How to sell a fixer upper: Renovating vs. Selling ‘as is’

First impressions are everything, especially if you’re trying to sell your home. If a potential buyer walks through your home—or more likely, scrolls through photos online—and finds an old house that looks fresh out of 1955, chances are they won’t find it endearing.

The easiest way to make a potential buyer scroll past your old house is to make them think about all the repairs they’re going to have to complete. Many traditional home buyers look for turnkey homes, or homes that require little to no repairs.

Regardless of whether you inherited an outdated home or simply haven’t kept up with design trends, you’re going to have to do significant repairs before selling an old house. It’s important to weigh the costs of necessary repairs with the market value of your home once they’re completed. This will help you decide whether to go through with the renovations yourself, or to sell your home as is for cash.

There’s no magic recipe for how to sell a fixer upper, but you’ll definitely want to look into the following repairs:

Base-level repairs

At a minimum, you’ll need to fix or replace all broken appliances, outdated carpeting, broken windows and leaky faucets before listing your home. But that’s just where the repairs begin. You’ll also need to remedy any code violations, which might include replacing the roof and HVAC systems. This can mean pricey remodels—it costs tens of thousands of dollars to remodel even one room. If you need to remodel several rooms, you’re looking at quite a high pricetag.

Aesthetic renovations

Carpeted bathrooms. Loud, bold, dominating wallpaper. Tile countertops. White appliances. While these design elements might have been trendy long, long ago, all of these things can detract from the visual appeal of your home. Renovations granite countertops, tile and new flooring in bathrooms and neutral walls can work wonders. Homes that photograph well sell more quickly.

Some of these repairs, especially the design renovations, may seem simple in theory, but can be very expensive to execute in realty. Cosmetic and design repairs costs can get out of hand quickly. It can cost about $16,000 for a bathroom remodel. Kitchens are about $54,000. Replacing an old roof is about $18,000. To sell your home, you need to update it, but the cost can be tremendous.

It might be worth considering selling to a trusted buyer as is if you own an outdated home that requires extensive renovations. Let’s say, for example, that your home is worth about $90,000 dollars in its current state, but would sell for about $130,000 after renovations. In its current state, you’re going to have a hard time selling it even for $90,000, since a potential buyer could get a similar, fully fixed up home for $130,000. And, contracting out the repairs yourself could cost well over $40,000, so going through with the repairs might not even save you money in the long run. An ”as-is” buyer will be able to pay you a fair price for your home, and you’ll save yourself the hassle of going through extensive repairs.

We buy old homes. Give us a call to see if selling your home as is to a local buyer is the right decision for you.

Schedule a Consultation Today


Please fill out the form below to contact Wren Realty, Inc. about your property.