You have lived in your house for some time. It is possible you have overlooked a lot of the little maintenance issues. Maybe the place could use a new coat of paint or the gutters need some attention. Over the years you have just learned to live with it.
Now you want to sell your house and move on to other things. You have two choices. You can make repairs before you put the house on the market (this will take time and money). Or, you can put the house on the market and hope it sells. Transferring the rehab responsibilities to someone that is okay with that.
There are pros and cons to either approach.
Getting Your House Market Ready Yourself.
There’s an obvious reason you might put in work to rehab your house. That is, you can ask for more money from potential home buyers.
A less obvious benefit is the confidence that it will inspire in anyone looking to buy. Put yourself in their shoes. Even if you get their attention with a lower priced home and fully disclose all of the repairs it needs, the buyer will suspect there may be more wrong with the house.
This means that you will have longer and more in depth inspections, and that means it will take longer to complete the deal.
Presenting the house in good condition signals that the house has been taken care of in the past and puts buyers more at ease. You could sell the house faster and for more money.
But What If You Can’t, or Just Don’t Want to Make The Repairs?
The good news is that you can sell any house, in any condition. Buyers are out there for any house, even if the place is burned down to the chimney stack.
There are lots of talented people out there willing to find houses at a bargain price. They are willing to put in some sweat equity to have the house of their dreams. There are investors out there with the money and resources to turn the worst kept properties into cash-flowing rental properties. You don’t even have to look that hard to find them. However, you do have to be willing to make some concessions. Skip the repairs and sell the house fast.
You might have to lower the price more than you thought.
If you look at similar properties that are in better repair in your neighborhood that have recently sold, you can pretty much estimate what your house would sell for in pristine condition. If you think your house could use, say, $20,000 in paint and repair, then you might think you could just knock the $20,000 off the sales price and everyone would be happy.
Unfortunately, the average home buyer isn’t thinking like that. They can see the $20,000 in repairs, but they are also looking at all the time and effort they have to put in, plus the possibilities for cost overrun and unforeseen problems. That $20,000 discount is not enough to insure their peace of mind.
A good rule of thumb is to lower the sales price by the cost of the deferred maintenance PLUS another 50%. It may sound like you are taking a big hit on the price, but, people looking to put in the sweat equity aren’t looking to do all the work and take all the risk for free. They really want a return on that investment. You have to make it worth their time.
Selling Your House As-is
On the up-side, you will get a LOT of interest in your house if you are dropping the price significantly to sell in an as-is condition. Buyer will be drawn to the lower price and the house will get a lot of attention. If you are willing to set your price right, you will sell your house fast. Depending on your circumstances, that may be the most important part of the deal for you.
Houses sold at a discount are of particular interest to real estate investors. Any reputable investor has the money and resources to turn your house around quickly so they can start renting it and recouping their investment. One quick phone call will usually have them out to look at your property, and you can have a cash offer in a couple of days, a quick closing date, and cash in your hand within the month.
If you are selling your home and you have the time and inclination to get your home in great shape you can certainly get top dollar for it in this market, but if you are ready to get out from under a property that needs work you don’t want to take on yourself, you can always find a buyer.