What’s the Best Way to Sell a Fixer Upper House?

Fixer upper house in need of renovation

If your home is a ‘fixer-upper’ and needs a little tender loving care, it can seriously affect its market value. If the doors don’t shut, the windows are loose, and the roof is open to the elements, some might refer to your property as a ‘fixer-upper.’ It’s a house that needs a lot of repair work — and a lot of money. And rather than take on the expensive work yourself, you can sell it quickly and let someone else worry about it.

There are now thousands of developers in the UK looking for fixer-uppers to turn a quick profit. They buy poorly maintained property, fix it up, and sell it for a substantial profit. If you would classify your own home as a fixer-upper, there are a few things you should know about selling it quickly.

Give people a bargain.

If you don’t have the money to repair and renovate your home, you may need to find someone who has. But no one will be prepared to pay total market value for a house that requires thousands of spending on it. To attract developers and investors, you will need to provide a hefty discount with a low listing price. The price of a fixer-upper should account for the cost of repairs and a profit when sold.

One way to get the best possible price for your fixer-upper is to list at a property auction. Set a reserve and a guide price based on the level of repairs and renovations needed — and let bidders fight it out. This process is the best way of ascertaining your property’s actual value, so if it doesn’t sell the first time around, at least you’ll have a rough idea of what it might fetch later. Use the peak seasons for selling property, spring or autumn.

Honesty is always the best policy.

When it’s time to list your property for sale and set an asking price, it is essential, to be honest about its flaws. Selling a fixer-upper isn’t always easy, and it will be a great deal more complicated if you start trying to hide serious issues. Instead, be upfront about the significant repairs needed, particularly structural problems that will take much money to remedy.

Accentuate a fixer upper’s positive features

There will probably be a lot wrong with your house, but that’s not to say you can’t highlight the positive features of your home, things that are right with it. Perhaps you have natural wood floors, or maybe your kitchen is new. If your loft space is suitable for conversion, tell people. And if there is space at the side of the property for a possible extension, highlight that as well. If you want to make your house more attractive to buyers, have planning permission in place for improvements. Guide customers in the right direction; help them to imagine the possibilities.

Target all types of buyer

What is a fixer-upper house? It is a property needing repair and renovation that you can buy for significantly less than the going rate. Think about who might like a home like that:

  • Affluent buyers looking to move to a desirable area for the first time
  • Young families with a need for lots of space
  • Property investors looking to turn things around for a quick profit
  • Buy-to-let landlords looking for a long-term investment

By definition, your fixer-upper is not ready to move into, so don’t market it as such. Likewise, cash-strapped, first-time buyers and retirees won’t want to tackle costly repairs, so don’t target them in your marketing efforts.

Choose an agent wisely for your fixer-upper property.

There’s no reason you can’t sell your home privately. However, the relatively complex nature of marketing a house to a particular group of buyers means getting some help on the open market is the most cost-effective option. Look for agents with detailed knowledge of your local market and those with a proven track record in selling fixer-uppers for the best possible prices. A good agent will help you to create a property listing that gets the balance right between being honest and being positive.

An experienced estate agent will know how best to market your home. Among the marketing opportunities that you can exploit are:

  • Local newspapers
  • Property websites
  • Home renovation websites
  • Online discussion boards and forums
  • Local hardware stores
  • Specialist agencies
  • Online estate agents
  • Investor websites

You might be able to bypass the open market entirely.

Thousands of people face the same scenario right now in the UK; they own their own home, but it needs extensive repairs and renovations. Unfortunately, a lack of cash means essential work remains undone, and the longer this situation goes on, the more the property deteriorates. In many cases, owners of fixer-uppers are too busy to even think about a long, drawn-out house selling process, so they carry on — firefighting instead of dealing with the root causes. And all the while, the value of their property continues to plummet.

But there is a way to break free from this cycle. By selling your fixer-upper via auction or to a quick sale firm, you can cash in on your home and make the essential repairs to someone else’s problem. Buyers will make an offer based on market conditions and the necessary work required in your home. Then, if you accept, the process runs smoothly, without the need for involvement from the open market, estate agents, prospective buyers or third parties of any kind. In just a few weeks, you could have the proceeds of your house sale — and the freedom to enjoy them.

There’s no need to suffocate under the weight of essential repairs in your home. Applying sticking plasters to issues requiring major surgery will only worsen the problem in the long run. In the meantime, the value of your property will continue to decline. If you only want to free yourself of this burden — and save yourself an enormous amount of money on repairs in the process — pass on your fixer-upper to someone else.

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