how to sell a fixer-upper house

How to Sell Fixer-Upper Houses Fast

It can be intimidating to list your home on the market without investing in renovations. But is it unrealistic to think that you could sell fixer-upper houses in this market? Not at all.

Not everyone has the time or the money to update their home before selling. The good news for those homeowners is that some buyers are specifically looking for fixer-uppers or “handyman specials” so that they can renovate the home to their own taste.

Your success will come from how you stage and list your home. When it comes to selling a fixer-upper, it’s not about making it look perfect. It’s about showcasing the structure, location, yard, and quality of the home build.

Here’s how to sell fixer-upper homes fast in 2020.

5 Steps to Selling Fixer-Upper Houses in 2020

So your house needs a little work, big deal.

Serious buyers who are seeking fixer-uppers will know enough to look past dated wallpaper and closed-in rooms to see the true potential of the property.

Before you list your handyman special on the market, make sure you take these five steps first:

1. Tidy up your yard and remove clutter

To make a good first impression, consider the curb appeal of your home and your landscaping. You don’t have to spend tons of money to have good yard; you can clean up the weeds, mow the grass, and plant some flowers.

Studies have shown that landscaping and curb appeal can directly impact the value of your home. For example, a home with a cracked driveway, no flower beds, and no walkway to the door is going to be much less visually appealing.

Remember, the first photo people see is the front of your home! You want to entice them to click and view the listing further.

The clutter inside your home has a similar impact. Most buyers go straight to the windows to look at the view, so it’s important to make sure the windows are cleaned inside and out.

Go through your home and pack away any unnecessary items so that surfaces are clear and storage is spacious.

When you want to clear our clutter, avoid throwing it into closets and cupboards. Storage is a priority for many buyers, and you want to show that you have lots of space.

2. Small changes can make a big difference

Renovating a washroom or a kitchen are often suggested as the two best ways to improve your home value, but they’re also the most expensive.

Whether you can’t afford renovations or don’t have the time, there is no need to worry about it. Focusing on smaller updates can be worth while too.

Some small repairs and less expensive upgrades you can make include:

  • Updating your landscaping in your front and back yard
  • Cleaning tubs and toilets; fixing ceramic chips with glaze from Home Depot or other hardware stores
  • Steam cleaning rugs
  • Waxing or polishing hardwood floors
  • Staining veneer flooring to update decor
  • Adding an inexpensive backsplash to the kitchen to upgrade decor
  • Fixing or replacing doors and hinges
  • Repainting ceilings to cover peeling paint, water damage, or yellowing
  • Patching holes and colouring in scratches or paint chips (this can be done with a similar coloured crayon – you do not need the paint)
  • Adding caulking to worn out areas
  • Replacing leaky faucets; upgrade faucets in kitchen and bathroom
  • Upgrading fixtures throughout the home such as cabinet handles and light switch covers
  • Upgrading or cleaning light fixtures and ceiling fans
  • Replacing chewed or damaged baseboards
  • Updating drapes or blinds

3. Mention renovation loans in your listing

When it comes to selling your fixer-upper home, renovation loans could be one of your most useful tools.

Rather than purchasing a fixer-upper and paying for separate upgrades, buyers can get approved for higher loan amounts to pay for large renovations.

There are certain rules that need to be followed when you do this:

  1. The renovations typically must be approved by a consultant of your mortgage company
  2. They will determine whether it makes financial sense based on the projected home value.
  3. You must provide proof of completed renovations.

Work with your easy home realtor to make sure your listing includes renovations loans. Your realtor should also mention this possibility to prospective buyers at the open house.

The more resources buyers are aware of, the better chance of them purchasing the home.

4. Highlight the features of your home

Buyers can update flooring, repaint rooms, remove non-load bearing walls, and upgrade appliances themselves.

When a serious buyer is looking at your fixer-upper home, what they’re really looking at is the floor plan and whether or not the building is structurally sound.

If they love the floor plan, the location, and the property, there is a good chance they will make an offer.

So make sure when you sit down to make your listing with your realtor, that you’re highlight the existing features of your home beyond the decor:

  • Square footage of indoor space
  • Location, location, location
  • Finished basement
  • Backing onto a green space / no rear neighbours / waterfront
  • Neighbourhood amenities, recreation, transit, and schools
  • Storage space (i.e. walk-in closet, backyard shed, cold storage room)
  • Any updates made in the last 5 years (deck, roof, appliances, etc.)
  • Owned appliances including water softener, furnace, etc.

5. The Price is Right

When you are ready to list your fixer-upper, be careful not to overprice it.

  • Rely on advice from your realtor to make sure you’re finding a balance between under-pricing and over-pricing.
  • We can help calculate the cost of your home if it were remodelled.
  • Then we will help you calculate the cost of the upgrades required.
  • Subtract whatever the buyer will need to absorb from the home value.

Looking for ways to sell your home? Speak to one of our trusted specialists for assistance. For more knowledge on selling your home, visit our Seller Toolkit.

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