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The Challenges and Opportunities of Selling a Fixer Upper

Fixer-uppers can be remarkably difficult homes to sell for a fair price, depending on the state they are in. Choosing the right type of buyer and marketing the right features can give owners ample leverage to sell their properties at reasonable prices.

Real estate logic dictates that a home is much more likely to command a higher price in the market if it had some work done. Much has been said about the need to refurbish a home extensively before being put up for sale, with articles left and right discussing the most cost-effective ways to bring up the home’s value. From curb appeal to interior makeovers, many homeowners leave no stone unturned to improve the appearance of their properties to make it more attractive to buyers.

This is good for many property owners who have the extra cash to invest in boosting property values, but what of those who don’t have much in the way of time or resources to fix up the home?

Sometimes this isn’t much of a problem; well-maintained homes that can be sold as-is often command a competitive price to homes that have been gussied up. You do not need to have a visually appealing home to win over buyers, after all. Especially in high-demand areas within the New York metro area, some homes fetch higher prices based on market value alone. Getting buyers, on the other hand, is another matter.

Selling Fixer-Uppers

But what of homes that, putting it lightly, need more love?

The main issue faced with people selling fixer-uppers is the extent of the needed repairs that the buyers are expected to shoulder. This would, automatically, put off many buyers because the additional money and time they have to invest in getting a house to the condition they want. The price of a typical fixer-upper would be significantly lower than those of other homes by default simply because of the additional expenses and time expenditure that the new owners would have to spend.

people repairing the roof

Fixer-upper homes are also more likely to put off buyers if their homes are in more advanced states of disrepair. Homes that have damaged foundations or roofs are less likely to appeal to buyers, whereas those that have only cosmetic or otherwise minor issues may be easier to market.

This does not deter all buyers, however, and positioning the qualities the home does have can make it more attractive to specific types of buyer. Some people are prepared to buy a fixer-upper and renovate it themselves. Institutional investors, meanwhile, are often willing to shoulder the costs of new houses in anticipation of an uptick in the number of renters.

Marketing to the Right Buyers

Although selling a fixer-upper is not impossible, it puts most of the leverage on the buyer, who can usually demand a house for much lower because of the condition the home is in. Trying to sell the home at close to the market price requires careful attention to the perks of the home.

The typical residential homebuyers who look at fixer-uppers often look for homes that are easy to repair. Homes that have much of its infrastructure still intact or requiring only minor repairs can be marketed for how easy it would be to bring back into a pristine state.

Buyers of all sorts, meanwhile, appreciate the potential that comes with a home. Location is a critical factor that can give the fixer upper’s sellers plenty of pricing leverage. Often, a strategic location more than justifies the price of a home regardless of its current state, justifying any expense that buyers can expect in repairing the home. Institutional investors of all stripes are often willing to provide cash for houses in key areas throughout New York City for this reason.

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