November 28

Watch and Win!


If you consume enough real estate content or indulge in HGTV shows, you might start believing that people only buy and sell homes that are in pristine and beautiful condition. However, this is not always the case. You might be wondering, how can I sell my home if it’s in a terrible state?

What if your home lacks curb appeal? What if it has no appeal at all? What if there is a laundry list of problems? And what if you simply don’t have the financial means, time, or desire to fix it up?

If you find yourself with a house that seems more like a fixer-upper than a move-in ready property, don’t worry. Experts have some suggestions that don’t involve taking out numerous loans or renovating your home before putting it on the market.

Consider Getting Pre-Inspected :

If you’re a homeowner and you know that your house needs some work, you might think that you don’t need to pay someone to tell you that. However, if you’re unsure about what needs to be done, you could consider hiring a home inspector to do a pre-inspection. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this could cost you between $300 to $500.

Chris Hock, the owner of Earth Saving Solutions, a general contracting company in Denver, suggests that a pre-inspection can prepare you for the sale of your home. “Before you list, you need to understand the condition of your home,” he says. “An inspector can provide you with a list of issues that need to be addressed.”

Once you have that list, you can decide what you can afford to fix. Hock advises that you ask your realtor what matters most to sellers. Some repairs, such as roof repairs, may be too expensive, but there may be more affordable changes, such as adjusting the exterior grading, that can make a significant difference.

Hock also points out that buyers often use the inspection list to negotiate a lower price. “The fewer items on this list, the less room for negotiation,” he says. So, if you’re considering selling your home, it might be worth considering a pre-inspection to help you prepare.

Clean up a bit :

To maximize your chances of selling a run-down property, the first step is to ensure it is clean. While you may not have the resources for extensive renovations or upgrades, a thorough cleaning, especially with the help of a professional cleaner, can greatly improve your house’s appeal to potential buyers. Betsy Phillips, a real estate agent in Glenview, Illinois, shares her experience of selling a home that had not been updated since the 1950s. Despite its outdated condition, the house was successfully sold after clearing out the belongings and preparing it for the market. The key focus was on making the house as clean as possible, including power washing the exterior and maintaining the yard. Additionally, any obvious repairs were addressed before pricing the home accordingly. By pricing the property fairly and avoiding overpricing, the homeowner received multiple offers and sold the house quickly at a fair market price. Remember, cleanliness and realistic pricing are crucial factors in selling any property, even if it is considered a “dump.”

Take care of your yard and the exterior of your home.

Enhancing the appearance of your house for sale is as simple as tidying up and maintaining the lawn. Just imagine you are preparing to host guests and take care of tasks like sweeping the porch, power washing the front walk and exterior, and hiring a landscaper to weed and mulch the beds. These affordable actions can make a remarkable difference in creating a positive first impression, according to Nikki Buckelew, a senior downsizing coach at the Seniors Real Estate Institute in Oklahoma City. Hock, another expert, also suggests that basic chores such as mowing the lawn, pruning overgrown shrubs, and weeding can greatly improve the overall look of your property. Additionally, adding budget-friendly potted plants and flowers near the entrance can create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Are there smells that need to be addressed? :

To sell a house for its full value, it’s important to address unpleasant odors caused by smoking or pets. Removing carpets and implementing other measures can help make the property feel fresh and clean. Minor home improvements like tightening a loose banister or repairing damaged fences can also make a difference. Even cosmetic improvements can potentially increase the sale price. Investing in these efforts can significantly impact the overall appeal and value of the home.

Remove Your Personal Belongings :

While you may intend to stay in your home until it sells, it’s important to recognize that potential buyers may be put off by the presence of your personal belongings. A house filled with items you’ve collected over the years could deter interested parties. That old poster of Farrah Fawcett or Shaun Cassidy in your basement may not hold any value for someone born in 1998.

Harn explains that having personal belongings, pets, or neglecting maintenance can cause a decrease in the fair market value of a home by 10% to 30%. On the other hand, Carlton notes that during the 2008 recession, banks resorted to a complete trash-out strategy, which involved removing all furniture, carpets, and even cabinets, leaving the house empty for investor inspection. This approach allows potential buyers to use their creativity and envision themselves in the space.

Do not lose hope – Your house will be sold :

With the current high demand for houses, unless your house is on the verge of demolition, you are likely in a better position than you realize. While this doesn’t guarantee that sellers can expect an inflated price for a mediocre house, it does mean that motivated buyers may be willing to take on projects if other factors, such as location, are favorable.

According to Buckelew, all homes sell regardless of their condition or exterior appearance. It’s simply a matter of pricing it right for the market.

If you decide that selling for a lower price is preferable to investing money and effort into a home you’re leaving, you’re not alone. This is a common choice among longtime homeowners who are downsizing or relocating.

There’s no shame in this decision, and it may make more financial sense to sell the home as it is, rather than spending a fortune trying to transform it into a home that you think people will desire. If you have cherished memories in your lived-in home, those are priceless. Remember, you once fell in love with this home, and someone else will see its potential just like you did. You never know, they may appreciate what you’ve done – or not done – with the place.

Another step that can be taken is to consult a professional. by contacting professionals on websites like These professionals can help you to make your home be sold!


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