The Commonwealth Blog

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Selling a Fixer-Upper to a Prospective Buyer

When selling a fixer-upper, you’ll first need to decide who you’re selling it to: traditional buyers or investors. Homes that require simple to moderate repairs might be attractive to eager buyers willing to do some remodeling themselves. Contrarily, homes with major issues can be sold to investors if traditional buyers are intimidated by daunting repair work. Whomever you sell your home to ultimately depends on the current state of the property and the amount of work you’re willing to put into renovations.   

Selling to Investors

Homeowners sell dilapidated homes to investors instead of traditional buyers for several reasons. Firstly, financing may not be possible if the home doesn’t meet safety standards. Repairs may also be too much of a burden for homeowners and traditional buyers to take on themselves (which is to say your home needs more than just a little TLC).

In these cases, selling to a buy-and-hold or wholesale investor can take a huge load off your shoulders. Instead of making expensive and time-guzzling repairs yourself, you can count on an investor to do the prep work for you. Additionally, the escrow period usually takes less than a month because inspections, appraisals, and mortgage issues no longer determine your sale. Selling run-down homes to investors as-is encourages cash offers and flexible closing dates, making the transaction simple.

Selling to Traditional Buyers

Traditional buyers are the families, friends, and individuals looking to make your house their home, and they likely come with a set of requirements. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect to sell to this demographic, but you should put in a bit of grunt work to receive reasonable offers without drastically decreasing your asking price.

Start by tackling safety issues to avoid problems with inspectors or financers. Take a good look at your roof, electrical panel, water heater, pipes, and septic and HVAC systems, and check for damage from water, mold, or termites. After these major issues have been addressed, you can move on to easy cosmetic fixes, like painting rooms, caulking bathrooms and kitchens, fixing lighting fixtures, and cleaning carpets.

Marketing Your Fixer-Upper

You’ll still need to market your home appropriately, no matter whom you’re selling it to. For investors, market your home on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or sites like Zillow and Trulia with photos of the place, and know that you’ll likely still need to hold showings and inspections.

For traditional buyers, market your home by focusing on the positives. Highlight the property’s size, location, and floor plan to distract from the less seemly features. Using descriptive keywords like “landscaped,” “remodeled,” or “historic” will also give you a leg up. Lastly, price your house appropriately by researching the market and prices of homes selling in the area.


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