24 Oct How To Sell A Property In Need Of Repair
How To Sell A Property In Need Of Repair
If you’ve decided that the time is right to put your property on the market, but the building isn’t in the best condition, it’s a good idea to be realistic about its state of repair and what that means for achieving the best sale price.
Ask yourself how much work the property needs to bring it up to standard. Is it just a bit tired and could with decorating or is it in need of serious repair and modernisation? Are the kitchen and bathrooms in need of an update? Do the windows need replacing? Any roofing issues, damp or structural problems?
Fixer-uppers are what we call houses that need a lot of repair or renovation work. The good news is that selling a poorly maintained home doesn’t have to be a problem. After all, there are thousands of UK homebuyers and property developers actively looking for houses they can do up and add value to, either for their own use or to turn a quick profit. Here are some useful pointers for you to consider.
Position the property as a shrewd purchase
If your home is in obvious need of repair, this will be reflected in the asking price. No potential buyer is going to be keen to pay the full market value for a house that needs many thousands of pounds spending on it. If you wish to attract developers and investors, they’ll be expecting to buy at a hefty discount. The price of your fixer-upper should account for the cost of repairs and a profit when sold on.
Property auctions could be a great place to market your fixer-upper. It’s also where you’ll find buyers who are prepared to take greater risks for potentially higher profits. Choose spring or autumn when demand is highest, set a reserve price and a guide price that reflects the amount of repairs or renovations required and see where it goes. Whether it sells or not, a property auction is an excellent way to determine the property’s actual value.
Highlight the property’s positive features
Your house may have many flaws, but that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of positives that you can shout about. Highlight obvious selling points such as generous room sizes, abundant natural light, attractive period features, a large garden or convenient location. Guide interested buyers in the right direction by showing them the property’s potential and helping them to imagine the possibilities that could be achieved with a bit of work.
Don’t forget to point out any development potential. In urban areas, “along with rear extensions, loft and basement conversions are the most popular home renovations in the UK,” advises one expert in the field. If the loft, basement or garage are suitable for conversion or there’s space to extend out, these are key selling points to get across. And if you can have planning permission in place where needed, it will make the house even more attractive to fixer-upper buyers.
Be honest about any problems with the building
When it comes to selling a fixer-upper, honesty is always the best policy, even if there are problems with the property that you’d rather not draw attention to. The Law Society Property Information Forms must be completed by the seller to give the buyer detailed information about the property and it’s important that your answers are accurate.
Selling your fixer-upper will be a great deal more complicated if you attempt to hide any serious issues and structural flaws and they later come to light. If you provide incorrect, incomplete or misleading information on the forms, in writing or in conversation with the estate agent, solicitor or directly with the buyer, they could make a claim for compensation. That’s assuming that the transaction goes ahead at all. Coming across as a shifty seller is one of the quickest ways to lose the goodwill of a serious buyer who may well decide your property is not for them.
Think about the target market for a fixer-upper
Buying a property in need of repair is not for everyone. Buyers who are looking for a home that’s ready to move in won’t be interested in a property that needs substantial renovation work. Cash-strapped first-time buyers may not be in a position to take on costly repairs, and retirees may not have sufficient motivation to get involved in a major project.
That said, there are plenty of buyers out there who are perfectly prepared to put in money and effort to turn a tired fixer-upper into a desirable home. They include affluent buyers who are looking to move to a desirable area where capital appreciation is higher, as well as young families wishing to settle down in a long-term home with space to grow into. Then there are property investors or ‘flippers’ who’ve made a business out of doing up neglected houses and selling them on for a quick profit, and not forgetting buy-to-let landlords seeking a good long-term investment.
Selling quickly and conveniently
If you are thinking of selling a property that needs extensive repairs and renovations, decisive action is often the best policy. Bite the bullet and consult with an experienced local estate agent to establish a realistic valuation of your less than perfect property. The agent should also be able to give you valuable tried and tested tips on how best to present your property for sale such as:
- Declutter, depersonalise and deep clean the property to create a blank canvas
- Carry out minor and cosmetic repairs and redecorations to remove any visual negatives
- Freshen up driveways and front gardens to boost your home’s kerb appeal
- Tidy up garden areas and outdoor spaces to reveal the property’s potential
Instructing a residential estate agent is most sellers’ go-to solution but there are downsides to going down this sales route. It can be a slow and painful process since fixer-uppers can take much longer to sell on the open market than their ‘perfect’ counterparts. If speed is of the essence, quick house sale companies can enable you to cash in on your property in a matter of weeks. Having passed on the burden of carrying out substantial home improvements to the next owner, it leaves you free to enjoy the proceeds of your house sale.