Selling a house that needs repairs can take weeks or months. But your home’s condition has a significant impact on its listing price and which potential buyers it will attract.
However, you don’t need to repair your home before selling. You have options that help you avoid spending time (and money) on completing repairs.
In addition to the typical repair-then-sell route, you can sell your house in as-is condition to a cash buyer or list it on the open market as a fixer-upper.
Do you need to sell a house that requires serious repairs? Clever Offers is a great place to start. Clever matches you with a top local realtor who brings you offers from top cash home buyers in your area. You’ll also get a free home valuation to compare the cash offers to what your home is worth on the open market. Get cash offers from top local buyers now!
Options for selling a house that needs repairs
Each option comes with its pros and cons:
- Easiest and fastest: sell as-is to a cash buyer or a real estate investor.
- Cheapest up front: sell as a fixer-upper on the open market.
- Best, highest offers: make repairs before listing on the open market.
Offloading a property as-is means you won’t have to figure out how to sell a house that needs updating. But to earn the highest profit, you should compare offers from multiple cash buyers — or consider selling with a realtor.
We recommend using a free agent matching service like Clever Real Estate to find a realtor. Clever can match you up with agents who have experience selling homes in as-is condition.
Option 1: Sell to a cash buyer or investor
Companies that buy houses for cash and real estate investors make offers on homes in any condition, often within 24 hours of connecting with you. Most require no home inspections or appraisals, and you can usually close in a couple of weeks.
Cash buyers turn a profit by flipping homes. They buy the home, fix it, and resell it at a higher price. So while house-flippers ]make fast and hassle-free offers, they also buy well below fair market value.
Option 2: Sell on the open market in as-is condition
Selling your home as a fixer-upper means you’ll avoid spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on repairs. Buyers will make repairs or updates themselves.
Depending on your home’s features and condition, listing it could also attract offers from investors and seasoned buyers who see the home’s post-repair potential.
Still, selling your home as-is comes with some obvious potential drawbacks, such as:
- Getting less than fair market value
- Being less cost-effective than making home repairs first
- Taking longer to sell, with no guarantees
Although you avoid the hassle and costs of repairs, meeting with potential buyers and pitching the sale could still be stressful. Your best bet is to work with a realtor who has experience selling as-is homes.
Option 3: Complete repairs and list your home
Most home buyers prefer a home with as few issues as possible. You’re much more likely to attract conventional buyers if you take the time to improve your home (even modestly by repainting rooms).
Of course, the usual process takes more time and costs more than selling as-is. Before choosing one method, ask yourself some questions:
- What kind of repairs does your home need? Are they serious or minor?
- Can you afford the cost of repairing your home?
- Will this cost be worth the higher listing price?
- Do you have time to complete these repairs before listing? In other words, are you in a rush to sell?
Making repairs on your home before listing is the best way to get offers that meet or exceed its fair market value.
Steps to selling a home that needs repairs
You’ll need to determine the cost of repairs, how much your home is worth, and whether to request cash offers or list your home. Ask yourself these questions as starting points.
1. How much will repairs cost?
Knowing the cost of each specific project will help you budget and decide if some (or all) of these repairs are worth the investment. If they’re not, you might want to sell as-is.
You can estimate repair costs using quotes from contractors, which they should give for free. A realtor can advise on which repairs are essential and which you can skip.
2. What is my home worth?
You need to know what your house is worth — before and after any updates — to determine whether repairs are worth the cost and if the offers you get for it are fair.
A comparative market analysis (CMA) report calculates your home’s value. Realtors examine your home and pull data on the surrounding real estate market to establish a home’s fair market value, and they’ll usually do it for free.
Want to know your home’s value without contacting a realtor? You can try to create your own CMA or use a free home value estimator, though these methods won’t be as accurate as a professional report.
3. Should I list my house or sell it to cash buyers?
A real estate agent is your best option to sell at or above your home’s fair market value. Even if you prefer selling as-is, an agent can still guide you through offers from investors or cash buyers.
Consider the time (not just cost) it may take to sell your home as-is versus after repairing it. Cash buyers give you speed and flexibility that you likely won’t get by selling on the open market.
Selling a House in Poor Condition: How to Do It. If your home’s in poor condition, you may still be able to sell it – even if it’s dilapidated or uninhabitable.
How Much Do You Lose By Selling a House As-is? You could lose a lot or a little by selling your home in as-is condition. Learn more about the factors impacting your sale proceeds, and how to save money.
How Can I Sell My House Fast Without Losing Money? While it takes an average of two to three months to sell a home, you can speed up the process without sacrificing profit. Learn how here.
FAQs about selling a house that needs repairs
Is it hard to sell a house that needs serious repairs?
Sometimes. If your home needs serious repairs, you have a few options on how to sell. If you want to sell quickly and without repairs, cash buyers will make offers and let you close within weeks. Selling your home as-is on the open market also helps you avoid making repairs, but it can be hard to find suitable buyers.
Is it worth it to fix up a house before selling?
It depends on the home and your needs. If you need to sell quickly and aren’t worried about maximizing your home’s sale price, you can sell it as-is at a discounted price. You can also make the necessary repairs before selling on the open market, but you should determine your home’s value and the cost of those repairs firsthand.
How do you list an old house that needs work?
There are three ways to sell a home that needs repairs: You can sell as-is to a cash buyer, usually for a low price. You can sell as-is on the open market, which may take time and produce low offers. Or you can repair and update the home before listing it on the open market. Learn more about your selling options.