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How to Sell a House in Poor Condition Without Overspending

How to sell a house in poor condition without overspending


Last Updated: 29/08/2019

So you need to sell your house but you know all to well that the cost of getting your house ready for a sale is more than what you can afford.

The floorboards are creaking, the roof is leaking and there’s a ton of mold in the cellar and you’re thinking to yourself ‘is there anything i can do that’s not too costly or time consuming? Luckily for you there is!

This article is specifically designed to help those worried about selling a house which is in need of serious repairs. Not only will we cover how you can go about fixing and selling a house in disrepair but also your selling options after that.

Let’s get started!


how to sell a house that needs work doing to it


The first thing you need to do if you’re trying to sell a house that needs massive repairs is to target the right type of buyers. These days you can get a number of types of buyers, some of which include:

  • Flippers: These types of buyers will buy low – renovate the home and then sell it on for as much money as possible.
  • Bargain Hunters: These types of buyers usually can’t afford a said house in the area they want(for example, they may want to buy a specific house because a relative lives close by or a school they like is not too far from it). They will wait until a a cheaper option appears and don’t mind taking on the renovation work if it means they get to live in an area of their choosing.
  • Landlords: A Landlords main aim usually is to renovate a house good enough for rental purposes.

When you’re low on cash it makes sense to only spend on high priority areas that will actually make your house more sale-able. Some examples of this include, damage to the foundation, moldy areas and leaks.


Small changes can make a huge difference and if your house is in a really bad state then the more things you can get done, the better. Some examples of this could include, fixing any doors or hinges, deep cleaning the whole house, repainting walls and cleaning your carpets!


Even if your house doesn’t look great, when it comes to viewing time try to highlight the best parts of your home. For example, if your garden is bigger than others on your street, point it out. If you have an extra storage area or larger rooms, be sure to mention them!


Too many times we’ve seen sales fall through because the home owner didn’t disclose full details of what the house needs. If there is someone willing to take on all the extra work and you begin lying to them about certain issues, firstly, they are more than likely to find out themselves at some point and secondly, you’re going to be in for a long & stressful sales process.
This can be a little tricky so it may be wise to consult a professional. The price of your home will vary depending on the type of work that needs doing. Simply put, if the price is right you’ll have more of a chance to sell it.

What Comes Next?


So now that you’ve done what you can to your property to the best of your ability, what comes next?

Home owners that are stuck with defective properties often ask questions like ‘how do I sell my run down house‘ or can I sell my house as is‘ and the quick answer is of course you can but it depends heavily on the state of your property and level of investment that would be required to make it a fully functioning home again.

To put it in simpler terms, if your property is structurally sound and requires cosmetic work only, there is a very good chance you will find buyers for it and can probably sell it on at a reasonable price.

However, if your house has structural damage, you can bet any potential buyer will get a survey done to determine the severity of the damage and then figure out if it’s worth investing their time and money into.

There are 4 ways you can go about selling a house in bad shape and they are as follows.


4 key ways to sell a house in poor condition


Now let’s take a look at these 4 ways in a little more detail so you’re able to decide which one would be the best for you to go with if you’re wanting to sell your home fast.


1) Estate Agent Sale


Estate agents have been around for what seems like forever. You can bet most long standing estate agents have had their fair share of defective & properties in poor condition to get rid of so using one to sell yours is a good option.

Before you pick one, do some research. It’s important here that you find a reputable or even specialist estate agent (if your property really ‘out of the box’) that will sell and market your house. Picking the wrong one could leave you more out of pocket than you were before so be careful! Also, don’t forget about the additional fee’s estate agents charge for their services. Be sure to confirm these before signing on any documentation.


2) Private House Sale


Selling a house privately basically means you are selling it yourself without the use of a middle man (ie. An estate agent or other entity). This is actually a great way to go about selling quirky homes or homes that require significant investment as you will have more control over the buyers that view your property which allows you to highlight the stronger points of your property and stage property viewings more precisely.

In fact, you can potentially make more money from the sale as well because you are dealing with the buyer directly and don’t have to worry about additional third party or estate agent fee’s.

That said, you will have to manage everything yourself which includes things like listings, viewings, negotiations, conveyancing and much more. It can be very demanding so if you choose this route make sure you’re prepared.


3) Auction House Sale


If you’ve ever been to an auction house sale and looked at some of their listings, you are sure to have seen a wide range of properties including run down, defective, old, quirky and much more different types of houses.

Auction houses attract a variety of different house buyers so it’s a great way to sell a property in poor condition in the uk.

As with estate agents, don’t forget that auction houses do charge fee’s to go along with the sale of your house so make sure you know what these fee’s are and how much you will be paying before proceeding!


4) Quick Sale Firms


‘True’ house buying companies buy houses for cash. These firms generally offer below market value for a property but many of them do not charge any additional fee’s like estate agents and auction houses do.

Firms like Housebuyers4u even pay for surveys and guarantee to buy any house in any condition so it’s well worth contacting them. In some cases home owners that sell their houses with quick sale firms end up making more overall profit than they would with an estate agent or an auction because their fee’s are so high!

Another bonus of selling with a house buying company is they can complete the sale of your home much quicker than an estate agent – sometimes within 7 days. This is because they buy the house with cash.

That said, there are rouge companies out there that claim to buy your house for cash but instead list it on websites like Rightmove/Zoopla and hope for a quick sale. This is why it’s very important to research the company you are planning to sell with to make sure they are legit.


Bonus Tip: Sell on Valuables Before Putting your House on for Sale


Whichever method you choose to sell your house with, one thing that many people forget to do is check through the house and see if there is worth keeping and selling at a later date. You’d be surprised what people can sell on at auctions and websites like Ebay so don’t miss out on this chance to bag some extra cash with the sale of your home.


The Bottom Line


In conclusion, the key to selling a house in poor condition is patience. Your property is different so it may take a little extra time to find the right buyer. Try to banish thoughts like ‘my house is unsellable‘ as this will only make the whole process tougher.

Another important point is to research your preferred method and company thoroughly so you’re familiar with the whole selling process and know exactly what to expect. As the saying goes, ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry


We’d love to hear your opinions! If you enjoyed our article visit our home owners advice center for more of the same. If have any questions or would like to give us some feedback, feel free to contact us at any time or leave a comment below!

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