Can I Sell My House if it Needs Major Repairs?

This is a question we get all the time at PropertyLark. Many homeowners are in this situation. They are afraid to put their house on the market because they know it needs major repairs. Whether it’s a property someone inherited, an investment that has been neglected or a primary residence that’s fallen into a state of disrepair, it can be intimidating to think about the time and money it will take the fix up the house before it is ready to sell on the open market.

In this scenario, we aren’t talking about little things that you can fix up yourself with patches and paint from The Home Depot. We’re talking about significant repairs that will likely require a contractor or at least an experienced handyman. These are the types of repairs that will take some time and will cost you some money.

If you are wanting to sell a house that needs significant repairs, you have a few choices:

1. Fix it Up and Sell it

First, if you have the time, cash and resources, you can make all the necessary repairs. It may cost you more now and delay the home selling process, but it will likely result in the best possible resale value on the property. Remember the old adage “you have to spend money to make money?” Well, that’s exactly the concept here. To get the max offer price, you will need a house that looks great and doesn’t require a lot of work in the buyer’s eyes.

The reason for doing this is to get the highest resale value out of the house. The downside is that it will take longer to get the property ready for sale and you will have to invest some cash or part of any equity you might have in order to get the repairs completed properly.

2. Sell the House as it is

Many people just don’t have the cash, equity or patience to do all the necessary repair work before selling a home—especially if the property is really in need of a lot of TLC. You always have the option to list the property with all its flaws out there for buyers to see. Some buyers are actually looking for fixer-uppers. They want a house with good “bones” that they can remodel and redesign in their own vision. They want to find a great deal and are willing to put the work in themselves.

If you do choose to sell your house on the open market in as-is condition, it is very important that you disclose its flaws in the listing information. It does you no good to try and hide things and hope that nobody will notice. Home inspectors will see that kind of stuff from a mile away and it could significantly delay your sale or even lead to legal issues.

When you sell your house as it is and disclose all the information upfront, you may ultimately find a willing buyer who sees the potential in your home. It may take more time to sell than a nicely fixed-up property and you definitely won’t get max value out of it, so you have to set your expectations accordingly.

3. Sell to a Cash Investor

The third option is to sell your house to a cash investor who is willing to purchase the house. They are usually planning to fix it up and then flip it or rent it out, or they may just resell it immediately to another investor. What they do with the property really isn’t your concern. The important thing is a cash investor will be willing to buy your house in as-is condition.

Because they are paying cash and there are no real estate agents or lenders to deal with, the sale will usually close quickly and you can get out from under your property as soon as possible. At PropertyLark, we’ve closed transactions in as few as 7 days, though we always work with our sellers to set their desired closing and move-out dates.

Selling to a cash investor makes the most sense if time is an issue and/or you don’t have the financial resources to make the necessary repairs. In many cases, selling for cash is a better option than #2 above because you may end up getting almost the same amount for the property. However, you aren’t paying any real estate agent commissions or other selling expenses. Plus, the quicker you sell, the less you have to worry about with mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes and other ownership expenses required during the time it takes you to sell.

If you are thinking of selling your property that needs repairs, it never hurts to get a free, no-obligation cash offer from PropertyLark. We’ll make an offer within 24 hours! Just fill out the form to the right or on any page of our website to get your cash offer!