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Which Pond Repairs Should You Make When Selling Your House?

When selling a house, a pond can be a great asset. According to Pond Owner Magazine, a pond can impact a home's value by between 5 and 35 percent, depending on the pond's size and its distance from your house. Repairing a malfunctioning pond, though, may require a significant investment. Deciding whether to fix a pond before listing your home can be challenging. If you're preparing to sell your house and your property has a pond that's in poor shape, here are some repairs you might want to make and a few you may want to skip.

Repair Significant Cosmetic Defects

The value that a pond adds to a house is largely due to its appearance. In other words, people are willing to pay more for a home that has a pond because it makes the home more beautiful.

Therefore, it's important that your home's pond look its best when potential buyers come to see your house. Potential buyers might not notice minor issues, since they'll only spend a few minutes looking at your home's landscaping. Any significant cosmetic defects, however, should be addressed so that they don't detract from potential buyers' impressions of your house. For example, you should add some mulch if the pond liner is visible around plants. Similarly, if there is a bench near the pond, but the bench has a broken board, the board should be replaced. Any major visual detractors should be fixed.

Fix Leaks in the Pond Liner

Any leaks in your pond's liner should be repaired. Not only do they cost you money because you must refill your pond, but the water that leaks out can soften and shift the dirt beneath you pond.

It may be tempting to let a small leak go unrepaired, but all leaks should be fixed. There isn't a guarantee that your home will sell quickly. If your home is on the market for months, even a minor leak could result in a lot of water lost.

Most minor leaks are easy to find and can be fixed without calling a company that installs pond liners. Simply locate the leak and put a patch on the pond liner.

To find a leak in a pond liner do the following:

  1. let the water leak out until it stops leaking
  2. if the water level becomes too low for any fish, transfer them to a temporary container so you can let the water continue to leak out until it ceases
  3. once the water level stops dropping, feel the pond liner around the edge of the water for a leak

The leak should be just above the water level once the water stops dropping, and most of the time the leak is easy to locate.

If you can't find a leak using the above steps, there is another method you can use:

  1. fill the pond back up with water
  2. place a few drops of food coloring in different areas of the pond
  3. watch to see whether the food coloring moves in a distinct direction

When food coloring is placed where there is no leak, it will create a cloud. If there is a leak in the liner nearby, however, the food coloring will be drawn by the stream of water towards the leak. Simply follow it until you find where the leak is.

Don't Repair Broken Heaters

Unless the water temperature is too cold for fish that live in your pond, there is little reason to repair a pond's heater. Potential buyers won't be swimming in your pond, so the temperature of the water doesn't matter. The broken heater will likely show up on the home inspection, and you can address it during negotiations. There is no need for you to get it repaired before listing your home.

If you're getting ready to sell a home that has a pond, carefully consider what you'll repair before listing your home. Any cosmetic defects or leaks should be fixed. You can probably forgo fixing a broken heater, though.