How to Sell a House That Needs A Lot of Work

Sep 22, By Chris Stacey

Selling an Old Home Scenario

Who among us hasn’t found themselves in a scenario like this one at some point in their lives: grandma unfortunately passes away and it’s time to start going through her assets and getting everything in order. When it comes to the house she lived in, you run into a bit of trouble. She’s the original owner of the house and she’s taken excellent care of it, but grandma wasn’t exactly a handyman by any stretch of the imagination. To make matters worse, she also never really got around to updating anything. The bathrooms need new fixtures. The kitchen floor looks like something out of a postcard from the 1960s. Though the house is in no danger of falling down anytime soon, nearly everything needs to be replaced or refinished before you can even think about selling the house.

That scenario describes what could be politely be described as a “bit of a fixer upper” in the real estate industry. The simple fact of the matter is that a house that grandma loved and cherished for 50 years (and that still looks very similar to the way it did on the day she bought it) isn’t likely to appeal to the sensibilities of a 20-something couple who is looking to buy their first starter home. Selling a house that needs work is certainly not a new concept, but you do have to keep a few key things in mind to both make the house as attractive as possible to the market as a whole and to maximize the investment that you’re about to put into it at the same time.

Determine What Needs to Be Replaced

As a rule of thumb, there are certain components of a house that should be updated every 20 years or so. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, you should always consider updating the following integral components every two decades:

  • The heating and cooling system.
  • Asphalt roofing materials.
  • Kitchen appliances.
  • Wood fencing.
  • Any deck that may be on or around the house.

By focusing on repairing, updating or completely replacing just these five core areas, you’ll make a great deal of progress towards getting the value of the home in question back up in line with similar homes in the area.

There are also a few other factors that you’ll want to take a closer look at around this time. Any Polybutylene plumbing (also commonly called PB) will need to be replaced, for example. PB plumbing became incredibly popular in the mid-1990s because it was a cost-effective alternative to traditional copper materials. The problem is that Polybutylene isn’t nearly as resilient as copper, leading to significant issues down the road.

Dated Decor

Another factor that you’ll want to pay attention to has to do with the decor of the home. To say that the trends of the 1960s and 1970s scarcely resemble popular decor choices in 2015 and beyond is something of a dramatic understatement. Mirrored closeted doors were incredibly popular and wood paneling in basements and living rooms was the order of the day.

The good news is that dated decor issues are often among the easiest (and least expensive) to fix. Just by putting up a fresh coat of paint, getting some new carpeting installed and making other cosmetic modifications, you could see a significant return on your investment as far as equity is concerned almost immediately.

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

One of the most important questions to ask yourself in this situation, however, is “should I be moving forward with renovation at all?” The time and effort that you put into the home will only pay off to a certain extent. Sometimes a house does legitimately require too much work to be worth your hard-earned dollar. If you’ve made your list of everything that needs to be repaired, replaced or updated and find that it either sounds like too much work or is more money than you’re willing to spend, call I Buy Utah Homes.

I Buy Utah Homes will buy any home in any condition, no questions asked. Not only that, but we’ll also pay you cash for it at the same time. If you want to sell a house that needs work as efficiently as possible, call I Buy Utah Homes today.

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