How to sell a fixer upper home

More than 67% of people in America own their homes. Buying your own home is a great investment in your future. As well as providing shelter and comfort, your home is a great financial asset if you decide to sell it.

However, over time a property can lose value, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on maintaining it. In fact, most homes depreciate in value by 3.6% each year. So, what happens if you want to sell your home, but it needs a bit of maintenance and TLC? 

Fortunately, there is still a huge market for home renovation projects in the US. Understanding how to sell a fixer-upper home will ensure that you attract plenty of potential buyers. This will help you get the best possible price for your property. 

So, read on to find out our top tips for selling a fixer-upper home now. 

What is a Fixer-Upper Home? 

A fixer-upper property is a home that needs renovating. This might be because the property is old and needs structural work. Or it might just be aesthetically outdated.

Some sellers might consider updating their home before selling it. However, if you do not have the budget or time to organize this, you can sell your home as it is.

Most people who buy fixer-upper homes take them on as a project. They might move in right away. But they will still have to carry out work on the home to get it up to scratch. 

If you are selling your home, you should try and identify whether it is a fixer-upper early on. Understanding the work that needs doing will help you to set a fair price for your property.

How to Spot If Your Home is a Fixer-Upper 

There are a few key things to look at in your home to decide whether or not it is a fixer-upper. You should consider: 

  • How old the property is 
  • If any renovations have been carried out and when this happened 
  • The structural integrity of the building 
  • Practical issues that need addressing
  • The aesthetics of your home and how dated these are

While there are hundreds of new housing projects every year, the majority of American homes were built in the 1970s. The older your home is, the more likely it is to need structural work. For example, the roof and windows might need replacing, or the insulation might need updating. 

Some fixer-upper homes have issues that require a lot of attention, such as dampness in the basement. Or you might need to review the plumbing and wiring in a property. It is easy to fix these issues with time, attention, and (importantly) money.

The design or layout of your home might be a little outdated and require some work. For example, the buyer might plan to knock through the walls or extend the property. This type of extreme redecoration will also make your home a fixer-upper.

Some fixer-upper homes need more work than others, and this will have an impact on how much you can sell them for. For example, structural issues will take longer to address and be more expensive than aesthetic ones. So, assess this before selling a fixer-upper home. 

Why Do Some People Want to Buy Fixer-Upper Homes? 

While you might not be interested in buying a fixer-upper home there are plenty of people in America who will. This is because there are several benefits to buying a fixer-upper home. 

The average cost of a home in America has increased by $50,000 in the last year, and this is pricing out a lot of potential buyers. Fixer-upper homes tend to be cheaper than new-builds and high-spec properties.

This makes them popular with people who have smaller budgets. It also allows people to buy properties in nice neighborhoods at a fraction of the price. 

On top of this, some people enjoy taking on a project. Buying a fixer-upper home essentially gives you a blank canvas to play with. So, you can customize the property in any way want.

For people with time and money, this can be the perfect way of creating their dream home for a fraction of the price.

Understanding what attracts people to fixer-upper homes can help you to market your home effectively. So, keep this in mind when trying to sell a fixer-upper home.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at our top tips for selling a fixer-upper home. 

Identify Your Potential Buyers 

When you come to sell a home, you need to think about who is going to be interested in it. This helps you to market your property well and set a realistic asking price. 

Buyers who are specifically interested in buying properties that need work include: 

  • Real estate developers and investors 
  • People who run a business renovating old houses 
  • First-time buyers who have tight budgets 
  • People looking to develop a dream home in their favorite neighborhood 

If your house is in a great location, this will make it very popular with developers and investors.

Alternatively, if your home needs some aesthetic TLC, this can appeal to buyers with smaller budgets. They will probably take on the bulk of the work themselves to transform your property.

Think Carefully About Your Budget 

The average cost of a home in America is $428,700. Increases in house prices often mean that you can sell a home at a profit. 

However, if your home needs work, you will have to adjust your asking price to reflect this. After all, the person who buys it is going to have to spend money fixing and redesigning the property. So, they will expect to save money on the asking price. 

The work that your home needs affects how much you should ask for. For example, major structural issues will be more expensive to repair. In that case, you will need to reduce your asking price more significantly. 

