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Having to replace a fuse every time the doorbell rings is not a selling point

The cost of 2 fuses is only $2.99, but when you have to replace the fuse every time someone comes to show the home and they ring the door bell to make sure no one is home, then it can get real expensive real quick.

Thought the price of the home is great, when they walk in and see that there is no power in the main rooms, then they tend to know something is wrong. No inspector needed to tell me there isn’t enough power to run everything in the house when the fuse is blown when you walk in.

photo of fuses by bretwalda

Often I’ll get a call saying there is no power in the living room and kitchen, they were going to check the circuits to see if it got flipped to find out there is no circuit, just a fuse box and a black burnt out fuse. That can quickly end the chances of that buyer buying that home or if they like the rest of the home, you are going to get a real low ball offer from them.

This happened to me recently and the sellers ended up having to take a real hit on the price of this property because they weren’t willing to get the electrical fixed. The cost to get the electrically updated… About $5,000, the hit they took on the price because they just didn’t want to deal with it was $12,000. Was it worth it? Nope, but they just didn’t want to deal with it.

Do you own a house that you want to sell that needs a few repairs done before putting it on the market? If you want, we can get you in touch with many contractors that are willing to do the work and get paid at closing at no additional cost. A great way to get some simple needed fixes done that will help sell your home.

If you are in the market to sell your home in the Beaverton, Oregon area, give Todd Clark and the Friendly Home Team a call at 503-524-9494 or email me at and we will help you sell your home fast and for top dollar. So, remember having to replace a fuse every time the doorbell rings is not a selling point.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 31 commentsRespect Realty LLC • January 11 2012 12:04PM


Great points on getting repairs done before putting your home on the market!

Posted by go to & get 20 Listing Appointments per month (Real Estate Faster) about 7 years ago

Heading out in a bit to make a list of repairs needed prior to listing a vintage farmhouse (built in 1901) in Ridgefield. We are also having a full inspection done prior to listing - it's important to know what we're dealing with - now. Not once an offer is on the table.

Have a good Wednesday Todd - and keep up the good work, personally, and professionally.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 7 years ago

I is amazing that sellers will reduce their price by tens of thousands of dollars rather than address small issues that deter a sale.  They should have taken your good advice from the get-go!

Posted by Jane & Garry Smith, ABR, GRI, Realtors - Portland, ME - (207) 253-3195 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 7 years ago

Have started to have issues here with aluminum wiring in homes built in the mid 70's. The real hit is the homeowners insurance. Most times more than double due to the wiring. Is fixable but takes some bucks.


Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) about 7 years ago

Hi Todd....Electoral problems can be expensive and estimated by buyers to be huge in their least have a written estimate might be a good solution to deal with the costs. Oh course upgrading the electoral is the best alternative.


Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) about 7 years ago

If you know it's broke and it's going to get called at inspection anyway FIX IT!  I have this talk with my sellers each time I list a home.  I also tell them you're going to move anyway so when your're cleaning up box up and get out of sight even if it means boxes stacked in the garage.

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) about 7 years ago

Todd, too much, I would think having fuses period is a not a selling point, we see it alot here in Gettysburg, knob and tube wiring as well. 

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) about 7 years ago

Hi Todd.  Good point.  I wish all of our sellers would nip the problems in the bud before they decide to list their homes.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) about 7 years ago

Todd - A real no brainer here. Before putting it on the market fix it.... nuff said? Me thinks....

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) about 7 years ago

Haven't seen fuses like that in years. I grew up in a home with those, what a pain.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) about 7 years ago

I was wondering how long they have been living with the electrical panel being that way? If it only takes the power requirements of a doorbell to blow the fuse then I would have concerns about the overall safety of the electrical system.

And the fact that they wouldn't fix the problem and ended up more than double what it would have cost them to repair it, is interesting. It seems that some people  think that upfront costs are somehow different from the costs that are wrapped into the transaction.

