pay full asking price — or even close to it. Here are a few more ways new windows may help you market your home faster and for more money.
Many buyers are currently looking for a move-in ready property that won’t require much work after closure. Moving to a turnkey home can be less stressful, and it reduces the financial burden of doing enhancements shortly after buying.
New energy-efficient windows are a great selling point. Energy efficiency was ranked as extremely or very important to 56% of buyers.
Make certain that you promote new windows and any other energy-efficient upgrades in your listing description. Savvy buyers will notice the kind of windows you’ve installed.
Wood and vinyl tend to be much more energy efficient than aluminum, and casement windows are more resistant to air leaks. They may also look for insulated windows or those who have special coatings.
If you install windows that are Energy Star-rated, your buyers can expect to save, on average, $126-$465 per year in energy costs compared to single-pane windows, and $27-$100 per year compared to double-pane clear glass windows.
The benefits of new windows aren’t just functional. New windows can also be a decorative improvement, especially if you’re planning on painting or replacing the trim.
They can also have a positive impact on curb appeal. Whether they’re searching for homes on the internet or driving through your area, how your home looks from the road can make or break a buyer’s first impression.
Newer windows can help block outside noise, depending on the type of windows you pick. If you live near a train, an airport or a crowded street, replacing windows with laminated glass, double-pane or even triple-pane windows can ease buyers’ worries.
Considerations about window choice
Given how costly windows are, the real return on utility prices isn’t as large as you may think. For example, if you invest $120 a month on utilities, new windows get you a 15% savings ($18 per month), and you also spend $10,000 on windows, it is going to take you a little over 46 years to break even.
Also, whilst vinyl windows are somewhat more affordable, always consider maintaining your home’s character. Don’t put vinyl windows on an old or historic home.
Replace some windows
Alternatives to new windows before selling
If you plan to sell and don’t want to replace every window in the house, think about these more cost-effective choices.
Replace just damaged or broken windows or any that are serious eyesores.
Add energy-efficient solar film
Apply solar film to older windows to block UV rays and enhance energy efficiency.
Add new caulking or weatherstripping
Caulking and weatherstripping wear out over time, so replacing can help minimize air leaks — something home inspectors usually look for.