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12 Tips for Selling a Fixer-Upper

Selling a house that needs repairs? Don’t fret! Just because your home needs some work doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great offer. From how to market a fixer-upper to the best way to handle offers from investors, we have pro real estate tips that can help you sell a home as is!

Know Your Potential Buyers

If you’re trying to sell a home that’s in need of renovations, there’s a chance you’ll be selling to budget-seeking buyers who would otherwise be priced out of the area. But statistically speaking, the more work a home needs, the more likely you’ll be selling to investors or buyers with a house flipping business. This is even more likely if your home has structural issues or is in need of major reconstruction. Because these buyers are looking to buy, flip, and sell for a profit, you’ll need to be prepared for their offers to be low and pushed with a quick turnaround.

Price Your Fixer Upper Right

Exterior of Las Vegas, NV home. Photo by Instagram user @saucyswagg

Photo via @saucyswagg

When it comes to fixer-upper tips, few are as important as pricing your home correctly! Today’s homebuyers are savvy and have strong resources to help them make better offers, so overpricing your home won’t get you far.

Beth Braverman writes at Realtor.com about the dangers of pricing your home incorrectly: “Pricing your property too high—thinking you’ll leave prospects with plenty of room to negotiate—may quickly scare away legitimate offers. Plus, buyers who search for homes online (translation: pretty much all of them) often screen by price, so they may not even see an overpriced property.”

To avoid missing out on potential offers, Braverman recommends pricing your home at or slightly below the going rate.

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Market It Correctly

Not sure how to market a fixer-upper house? Spend some time studying! To get the best offer possible, you’ll want to take extra care when writing the listing description for your fixer-upper. Here’s some important information to include:

  • Highlight what’s been updated over the years
  • Mention buyer renovation loans and mortgages
  • Focus on unique selling points like location, uncommon floor plan, large bedrooms, etc.

Sell Through a Platform with a Flat Fee

Transaction costs when selling a home can add up! That’s why a pro fixer-upper tip is to keep intermediary fees as low as possible. Scott McGillivray, host of HGTV’s Income Property, suggests not using a real estate agent when selling a fixer-upper so that both you and your buyer are closer to your ideal prices.

“With selling a home, looking at reducing transaction costs is probably the fastest way to more money in your pocket,” McGillivray said. “Also, using online brokerages [and] paying flat fee versus commission when buying and selling properties.”

Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Hands shaking. Photo by Instagram user @reddoorteam

Photo via @reddoorteam

If the ease of using a real estate agent is worth paying the commission, or if time is of the essence, be sure to choose the right realtor! The first question you should ask when choosing the right agent is if they have experience in selling a fixer-upper. Because these properties are trickier to sell, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth by working with an expert!

Allow Time for Offers to Come In

For sale sign in front of house. Photo by Instagram user @realtorsalima

Photo via @realtorsalima

If you’re set on selling your home fast, you might be tempted to take the first offer that rolls in! But this is the time to have patience, if possible—especially because many potential buyers are likely investors. According to broker and realtor Bruce Ailion, four in five prospective buyers are investors, and while this is great for fast cash offers, they may not always be fair. Give yourself a few days or even a week before responding to any offers, as this will leave time for more offers to come in.

Be Honest About Faults

Home inspector filling out report. Photo by Instagram user @jwinspections

Photo via @jwinspections

While you can pitch a home needing design updates as a great move-in-ready deal with just a little TLC, it’s important to be forthcoming about any structural or safety issues. Save yourself from losing a deal when the home inspector comes by either handling any of these major issues first or acknowledging them with a reduced listing price.

Know How Low You’ll Go

Hands shaking. Photo by Instagram user @optimalhomes

Photo via @optimalhomes

Selling a house that needs work means that you could be dealing with house flipping investors. While a family flipping a house they plan to live in is more likely to be thrilled to get a good deal, anyone flipping houses for profit will likely try and get you to go as low as possible. And while a quick cash offer might be tempting, set firm boundaries before you list so you don’t get accept an offer you’ll regret later.

Play Up the Best Features

You or your agent will want to showcase your home’s best feature, not just on the listing description, but on tours with prospective buyers as well. Do you have a spacious living room? Original wood? An in-demand location? Whatever you have working in your favor, make sure buyers know the best parts of your home and not just what needs work!

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Enhance Curb Appeal

Wondering how to sell a fixer upper home fast? Take on your front lawn! Trim shrubs and trees, add a pop of color with a new plant, or give your exterior a fresh coat of paint. Even if your home is dated on the inside, attract buyers by showing off the great structure they have to work with!

Make It Sparkle

A deep clean can go a long way! Making sure your home is properly scrubbed and decluttered is one of the easiest steps to selling your house. Not only is proper cleaning an important part of staging your home to sell, but having a fresh, uncluttered space can also clear the way for prospective buyers to imagine all of the potential your home has.

Consider External Factors

Sold sign in front of home with family in background. Photo by Instagram user @groupopendoors

Photo via @groupopendoors

Despite all of the fixer upper advice out there, there are some things you simply cannot control like the weather or the market your home is in. However, you can control how you react to these things! Fewer people are going to want to flip a home in the winter if you live in an area with frequent snow and blistering cold, so consider the timing before listing. Whether it’s a buyer’s or a seller’s market is also out of your control, so think about this before listing or pricing your home.


Need a place to store items while your fixer-upper house is on the market? With convenient self storage locations throughout the U.S., Extra Space Storage is here to help. Find storage units near you!

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