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Selling Up Before You do the Repairs

  • 4 years ago

You’re often told that it’s important to do all your repairs before you put your property on the market, but sometimes that’s just not possible. You might have a deadline for moving, or you might just not want the hassle and expense. It’s still possible to sell your property even if it needs a bit of work, you just need to adjust your angle of attack.

Pitch to the right people

Of course, you could simply go to market with a really low asking price and hope for the best. You never know, you could have two or more potential buyers slugging it out in a bidding war…

This isn’t likely, though, unless you’re particularly well-placed in terms of state schools and transport links. A better idea is to attract the right buyers.

Flippers look for properties that need a bit of work so that they can buy them at a relatively low price and sell at a profit once they’ve completed the repairs or refurbishments. Typically, flippers make low offers, but you don’t have to accept any offer you feel is unfair; a decent estate agent will guide you here.

Then, there’s the buyers looking to upgrade to a larger property or to move into a more desirable area but who don’t quite have the budget for a “walk-in” property. They don’t mind taking their time over repairs as they’re looking for a home, not an investment; this also means they might be able to go a bit higher than the flippers.

The ideal buyer, however, is someone who’s desperate to move into your highly desirable area but due to the sheer popularity of your postcode has been waiting around for a while. They won’t mind a slightly tired property and could be persuaded to give you a good price, which is a win-win scenario.

You could do some quick fixes

If your property needs quite a bit of work, then you could meet the buyers halfway and complete some of the smaller, quicker repairs or refurbs. It’s best to avoid anything major, like the kitchen or the bathroom, because these are more personal areas and your buyers are likely to want to do it all over again anyway.

The best things to focus on are replacing an old front door, landscaping the gardens and either cleaning or replacing carpets or sanding and resealing wooden floors.

Be sensible about the price

Find out how much the main repairs will cost and factor this into the asking price, because your buyers will certainly do this and you need to be on the same page. Very few people will agree to an asking price that essentially means paying twice for repairs.

Having said that, if you’re in an area that’s really up-and-coming, then the right buyer might be happy to pay slightly over the odds if they can make a big profit a couple of years down the line, so factor this in as well.

An experienced estate agent will suggest a reasonable price; don’t be tempted by an unrealistic one, as you could be lingering on the market for ages.

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