Selling a Home That Needs Work: 5 Steps To Getting Top Dollar

Jamie Ayers's Photo
By Jamie Ayers Updated April 5, 2023


Selling a fixer-upper is not like selling your typical home. Sellers need to understand who their buyers are and will sometimes need to make minor fixes. Here's how to sell a house that needs work for the biggest possible return.

house that needs work

Selling a house that needs work is not like your typical home sale. The pool of buyers can consist of home flippers who are keenly aware of the region's real estate market. The homes also require repairs, some of which should be made by the seller for optimizing the sales value.

But fixer-uppers can return a healthy profit. Here are five simple steps sellers can take to improve the chances of selling their home and getting the best price for it.

1. Give the House a Good Cleaning

The biggest way to sell a house that needs work is probably the easiest. Give it good cleaning. A fixer-upper does not have to be a mess. In fact, a mess can turn buyers off and decrease what you get from it.

According to one study, just a clean-up of a home's yard and basic landscaping can increase the value of your home by 10% or more. Landscaping doesn't mean hiring specialists and planting the perfect flowers.

Getting rid of the weeds is a good start, and mowing the lawn helps, too. You'll also want to treat any stains in the carpet, drapes, and sinks.

These simple and inexpensive steps will not only get you a better return on your investment, they will also help you sell your property faster.

2. Don't Overprice Your Home

All investors want the highest return from their property. But pricing a fixer-upper can be tricky. You don't want to price yourself out of the market. But you don't want to undervalue your home either.

A good rule on pricing is to take a look at the potential remodeling costs and subtract those from your list price. You can make minor repairs and adjust your price upward accordingly.

3. Make Minor Repairs and Easy Upgrades

As noted above, just a simple cleaning can help boost the value of your homes. Easy repairs and home improvements can push your selling price even further.

You may want to start out by making a list of anything in the house that's broken or worn out. Things like leaky faucets, holes in walls, and broken appliances can really turn many buyers off.

Also, replace any broken windows and give the home a new coat of paint in a neutral color. There's no need to hire professional painters, but you don't want the rooms of the home to look dark and dingy. That also includes replacing any lights or bulbs that may not be working.

Most importantly, you should expect that potential buyers will have any fixer-upper inspected before completing the purchase. So, it's imperative that you fix any code violations.

4. Market It Right

Timing is often everything when it comes to selling a home that needs work. If it's a seller's market, then you may not have to do much to sell your property quickly and for a healthy profit.

But you don't necessarily need a hot real estate market if you market your home effectively. You can do this by highlighting your home's special features. Show off the fireplace or huge master bedroom. Maybe your home has spacious rooms with lots of windows.

Focus on positive aspects of the home — not the fact that the home needs repairs. And try to have furniture in the rooms. Empty rooms are less attractive to buyers.

You will also want to concentrate on other selling features like the size of the lot or the location of the home. Unique floor plans can also be another big selling point.

5. Find Out Who Is In Your Buyer's Pool

Not everyone wants to buy a home that needs work. So, it's vital that you learn about your potential customer base.

Many buyers of fixer-uppers are home flippers. They're people who buy homes that need renovations and sell them for a higher price. Of course, they do this after making the renovations, remodeling, or even making major changes to the home.

There are also those who just want a home, but may not be able to afford a new or renovated home in a particular neighborhood. They're looking for a home in their price range and so may opt to go for a home that needs work.

Professional Guidance Goes a Long Way

Selling a house that needs work sometimes requires more effort than your typical listing. The buyer's pool includes people such as home flippers who really know the real estate market in their region.

You need the same expertise. A professional Clever Partner Agent can give you the best guidance when it comes to selling your fixer-upper quickly for an optimal return.

There are many factors to consider when looking at the best place to invest in property, especially when it comes to rental units. A trusted local real estate agent can make the process easier.

He or she can let you know about potential pitfalls in a neighborhood and about its growth potential. A Partner Agent with experience in real estate investing can also help you with any legal matters around local and state laws concerning rental properties.

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