10 Tips for a House That Needs a Lot of Work

Once you’ve decided to sell your house, you’ll start to notice things that once weren’t obvious. For one, the small water puddles that left marks on the ceiling started to look like heavy, ugly marks. You’ve often doubted if this house would fetch anything, and you could be right. You can sell it as-is or make a higher value because a house that needs a lot of work takes more than just having the right tools.

1. Selling your Home As Is

This option is an easy road. It involves selling your home without making major renovations. You advertise your home in its present condition. Instead of incurring unnecessary costs for a house that needs a lot of work, you sell it as it is. The benefit is that you’ll get cash when the house is sold. The downside is it won’t fetch the best price.

As the seller, disclose all major defects of your house to the potential buyer. This is a legal requirement, so get acquainted with your area’s listing rules before proceeding. Always seek the opinion of a real estate agent so they can direct you accordingly.

Before selling your house, check around your neighborhood for other houses on sale. If the other houses have been renovated, you may need help selling yours un-renovated. However, if you find several other homes sold as-is, you could be better positioned to sell the house faster.

2. Decide If You Can Afford It

Renovating a house that needs a lot of work is expensive and may take a long time. Plan for every detail and research the market rates vis-à-vis the house’s actual value. If you invest money in renovations, will the sale help recover your costs? You will need money to fix every broken item, paintwork, replace old with new appliances or fixtures, labor, and advertising costs. Keep a realistic budget, and stick to it until the process is completed.

Ask yourself if you’re ready to move just yet. Detaching from a home where your family has spent many memories can be hard. Get this discussion in one of your family meetings so you can get the support of every person. Plan your family’s move from the house to your new home, and contact the local moving company with details of when and where you’re moving to.

3. Inspect It

Before listing a house that needs a lot of work, inspect it. With an inspection report, you can fix, repair and replace things that need your attention. When a seller is clear on the house’s condition, it speeds up the sale process as there are no surprises to put off a potential buyer.

An inspection gives the seller all facts, thus helping set the property’s price. The seller gets full disclosure about the house’s condition. Now that you know everything there’s to know about your house, you’re in a better position to negotiate with potential buyers, and they also understand what they’re getting themselves into.

The inspection process involves contacting a local home inspector. Your realtor will provide a list of good home inspectors in your area. Schedule a day when they can come to do the inspection. During the inspection exercise, explain all changes you may have made to the property, including challenges experienced.

4. Be Clear About Your Expectations

A property sale is a major event for the family. As such, don’t keep them in the dark regarding the sale process. Sit down with your agent and write your expectations, including those of the family.

Let the agent know your expectations, such as how fast you need to make the sale. Also, establish the method of communication between you and your agent and how often they should update you on the sale process. If you want a fixed price, make this clear from the get-go. Don’t be too rigid with your expectations because a sale process involves teamwork from more than one party, more so for a house that needs a lot of work.

Making a quick sale isn’t automatic. For instance, if your property is on a ranch, the target measure of selling it fast differs from that in an urban area. Work with your agent to fast-track a sale so you can have realistic expectations.

5. Understand Your Buyer

The question is, who is your target market for this property? If it’s in an urban setting, is it in a high-end neighborhood or downtown where it’s more crowded? Is it in the rural areas where your buyer shall cover miles before seeing a sign of life? For a house that needs a lot of work, think as the buyer to capture their expectations.

Understand what’s trending among prospective buyers, as this will point to the direction they’ll be looking for. Is the house decorated? What type of interior design does it have? Capture some trending design styles, as this is most likely what your clients are interested in.

6. Ensure the Price Is Realistic

As the seller, you want top dollar from the sale of your property, even though it’s a house that needs a lot of work. Check similar, recently-sold properties. Among the things you should be on the look for are the size of the house, the neighborhood it’s in, and its amenities. Check the asking price set at the first listing and the last price by the time of closing the sale. Finally, find out the current dollar value of the sold unit and compare it to yours.

Look at the unsold units, comparing their prices to your house’s. If the houses that didn’t sell are no longer on the market, it possibly means they were hard to sell, probably due to the high pricing. Are there more units like yours that are still unsold? This means they are too pricey, and the prices should be lowered to pique the interest of prospective buyers.

Check and analyze the data on the withdrawn listings, the expired listings, and if there’s any relisting. An expired listing means the period the property was listed ended before it sold. Withdrawn listing means the agreement to list is still in effect, but the seller is no longer interested in marketing it.

7. Highlight Its Advantages

You know your house best, so use its positive points to make a sale. This should be among your key selling points, especially if you lived on the property. If it has amenities such as a swimming pool, market this feature as one of the unique advantages of the property.

A deck improves your home’s curb appeal. It also increases the property’s value compared to houses that have none. A deck expands the home’s entertainment space. It allows your home to host more guests, such as when having birthdays and other family functions.

