How to Sell a Fixer Upper House Fast
If your house is falling apart but you want to sell and you’re almost certain you cannot afford the repairs, there are two main actions you can take: finance and make the repairs before selling or sell your house as-is. Between the two, selling your fixer upper as-is will be fastest.
To sell a fixer upper house fast, you need to know your target buyers and how you want to proceed with the sale. You can make some minor repairs to raise its value or sell it as-is to a cash buyer or real estate investor. The latter is ideal if you want to close in just a few weeks.
Want to learn more about how to sell a fixer upper house fast? Up ahead are some of the essential facts you need to know about selling a fixer upper, from who your target buyers are to ways in which you can sell fast.
What is a Fixer Upper House?
A fixer upper home is a property that needs major work; that’s why it is sold at a lower sales price.
This type of house is not suggested for a typical retail buyer because it may not be livable depending on its damage. Many fixer upper houses don’t just have cosmetic damage but structural damage as well.
Nevertheless, there’s still hope for many fixer upper houses; that’s why they’re the target of flippers and other types of buyers.
Target Buyers for Fixer Upper Houses
In order to sell your fixer upper house fast, you need to know your target buyers. This will help you avoid spending too much time marketing to the wrong people (i.e., retail buyers).
1. Deal Hunters
Also called budget hunters, these buyers look for bargain fixer uppers that only need minor repairs. Usually, these people want to live in a certain area but cannot afford houses that are in excellent condition.
2. Flippers, Cash Buyers, & Real Estate Investors
Flippers, cash buyers, and real estate investors are the go-to of many homeowners wanting to sell their fixer upper, and there’s a good reason why.
These prospective buyers make the fixer upper selling easy by doing everything fast, from giving all-cash offers to an informal walkthrough and closing without the seller making a single repair.
Generally, these buyers earn a profit by holding the fixed up property as a rental or selling the property after dealing with major repairs (i.e., house flipping).
Landlords are often on the lookout for people selling fixer uppers. After they have made major repairs to your house, they’ll lease it and move on to another fixer upper they can work on.
Landlords are great target buyers for condos, townhomes, multi-family homes and even single-family homes that can be converted into multi-family.
Developers buy houses, including fixer upper homes, on a large scale for profit. These investment buyers convert fixer uppers into small business spaces, apartment complexes, offices, and other income-generating structures.
Developers are motivated prospective buyers and often, once they give an offer, they don’t back out of the deal.
Options When Selling a Fixer Upper House
When selling a fixer upper house, you have two main options— sell it as-is or make minor improvements before selling. Let’s dig deeper into these two options to help you decide which can help you sell your home faster.
Make Home Improvements
Before selling a fixer upper house, some homeowners opt to make little improvements to attract buyers. These repairs can also improve the value of the property so homeowners can sell it at a higher price on the real estate market.
If you’re looking for some inexpensive repairs, here are a few options:
- Repainting: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for a fixer upper. But before applying paint, make sure to patch any visible holes. If the house is too huge and would require a large budget to do a paint job, just focus on the bathrooms and kitchen. Most prospective buyers consider the condition of these areas more than any other part of the house.
- Faucet Replacement: If the house has rusty and leaky faucets, replace them with more dated ones. This applies to all the faucets in the house, not just in the kitchen.
- Installment of New Light Fixtures: Replacing the light fixtures with high wattage bulbs can significantly impact the house’s appearance. The potential buyers would be able to see how much space they’re getting throughout the property.
- Fixing Roof Leaks: If there are any active roof leaks, make sure to patch them up. While you’re at it, also look for roof areas where water damage is evident. Prime and paint them as they can easily be seen by a potential buyer from the outside.
- Damaged Blinds Removal: Damage blinds or those that already exhibit a weird coloration should be removed and replaced. If replacing with another blind is too costly, use neutral-colored curtains instead.
- Outlet Cover and Wall Plate Replacement: Outlet covers and switch plates that are rusty or full of scratches should be replaced. These items are pretty affordable and easy to install.
- Fixing the Floors: Fixing the floors of your fixer upper can also lead to a higher home sale. Remove the old carpeting or clean them up if you don’t have the budget to install new flooring.
Depending on the condition of your house, you may still find other cosmetic updates that are worth doing before you list on the market. However, doing these repairs would mean you won’t be able to sell your home right away and you would incur all repair costs on top of anything else uncovered during the repair process.
Compared to making major repairs, which span from fixing plumbing issues, installing a new roof, addressing electrical problems, and dealing with the HVAC system and septic system, these minor repairs can be done faster for less money.
Selling as-is is the best way to sell a fixer upper house fast due to a number of reasons.
For starters, you avoid the cost of many expensive major repairs, which can easily cost $10,000 or more. You also skip all the soft costs of making repairs like time, effort, and patience.
Moreover, selling as-is promises a quicker and simpler sales process, especially if you sell to a cash buyer or real estate investor.
Since cash buyers no longer need mortgage approval and you won’t have to make any repairs, you can close the real estate transaction in a few weeks. This is relatively faster than making minor repairs, staging the property, listing, marketing, and waiting for retail buyers to make an offer.
Note, however, that offers for fixer uppers that are sold as-is are comparatively lower than houses that were given minor repairs and improvements. But, you might still find this a good deal, especially when the house is close to the state of being demolished.
3 Ways to Sell Fixer Upper Homes
Now that we’ve covered your options when selling, let’s talk about how you can market and sell your house.
Generally, you can sell your fixer upper independently or with the help of a professional real estate agent. But if you aim for a quick sale, you can opt to sell off-market.
