Should I Rewire my House Before Selling? 

November 11, 2021

When considering what to renovate before selling your home, not surprisingly, a few costly redos are always at the top of debate lists. Rewiring, replumbing, or installing a new furnace before selling adds important monetary value to a home. 

When you sell your house, if you choose not to install windows, re-shingle your roof, or finish a basement, it is mainly assumed that a new buyer can visually see what they are choosing to involve themselves in.

As a plumbing, electrical, and HVAC company, we are in the unique position of installing, repairing, and inspecting three systems that remain mostly hidden from a new buyer behind the house walls. 

Points to ponder regarding whether to upgrade your electrical systems:

  • How inconvenient will the state of the current electrical system make a new buyer’s life? Much of the debate around replacing the wiring before selling has to do with how bad your home’s electrical is currently. If the panel is presently 100 amps, it is insufficient for most people’s needs today. 
  • Renovations like wiring, HVAC, and plumbing are considered home systems; having those upgrades crossed off a list is a huge bonus for people. Choosing to do cosmetic renovations over system renovations may backfire. Your design may not be done in the style of the potential buyer and with outdated home systems, potential buyers may look beyond your house. New electrical, plumbing, and HVAC always instill a sense of security for people. Even in a sellers’ market, you need to be aware people may choose a house with updated systems. See our Electrical Services here.
  • The quality and safety standards of any renovation matter a lot. Always have professionals undertake electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system installations and repairs. Read our article ‘7 Warning Signs That Your Furnace Needs to be Repaired.’ No one other than a Licensed Electrical Contractor should do electrical work. Too many disastrous electrical repairs and installations have taken place by DIYers. 
  • So, it may be enough for you to provide basic rewiring, which shows potential buyers your consideration for them. (We always like people who are considerate.) Read our article ‘Is my Older Electrical Wiring Safe: do I Need an Electrician?

    What helps you decide whether or not to replace the electrical before you sell your house? There are three points from which to view this discussion: the Return on Your Investment (ROI), legal, and ethical (or moral).

    1. What is the generally acknowledged Return on Your Investment (ROI) for electrical system renovations?

    Although located in California, a renovation company Imagineer Remodelling puts plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems at the top of the list for ROIs.

    First Stay BC Realty agrees that immediate problems like a leaking roof and outdated wiring are “red flags to home inspectors and mortgage companies.” 

    Pro Remodelling, a renovation company in Tucson, Arizona, suggests electrical system upgrades have a very high ROI of  87%.

    2. The legalities of disclosure of patent (visible) and latent (not apparent or discoverable by a home inspector) defects are bound by the Real Estate Council of Ontario. 

    You do not have to legally replace your home’s old, unsafe, or faulty wiring, but you must disclose its condition.

    When presenting their offer, a new buyer will consider the fact that they will need to do the wiring.

    Other conditions that must be disclosed are physical damages, infestations, deaths in the house, the condition of the wiring, drinking water health, work done without building permits, mould, prior floods, prior illegal activity, and plumbing leaks. 

    3. Ethics and morals are the codes of conduct to which we as a society and individually hold one another and ourselves to ensure a culture of caring and safety. 

    Every day on our streets and highways, red lights are run to save one driver seconds, putting fellow drivers and pedestrians in danger of injury and death. Society’s ethics have the ability to influence personal morals.

    We may very badly not want to disclose the wiring is unsafe; however, our morals and society’s ethics steer us to imagine the possible outcomes of hiding something that could potentially cause someone injury or even death. According to Canada’s Mike Holmes, “20% of house fires in Canada are caused by faulty electrical wiring.” 

    If you are a soon-to-be new home buyer, you should interview the home inspectors you are considering.

    Everyone must be licenced in the instance of buying and purchasing expensive homes except for home inspectors. Read more here of Mike Holmes’s suggestions about what you should ask a home inspector before inspecting the home you are considering buying.

    A dangerous electrical system may look like it is new at wall outlets and switches. 

    Hiding outdated or unsafe wiring by connecting new wiring to old is dangerous, often leading to sparking and fires within walls. 

    Among the warning signs of unsafe wiring, Mike Holmes suggests homeowners should be aware of:

    • Outdated wiring.
    • Breakers or fuses that constantly trip or must be changed.
    • Lightbulbs and lighting fixtures that flicker and dim.
    • Abnormally hot walls or outlets.
    • Plugs that fall out of outlets.

    Electricity also creates heat, and over time expansion and contraction of wires caused by heating loosens connections that can cause arcing or sparking between loosely connected wire ends. 

    If you consider selling your home, it is always a good idea to have various professionals weigh in on minimal or required renovations.

    Plumbhouse Plumbing, Heating & Electrical will inspect your electrical system and make recommendations before you consider selling your house.

    Please call us in the London Ontario area: (519) 453 4650.

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    November 11, 2021 9:46 am

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