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Selling a House In Bad Condition

Selling a house that’s in poor condition can be tricky. Some say do repairs, others say don’t do the repairs, and still others say the house may not be as bad as you feel it is. Let’s try to work through the complexity.

Selling a House In Bad Condition

It is true, there are folks whose homes are not as bad as the owners feel they are. Example:  There was a couple who initiated a remodel but were unable to finish prior to finding out they were relocating to another state.  Their realtor found a solid structure and positive aesthetics which canceled out the negativity of the unfinished remodel. She was able to find an investor who paid cash for the house and finished the work that needed done. All ended well.  So, don’t count yourself out until you talk to someone.

When selling a home of any kind, state law requires complete disclosure.  You need to educate yourself on every little thing that is wrong with your house, disclosed it and then know what absolutely has to be done. A vast majority of mortgage lenders insist that the house not have structural, health, or safety issues before they will lend money to a buyer. This is if you go the traditional route through a regular real estate agency and general buyer.

If you prefer to not do any work and selling a house in bad condition, the protocol is a bit different.  With this scenario, it depends on how much money you’re hoping to get for the home.

Traditional buyers are leery of the ‘as is’ homes unless they come with a home warranty.  This means you would be doing the necessary repairs using a licensed, bonded, insured professional who can provide a lifetime warranty on their work.If you’re not willing to invest in the home like that,you would need to significantly lower your price in asking the traditional buyer to take on the risk of the home repairs.It seems many traditional buyers steer clear of these homes.

Investors and wholesalers buy this type of home up fast.  They don’t want you to do anything. They advise not to spend a bunch of money on expensive repairs because they won’t give you more for the house,and they can get the repairs done cheaper. They also don’t want your survey or home inspection.  They want their own.   Sounds pretty win-win. Let’s check out some more pros and cons.

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Selling Investors / Wholesalers Your As – Is Home

Pros:

  • Save money on costly repairs, warranties, remodeling, and staging.  Just need to make sure the house is clean and decent.
  • Less contingencies in the contract. No home inspection. Less ways for the contract tofall out of escrow. Probably an all-cash offer.
  • No inconveniences…showings, appointments, negotiations.

Cons:

  • You will get low-ball offers only. Probably 80% of the value / 50% of escrow.
  • Mostly dealing with a pool of investors directly. There won’t be someone on your side helping with the process.
  • Your home will definitely bring in less money than comparable homes that have done the work, have manicured lawns, painted, look pretty.  Pricing is going to be very important if you want it to sell fast next to these houses. It needs to be at market or even $5000-$10000 below market to entice the buyers.

Even investors have homes they turn down. So, if your home is in this type of condition, you may have a very difficult time.

Investors Won’t Invest in These Types of Homes

  • Bad layout.  If the master bathroom is either in the hallway, or you have to go through the master bedroom to get to the only bathroom in the house. Also, if there is no bathtub in the house.
  • Additions.  Additions, it is said do not add any valuable square footage to a house as far as selling goes. An example given:  Converting a garage to a bedroom.  If you give up a garage, most people buying a home would prefer thegarage to the extra bedroom.
  • Negative backup.  If your backyard goes up against train tracks, power lines, a nightclub, anything that’s not good for a neighborhood.
  • Structural issues. Even investors have a problem buying houses with structural issues. They bring structural engineers to check the structure before purchase.
  • If there are no good comparables in the neighborhood. It’s too risky for them to try to resell it.
  • Same if it’s the biggest house in the entire neighborhood. There would be nothing to compare it to.

Something everyone agreed on, cleanliness.  Keep the house, especially the kitchen and bathrooms, clean. Go through with drywall putty and patch any nail holesand such. Take color-matched paint and touch up faded spots on the walls. Brighten up the space, open up the curtains,and turn on lights. Declutter closets and the basement so the place feels big and as if there’s ample storage.

Selling a house is stressful and can be very frustrating even if you don’t do any repairs. It’s important to take care of yourself and have down time where you can get away from it. 

Even if your home is in poor condition, someone will find a reason to love it again. Trust and believe.

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