1. For Sale by Owner
For sale by owner (FSBO) means selling homes independently, without any real estate advice from an agent. Most home sellers go this path to skip expensive real estate commissions, but this may also lead to financial loss.
If the homeowner is not well versed in the market, setting the right price may be a struggle. Potential buyers may take advantage of the fact that the house is a fixer upper and the seller is marketing FSBO and doesn’t know the true market value of the fixer upper.
2. Traditional Sale With the Best Real Estate Agents
Selling a fixer upper home with the help of real estate professionals would be the best way to go if the homeowner is new to the real estate market.
Hiring an experienced real estate agent— one that has sold multiple fixer uppers before— means the owner would do less work.
These real estate agents already know who to market to, so the process can be a bit faster than selling FSBO. They’ll negotiate with potential buyers for a more realistic sale price and guide the homeowner in every step of the real estate transaction.
Note, however, that working with real estate agents doesn’t always guarantee more money after the sale. You have to subtract repairs, commission, closing costs, and any other costs.
3. Selling to a Cash Buyer or Investor
Selling directly to a cash buyer or real estate investor is the best way to sell a fixer upper house quickly. These people buy houses as-is, so home sellers won’t have to make any minor or major repairs and improvements.
Moreover, these buyers give cash offers fast (most in a matter of hours). They don’t need to wait for mortgage approval which makes for a quick sale.
While cash offers from investors are typically lower than that of buyers from the traditional market, you may find yourself gaining more profit in the end.
Remember that the cost of major repairs, especially if your house has structural damage, can balloon to thousands of dollars. But with the help of cash buyers, you won’t need to pay for repairs. They even cover the closing costs for you. Not to mention the time and energy saved.
How to Sell a Fixer Upper House on the Market
If you want to sell your fixer upper house fast, but you don’t want to work with a cash buyer, there are a few more things you can do. These tips are applicable for selling your house on the real estate market, but this will not create the fastest sale compared to getting cash offers from companies that buy houses as-is.
Set a Realistic Price Through the Help of a Real Estate Agent
Although it may be tempting to set a high price for your fixer upper house, doing so can scare potential buyers away.
Most buyers these days search for houses online and they often filter their search according to price. You don’t want your fixer upper house compared to move-in ready homes…
To set a fair price for your fixer upper house, it would be better to have the house appraised. You can also ask a professional real estate agent to do comparative market analysis (CMA).
Highlight Best Features and Potentials of the Entire Property
While your fixer upper may need a lot of major repairs, it may still have some features that are worth highlighting on your listing. A prime location is important to buyers, so if you have a fixer upper house in a good school district or near a walkable downtown area, mention this to garner a higher price.
It is also a good idea to play up the fixer upper’s potential in the listing. Include the possible resale value of the house after it is repaired, the floor plan of the house, and where it is situated.
Improve the Home’s Curb Appeal
The fixer upper’s curb appeal can also impact how fast you’ll sell it. Potential buyers usually drive by the community where they want to live. If they see that the house has a well-maintained yard, that’s one less thing to deter them.
In boosting the curb appeal of your fixer upper, prioritize removing debris and trash, cutting the grass, shrubs, and trees, power washing the exterior, and cleaning the roof and gutters.
Disclose “Deal-Killers” to the Potential New Owners
Have a pre-listing home inspection to determine how much work your fixer upper needs and disclose this to potential buyers. This way, you’ll gain their trust and you will be able to sell quickly.
While disclosing deal-killers you have discovered through the inspection report, make sure to highlight the potentials of your entire property as well. You don’t want to scare buyers away by only showing them the ugly side of your property.
Do Some Deep-cleaning
Most home sellers underestimate the value of deep cleaning a fixer upper home before putting it for sale. Although many buyers often do a full rehabilitation of fixer uppers, you still don’t want them to be greeted by grime and clutter during showing.
Deep cleaning before you sell a fixer upper means getting rid of all the clutter, depersonalizing the home through removing family photos and other decorations, washing the windows, removing mold and mildew, and cleaning the flooring.
How to Sell a Fixer Upper House Fast
Cash buyer companies are the fastest way to sell a fixer upper house. Cash buyers are actively looking for homes in disrepair, and have the funds available to close as soon as the title company or attorney finishes the title process (sometimes in as little as 7 days).
The seller doesn’t have to make or pay for any repairs. There is no house cleaning. No agent commission. No closing costs.
Cash buyers don’t care about curb appeal because they work with distressed properties daily– they have low expectations for what they are going to walk into with every fixer upper house.
Final Thoughts: How to Sell a Fixer Upper House Fast
Selling a fixer upper house won’t take ages if you know the right strategies. To illustrate, pricing it realistically and marketing to the correct buyers can get you a quick offer (especially in a seller’s market).
However, if you really want to sell a fixer upper house fast, consider selling to a cash buyer or real estate investor. They’ll buy your property as-is, so you don’t need to put in any effort in repairs— this also saves you time and money.
If you own a fixer upper and want to sell fast, reach out to us at Sell My House Fast. We’ll give you a competitive cash offer and close on your schedule!
Fill out our form below or call us at (844) 207-0788 if you want to learn more about selling your fixer upper house.
Sell My House Fast For Cash!
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Author: Andy Kolodgie
Andy Kolodgie is an experienced real estate investor with a network that expands nationwide. As owner of Sell My House Fast, Andy’s goal is to provide home sellers with more options to their real estate problems than a traditional home sale. He’s been featured on multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, MSN, HomeLight, Credit.com, Apartment Therapy, Business.com, LegalZoom, Zolo, and Creditcards.com.