You should also keep in mind factors that increase the value of your home even if it needs work. These include: 

  • The neighborhood or location that your home is in
  • The amount of outside space on offer 
  • How much privacy a home affords 
  • Whether your home has a rich and interesting history 
  • Whether there are any original features in your home
  • If you have any outhouses or amenities to offer

Most real estate agents recommend looking at properties of a similar age and design. You should then price yours just below this market value. This means that you won’t miss out on great offers for your home.

Decide Your Lowest Price in Advance 

When it comes to selling a home, you should always have an idea of how low you are willing to go. This can help a lot when it comes to negotiating with developers or investors.

To do this you should: 

  • Think about how much you spent on the property
  • Decide how much you need to get for it (for example, to pay for your new home)
  • Keep a list of your property’s assets

This will help you stick to your lowest price and ensure that you get a fair price for your property.

Highlight Its Assets in the Description 

Speaking of your property’s assets, you should highlight these in the property listing. This compliments high-quality photos and helps buyers see the potential in your home. 

Some great features to emphasize include: 

  • Your home’s location 
  • Its original fittings 
  • The amount of natural light you have on offer 
  • The square footage of the property itself 
  • Valuable materials, such as original wood, used in your home 
  • Desirable floorplan features, such as spacious atriums, open-plan living, and master suites

Make a bullet-point list of these in your description. This will help buyers scanning your advert find them quickly. This can be enough to reel them in for a closer look!

Include Information About Renovation Loans

Some buyers take on fixer-upper homes to save money. However, if your home needs a lot of work this could put it outside of their budget.

To appeal to buyers with smaller budgets, include information about renovation loans in your description. This shows them that they can afford the property and the work that needs doing on it. 

You can include this towards the end of your property listing. For example, you could add: 

“If you want to make your mark on a home, then this property has plenty to offer! For financial support, check out these amazing renovation loans. [Insert links to some loans].” 

This is a great way to reel in buyers who have reservations about the costs of renovating a property.

Be Honest About Its Flaws 

It is very important, to be honest about your property’s flaws in your advert. If you are not, then people who come to view your property may be sorely disappointed. This might put them off making an offer on your home at all. 

Undisclosed faults will also appear on a survey of your property. These surveys always take place before a sale goes through. If this happens, your buyers could walk away from the sale entirely.

Of course, you do not have to list every single fault in your property listing. Instead, use descriptive language to tell buyers that your home requires some work. For example, you could describe your home as: 

  • “A project”
  • “In need of some TLC”
  • “Ready for an update” 

Once you are in conversation with a buyer, you can go into the details. Again, try to bring some positives to the table to balance out the flaws. 

For example, try to present structural renovation work as an opportunity. You could say “I always dreamt of extending the kitchen at the back of the property.” This is a great way of helping buyers think about renovations as home improvements.

Work on Your Curb Appeal 

The first impression that your home makes has a big impact on the amount of interest it gets from buyers. So, even if your home needs work on the inside, you should still try to present it well. This means making sure your home looks great on the outside.

This is known as working on your curb appeal. This is the view that buyers see when they first arrive at your property. It is a quick, cheap, and simple way to make your property look more impressive.

Some great ways to improve your curb appeal include: 

  • Mowing your front lawn
  • Tidying up your front garden
  • Clearing the sidewalk in front of your home 
  • Washing or repainting the front of your home, windows, and doorframes
  • Making sure that the curtains in your windows look neat 
  • Making sure that your front porch isn’t cluttered
  • Putting up a new door number plaque or house name 
  • Updating the door handles on your home 
  • Making sure that your outdoor lighting is working properly 
  • Pressure washing your driveway 
  • Putting your bins away in the garage or bin store

Tidying up the outside of your home will make it feel welcoming when your buyers first arrive. This will get them thinking about your home’s potential, which is one of the biggest assets a fixer-upper home can have!

Present a Blank Canvas 

Most fixer-upper homes need transforming and this draws buyers looking for a project. Making it as easy as possible for people to see the potential in your home will help you sell it. So, it is a good idea to offer buyers a blank canvas at house viewings. 

If possible, try to remove your furniture and personal items before any home viewings. Opening the space up helps buyers think about how they could use or update it. 