With a deck, you can entertain more guests without panicking about space. Since a deck increases your home’s value, before listing it for sale, repair and embellish it to ensure it looks the best.

The good thing is that a deck doesn’t need too much work, and it can be constructed within a day. To make a deck, you can use wood, vinyl, and composite materials. Choose a durable material that brings out your property’s aesthetic value.

Conduct repairs on your deck to get prospective buyers interested. Check online for a local deck builder who can work with your requirements to make a stunning deck for a house that needs a lot of work.

Ensure the compound is well-lit. This includes the front yard walkway and the backyard. Use solar lighting panels to save on energy. This will also increase the home’s value and draw in interest from prospective buyers.

8. Focus On the Most Necessary Repairs

After getting your inspection report, and you realize your house needs a lot of work, get busy implementing the highlighted repair issues. Start with the concrete flooring. Ensure you have all relevant floor surfaces checked, including the house floor, the garage floor, the patio floor, the pool deck floor, and the basement floor.

The advantage of concrete is its durability. Work with attractive paints to turn the different floors from dull gray to a bright surface. Call a paving company to handle repairs on your driveway.

They’ll rework its design, fill up cracks and chippings, and improve curb appeal. Your paving consultant can advise on putting a paving overlay, which is less expensive than reclaiming the entire surface. Besides, paving increases the surface’s life and adds structural strength to the existing floor. Remember to ask their opinion on the trees in your compound so you can decide whether to get tree services to chop them or not.

9. Prepare the House for Sale

Before staging your house, there are several things you need to fix. These include:

Plumbing: Your house’s plumbing should be functional. Contact a professional plumber well-versed in residential plumbing. The plumber will inspect the plumbing system, recommending areas that need attention.

HVAC: Get the air conditioning system fixed by contacting HVAC services for a routine air conditioning inspection. Get the filters inspected and changed, remove debris, and clean the coils and blowers.

Get Rid Clutter: Think like a potential buyer coming to see your house. They want to see every corner of the house. Remove distractions from your house that needs a lot of work to showcase all available space to potential home buyers. De-cluttering goes beyond removing your belongings. Ensure your living room is orderly by keeping only the necessary furniture.

Clear the storage rooms and hallways to create more space. Remove your photos and other wall hangings to give potential buyers a feel of the available wall space. Scrub the bathroom so it sparkles. Repair your kitchen’s counters and storage cabinets to showcase it well. Kitchens and living rooms draw a lot of interest from potential home buyers.

Deep Clean the House: When deep cleaning a house that needs a lot of work for sale, a cleaning company is best placed to give it a quick and thorough sweep. A professional cleaning company is best for this assignment because they come with all the necessary equipment needed for the job.

They should dust and wipe every surface, including corners, floors, and walls. The carpets will get cleaned to remove dirt spots and stains. The cleaners should clean and sanitize the bathrooms and kitchen and scrub the windows and doors. You can pay extra to get the appliances, such as cookers, scrubbed clean.

Paint It: This is the last item in preparing your house before staging it. Your house needs a bright, fresh look. Despite being a house that needs a lot of work, the local painter can visit the house and recommend the next steps. They’ll either do fresh paintwork or refresh the existing one with a new coat.

Avoid using overly bright colors on the walls. Use neutral colors such as white, gray, and taupe. Avoid using bold colors in the rooms as they distract the viewing and hence distract the buyer from considering other unique attributes of a room. The buyer can later repaint the house if they’d like bright colors.

Once you’re done with the interiors, refresh the exteriors by hiring a local stucco paint repair professional to repair every crack, bulging stucco, and brown streak on your damaged exteriors, giving it a stunning new look.

10. Stage the House

Staging your house is a marketing strategy that helps potential home buyers develop a connection with the home in readiness to move in if they decide to buy. Work with your realtor during this exercise. You can also do it yourself or hire a professional home stager.

The rooms should be airy, so open the blinds and let in as much light inside. Leave all lights, including closet lights and lamps, on during the showings. This clears all doubts, and buyers won’t keep wondering which switches turn on which lights.

The type of staging depends on your goals, such as selling it as soon as possible and fetching the highest price possible. If you opt for a professional stager, you’ll have to pay a little extra for their services, but you’ll be impressed with the results.

Ensure enough walking space, so buyers can easily navigate. With space, buyers can visualize their furniture in each room without distractions. Arrange items in the house so that potential buyers get the feel of space and airiness as they give your home a closer look.

Preparing a house that needs a lot of work for sale requires more than giving it a fresh coat of paint. To sell it quickly, ensure it’s in the best possible position. Don’t give up; you could be closer to your goal than you think. Follow all serious leads, be ready to negotiate, and hope for the best.

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