View Full Version : help! House is on the market; need new furnace
I need some advice: my house went on the market yesterday, and two hours before the first showing, my 19 year old Heil furnace died. The repairman fixed the clogged condensate drain, and also pointed out that this 19 year old unit had a lot of developing issues that would eventually need to be fixed, and that getting a new high efficiency furnace would be a better investment.
So: two questions:
A. Does it make sense to get bids and have a new, high efficiency furnace (I'm thinking a Carrier Performance 93 system) installed before selling the house? Or with warranties, etc, is it better to get estimates and offer a credit to the new buyers? I'd prefer just to sell the house with a good furnace (this is WI--you need a good furnace here), but I can imagine a realtor advising otherwise.
and the obvious question I can't seem to find answered anywhere:
I know finding a good installer is the most important part of the job, but how exactly does a customer tell a good installer from a bad installer? Can anyone guide me to the critical questions I should ask? I had a Trane aircondition installed 6 years ago, and I was happy with that contractor, but their company got bought out by another company I don't like, so I can't just go with the installer I liked from before.
Thanks for any guidance, especially on the second question: how exactly do I tell a good installer from a mediocre one?
04-24-2005, 08:31 AM
If the thing is unsafe or looks terrible, I'd be inclined to boot it now. Otherwise, hang on and see what the responses are. As long as it is sound and not a POS or a relic, most buyers don't look at it. If your Realtor starts hearing that it might be a liability, then you better boot it.
04-24-2005, 08:42 AM
Todays St Paul paper says it takes 2 and a half months on average to sell a home, almost 8 months for one in the $300,000 to $500,000 bracket. So, it looks like you have some time.
Trane with a Trane A/c sounds like a good match. Are the issues with that company unsurmountable? You might ask for the same installer.
Why not get bids?
"but how exactly does a customer tell a good installer from a bad installer? Can anyone guide me to the critical questions I should ask? "
I'll leave the second part to those who go out and do the actual bidding. You can research the company thru the BBB, local inspectors, and references. If the installer can provide references well....If he works out of the back of an old unmarked vehicle....well.....
If you go with a well known, established company, they will guide you thru the installation method/process before you sign and answer most of your questions.
tinknocker service tech
04-24-2005, 09:19 AM
a house inspector will more then likely pick up on the age of the unit and recomend a replacement to the buyer
then the fun will begin for you because they will beat you up on the price
best to replace it and be done
get prices 4 or 5 and see witch one is willing to spend the time to go over everything with you and talk to you about all of your concerns. most cases a reputable guy will spend the time and go through everything with you
make sure it is all in righting dont take thier word for it at all. if it is not in the contract it most likely wont be done. make sure they pull permits and inspections are done also. may take a while to sell and you will foot the bill in thr mean time. also it adds to the sell and will be a plus
Thanks for the quick feedback. Monday I'm planning on calling 3 HVAC companies to come out and give me bids, and then I'll work from there. The furnace is safe and working fine now, but it will need a new burner--maybe next season, maybe 2 or 3 years down the road. And it's anything but high efficiency. With estimates, I could offer a credit, but boy--if I were buying, I would so much prefer to buy a house with a brand new high efficiency furnace. Warrenties transfer to new owners, right?
04-24-2005, 11:39 AM
Are you the first owner of furnace? If so life time heat exchanger warranty, all other parts are replaceable as normal maintance items, call GOOD HEIL dealer and do needed repairs, furnace will last a life time with GOOD maintance, you talked about condensate drain, must be NUGK or NTGM
type which is 90% so pay back of new furnace not worth additional cost over repair, find out what issues repair man found and post back.
04-24-2005, 04:21 PM
Depends on the real estate market in your area, and your particular neighborhood. Around here it's a seller's market. In my neighborhood, houses and condos are usually sold within 60 days at most, a few hours at the least. In almost all cases, the houses undergo major remodels (almost total demolition), while the condos are usually redecorated. In such a market, adding any new appliances/mechanical systems is truly wasted money and resources, as it'll be heading to the landfill when the bulldozers come through.
Now, if you're in an area where the houses haven't changed in years and aren't going to, or where houses stay on the market for some time, or the market is attractive to 1st-time homeowners, then new appliances & mechanical systems will make the house more attractive to buyers, as it implies that the homeowner took care of the place and it's one less expense they'll have to look forward to. This is a big advantage to 1st timers.
04-24-2005, 04:37 PM
I am in a hot real estate market and have had realtors and hgomeowners with the same situation. Most people wait until inspection on sale and then usually talk credit. It's better for everyone. The new homeowner gets what he wants and the old homeoner only needs to give credit for standard equipment.
My realtor really wants me to offer credit, not replace right away, which echoes what you all are saying. I checked again and you're right: it's 19 years old, but it is a high-efficiency furnace (the literature says 94%, which seems unbelievable, because it sure sucks up propane and never gives out much heat--I hate the thing). I'm the second owner; it's given me problems ever since I bought the house 8 years ago--4 repairs of different things so far, each about $150 to $200 bucks.
This is supposedly a seller's market (I got an offer the first day the house was on the market), and while the house is an old farmhouse, it was restored by the previous owners with a lot of fancy stuff, so this isn't a house for first time owners. Buyers of houses at this price seem to expect good appliances, and the furnace has come up in all the feedback. THe latest repairman said the inducer is getting noisy, which indicates problems with that ahead. And the burners are showing a little flame that they shouldn't be showing, which also suggests (he said, if I'm remembering right), that they will need to be replaced, but they're safe now. In his opinion, putting that kind of money into a 19 year old Heil wasn't a good investment, particularly since every other year something has gone wrong with it.
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