Is It A Good Idea To Replace An Air Conditioner Before Selling A Home?

Buyers look at several factors when considering which homes to purchase, and the health of major appliances is often in the top 10 on their list of concerns. In your quest to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, you may be wondering if it's a good idea to replace your air conditioner. Here are a few things to consider to help you make that decision.

Are There Problems with Your Current Unit?

A good indicator of whether or not you should replace your air conditioner before selling the home is if you're having problems with it. However, not all issues require you to ditch the old unit in favor of a new one. You should only consider replacing the air conditioner if the cost of repairs exceeds the unit's value, the issue significantly impacts its function, and/or the unit is close to the end of its lifecycle.

For example, it can cost between $2,200 and $2,800 to replace the compressor in an air conditioner unit. If your current AC is 10 years old, you may want to simply replace it since the lifespan of an AC is 10 to 15 years and the cost of a new one averages $5,250. However, if your unit is only five years old and just needs to have the fan motor replaced (which costs $400 to $500), it's best to just make the repairs.

Are You Willing to Negotiate on the Home's Price?

Another thing you should consider is whether you are willing to make a concession on the home's price to account for the cost of fixing or replacing the air conditioner. It's not always a given that home buyers will ask about the AC unit or even care that it may be on its last legs. Therefore, replacing it may be waste of money. An alternative option, therefore, is to negotiate a discount off the home's prices to potential buyers who do raise a fuss about the appliance.

This can actually save you money down the line, especially if your air conditioner is an older model. Some newer units are much bigger than the ones from a few decades ago. If your air conditioner is housed somewhere with limited space (e.g. attic), you may need to make renovations to the area to accommodate the new unit, increasing the overall replacement cost. By negotiating just the cost to replace the AC, you can save yourself a lot of cash.

Will It Make Your Home More Competitive?

At the end of the day, you're trying to get someone to choose your home over the others on the market. Installing a brand new air conditioner can provide you with several talking points that may sway buyers in your favor. For example, "energy efficient" is a buzzword that captures people's attention, especially when you point out how much they will save on their energy bills each month. New appliances typically come with warranties, which can help reduce the cost of any repairs the unit may need.

Many newer models also have the latest tech, something that may make younger buyers happy. For example, today's air conditioners have built-in wireless capabilities that let owners operate them from afar using their phones and an app. Some can even be connected to home automation systems, which are all the rage these days.

If you think upgrading your air conditioner will give you a leg up over the competition, especially if your neighbors also have new units, then it's a good idea to replace yours.

For help choosing the right course of action in this situation or assistance with choosing a new air conditioner, contact a local HVAC company.