Posted by Bill Cullen (REMAX Absolute Realty Inc.) about 7 years ago

That is strange that they didn't go ahead and get it fixed, but maybe they had lived with it so long and they just wanted out to start over.

Posted by Pam Graham, Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties (All Real Estate Options) about 7 years ago

I do believe to get top dollar you must have all of your "stuff" working and up to the norm for the area.  Sometimes if it isn't possible the price needs to reflect that fact.

Posted by Jo Olson, HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt - Stevens County (HOMEFRONT Realty) about 7 years ago

Hi Todd. To go even further, its so important to not over extend yourself when purchasing a home.  Maintenance and upkeep isnt cheap.  I always tell folks live within your means because you never know what can or will happen.

Posted by Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret, Associate Broker in Northern Virginia ( United Real Estate (703.216.5635) about 7 years ago

Todd, and I frequently discuss with agents and buyers that replacing electrical systems should "rarely" be a deal killer.  After all what percentage of the value of the home is the electrical system?  Generally it is a pretty small percentage and unless it is a muti-story building with no attic, it can usually be done without getting to invasive.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 7 years ago

This is a great thought but it is hard in this market when so many homeowners are short saling their homes.  If it is a REO property it take someone like you to make it crystal clear to the lien holder that this is essential to sell the home.  Sometime even that doesn't work!

Thanks for the post!!! Great insight!

Posted by Deana "Dee" Langley, GRI, CDPE, SPS (Coldwell Banker) about 7 years ago


This is very true. I suppose there are also times when the vendor just does't have the money and can't spec on the repair. So, that ends up being a good deal for the buyer.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 7 years ago

Todd -- let's see they were probably looking at it that they would have to replace the fuse a couple thousand times to equal the cost of getting it fixed properly, and that didn't pencil out for them.   Too bad they couldn't see ahead to the $12,000 cost to not fix it.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 7 years ago

Old fuse systems carry the load of the whole home on so few circuits that with todays loads they often fall short. At least when the fuse blows you know it's doing it job but it's probably time for an upgrade of the system or a downgrade of the load.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 7 years ago

At least there wern't any pennies in/near the fuse box :)

Posted by Jackie Hawley, Southeast Michigan Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Professionals) about 7 years ago

Todd, couldn't you have just put in a higher fuse?  I'm impressed they are marked, too.

Seriously though, many sellers don't look at 'the big picture'. They just want to get out. At least you got it sold!


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 7 years ago

That wasn't exactly the best decision! I wonder if they just didn't have the hard cash to pay the electrician up front to get the work done?! People are strange sometimes! 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) about 7 years ago

This is a good one Todd. I hope a lot of sellers read it. Anything sellers think too bothersome to take care of, buyers will want at least double to take care of themselves. 

Posted by Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices (Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268) about 7 years ago

Todd - Sometimes sellers are short sighted, and sometimes they just don't want to deal with the issues.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 7 years ago

Maybe it was more than they just didn't want to deal with it. Maybe they didn't have the $5000 t fix the electrical and just wanted it sold and the equity would pay for it.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) about 7 years ago

Todd, you are smart to advertise that Realtors are a great resource for information and contractors.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 7 years ago

Not many people will buy a house and fix it up. The seller would have to sell at a really good price for someone to do the fixing.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) about 7 years ago

Todd, this story had me laughing out loud all the way through! I know it's serious issue for the sellers ( and you) but the ludicrous things some people choose to get stuck on just hit me funny today.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) about 7 years ago

I always get a kick out of the creativity that goes into electrical connections for such homes.

Good post, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) about 7 years ago
I remember when our old house had fuses. When we upgraded the electric in think the hardware store missed our frantic runs for new fuses.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 7 years ago

Deven – Especially when you have great contractors that are willing to except paying at close. They know that in the end it could build their business more than taking payment immediately.

Debb – I can’t wait to see the pictures of that home, that is what I would love for a home. I love old farmhouses!!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 7 years ago

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