Must-Knows for Selling a Home That Needs Work

Want to sell your home but know it needs some TLC? Prepare to list it in as-is condition. 

For some, you don’t have the time, budget or ability to fix up your property before selling it. Perhaps you’re looking to sell a property you inherited or one you’ve been renting out for a while. Either way, the property is looking a little tired and you’re unable to get it into peak condition before putting it on the market. 

Selling a house that needs work can be more challenging than selling your average home. If you have a dilapidated house to sell, it’s likely that you’ll run into a few questions about the process. Is there a way to encourage buyers to see its charms and not the flaws? What sort of hit will the property’s value take? We’ll cover what you need to know about selling a home that needs TLC. Let’s get started.  

Do properties that need work sell? 

It can be easy to make the mistake of seeing all rundown properties are undesirable and, therefore, unsellable, but the reality is quite different. Even the most dilapidated houses eventually find a buyer, although you may need to adjust your timeline and sale price to suit the right buyer. 

Keep in mind that when selling a home in as-is condition, honesty is the best policy. If the seller fails to disclose problems that they might be aware of, then the buyer could be entitled to make a compensation claim. Even for less serious issues, be upfront with potential buyers about problems in the house. They will be able to make you an offer based on what they may need to spend to remedy the situation.  

Take aim at the right audience 

While most of the open market will be looking to buy a house with minimal hassle, there is a small slice of the market who are actively seeking out homes that need work. There’s no shortage out there, so you should market accordingly.  

Fixer-upper homes are harder to sell, which means it’s even more vital that you and your estate agent target the right sort of buyers. A few potential buyers could include: 

  • First-time buyers: They could be looking for a bargain and a bit of a project to transform a property. They won’t have a huge budget for major repairs so expect to negotiate on the asking price if the survey flags anything expensive and structural.  
  • Flippers: They are looking for a property that they can sell up quickly and sell easily. They’ll also be looking for a bargain but may have a decent budget for renovations.  
  • Developers: Similarly to flippers, they will have some budget behind them to invest in properties where they see potential.  
  • Landlords: They’ll be looking to buy a property to restore it in order to rent it out.  
  • Bargain hunters: Those who are keen to get a property that doesn’t need too much doing to it, but that’s in a good neighbourhood or catchment area. 

Working with an estate agent is vital for connecting you to the right types of buyers.  

Highlight the positives in marketing 

Just because you’re selling your property as-is doesn’t mean that it lacks positives. Work with your estate agent to highlight some of the key features. Is the electrical work up to date? Are there period features? Is it in a prime location for potential property investors? Are there good schools nearby? And if your home is the ideal tear down, don’t be afraid to mention it.  

Price realistically  

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a home in need of significant repairs will fetch a lower price than a pristine property. Firstly, take stock of what’s wrong and compile a list of all the crucial repairs required. Having figures and quotes on the repairs can help form an idea of what buyers will need to fork out to put things right.  

Your estate agent will be able to advise you on a suitable listing price. Be clear from the onset about your position, letting them know if you’re looking for a quick sale or if you have flexibility in terms of timescale. This allows the agent to give you a fair market appraisal that factors in your own personal circumstances.  

Get a free online house valuation from local agents. 

Consider the ways to sell 

Although you’re targeting a niche audience, the open market is still the best place to start. That means working with an estate agent who will market your property on the top portals for maximum exposure. Taking a little time here can repay you further down the line.  

You may also consider selling your house at auction. The ideal situation is for two interested buyers battle it out in a bidding war, soaring above the guide price. That doesn’t always play out as envisioned. Explore this option but be open to the different end results.  

Should you make any repairs or sell as-is? 

While it depends on your personal situation, doing major works isn’t usually advised. This is especially true if you’re looking to sell quickly or simply don’t have the finances or ability to carry them out.  

If you want to make minor repairs to improve the value of your property, consider the immediate damage you can see. Maybe the window frames need repairing or repainting. Sometimes simply cleaning your windows and jazzing up the exterior can freshen up your property and make it look more appealing.  

Also recognise the things that would be flagged in a survey, such as damaged walls, slates missing from the roof, a leaking boiler, etc. Don’t jump into DIY mode if you’re unsure of any work that needs to be carried out. If you have time and money and are willing to, hire a professional to complete the job to a high standard.  

Sell as-is with more success 

Firstly, find out how much your home is worth with a free house valuation from local agents. The agents will visit your property, give you a realistic figure for your home and suggest updates and strategies to sell.