At the same time, you also want to highlight your home’s assets. Make sure to mention these throughout the viewing. 

Even if your home is empty, good lighting is very important during a home viewing. This makes your home feel as big as possible. Even if it does need some TLC, make it look as if it offers a lot to work with!

Ideally, try to maximize the natural lighting within your home by opening up your windows and raising your blinds. This will make it feel fresh and airy.

In areas with less natural light, make sure that you have plenty of artificial lighting set up. This will open the space up.

Invest in Great Photos of Your Home 

If you are selling a fixer-upper, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on:

However, you should still get great photographs of your property. Even if these photographs aren’t staged, you can still invest in high-quality photos for your property listing.

This is the first opportunity a buyer gets to see the potential in your home. So your photos need to be clear and well-lit.

You should also provide a number of angles for each room. This helps buyers visualize your home before they visit it. 

Of course, quality photographs might also showcase some of your home’s flaws. Nevertheless, clear pictures are still more engaging than dark, dingy, or blurry ones.

Promote the Neighborhood When You Sell a Home 

As we have already mentioned, your home’s neighborhood can be a huge asset for potential buyers. After all, you can transform a home, but you cannot move it from one location to another. 

You can include a description of the neighborhood in your property listing. This might include some key features in the area. It is also a good idea to include its distance from major cities nearby.

Emphasizing the benefits of your neighborhood will help you fetch a great asking price for your fixer-upper home. Some benefits that potential buyers look for include: 

  • Stunning views 
  • Natural green spaces in the area
  • Local amenities and entertainment venues 
  • Great transport links 
  • Brilliant schools
  • Low crime rates
  • Hubs of community activity 

If you are selling your home to a developer, you should play these up. After all, this will make it easier for them to sell your renovated home in the future.

So let them know that you understand the value of the assets in your neighborhood. This will ensure that you get a fair price for your property.

Use a Real Estate Agent Who Has Experience Selling Fixer-Upper Homes

If you are selling your home to a private buyer, you might hire a real estate agent. These agents have experience in marketing homes and negotiating sales prices. 

However, they also take a hefty commission in exchange for each sale. On top of this, there are more than 1.5 million realtors working in the United States at the moment. So choosing the right one to sell your property can feel overwhelming. 

If your home is a fixer-upper, you can use this to narrow down your realtor options. Start by looking for a realtor with experience selling similar properties. These agents will have great ideas about how to market and photograph a home that needs some TLC. 

They will be able to put a positive spin on your home’s flaws and will help you estimate a fair price for the property. This can help you to get the best possible price for your home.

Don’t Rush Through Sales 

You might be worried about selling your home in its current state. If so, it can be tempting to sell it to the first buyer who makes an offer on it. However, try not to jump the gun on this. 

Even homes that need work are still extremely valuable, so you should take time to consider each sale. This will ensure that you get a fair price for your financial investment. It will also show buyers that they cannot pressure you into a sale based on the condition of your home. 

There are several things you should do if you receive an offer below your asking price. You should: 

  • Consider how much lower it is 
  • See if there is room for negotiation
  • Stand firm on your lowest price 

You may find that you are repeatedly getting offers below your asking price. If you cannot negotiate these up then you may have overpriced your home.

If so, reassess your pricing strategy and make an informed decision before moving forward.

Consider Selling Your Home For Cash 

Some home renovation issues are harder to deal with than others. For example, it is more difficult to sell homes with mold, damp spots, or infestations. This is because these problems are expensive and can take a long time to correct.

In that case, it is worth considering the development value of your property. 

House-flipping businesses are entirely centered around taking on challenging properties and transforming them. They will not be intimidated by your home’s needs. 

At Smith Liquidations, we also make cash offers for properties. This means that you can sell your property quickly for a fair price. You also won’t lose a chunk of the sale price to a real estate agent!

Now You Know How to Sell a Fixer-Upper Home 

If you are selling a home that needs improvement, there are plenty of ways to find a buyer and get a great price for it. Keep these tips for how to sell a fixer-upper home in mind, and you can’t go wrong. 

Are you looking to sell your fixer-upper quickly? Then you might want to consider selling your home for cash.

Get in touch with Smith Liquidations today to get a cash offer on your property in no time at all! We’re happy to help.

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