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How to sell a house that needs repairs

How to Sell A House That Needs Repairs

Selling a house that needs updating or repairs can be difficult, especially if the house for sale needs updating before you can put it on the market. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The more attractive your home is to buyers, the easier it will be to get offers, and with these tips, you can turn your fixer-upper into a dream home in no time!

Present Your Home in the Best Light

While your home might need updating, it’s essential to present it in as positive a light as possible. You’re looking for a buyer who can appreciate its flaws as much as its qualities, so don’t just tell them what needs fixing—speak about what you’d do with their help. With hard work and financial investment, you’ll have a fantastic place. 

Emphasize the Positive

The first thing you should do is find out how much buyers are willing to pay for your house. Start by selling it for what it’s worth when it’s in its present condition, and then consider updating your home before putting it back on the market.

Doing so can earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars in higher resale value if done correctly. And depending on your situation, there may be other valuable benefits such as boosting your credit score or saving money by doing many fixes yourself.

The key is deciding which improvements are worth your time, effort, and money; not all projects will make sense for every buyer or seller. 

Only Fix What Will Sell

Before you start fixing everything, make sure your prospective buyers will even be interested in an updated house.

Maybe they’re looking for something historical with lots of character and potential. It might be better to leave that stained ceiling alone if it isn’t something your buyers will want anyway.

You don’t want to constantly spend money on repairs that won’t do much for your home sale.

Set Realistic Expectations with Potential Buyers

It’s vital that you set realistic expectations with potential buyers. If your home has been neglected and has several repair projects, too much work may be required for many people to see its value.

So as soon as you start meeting with buyers, let them know about any significant issues. Then discuss how quickly they can get done or what would be required for a buyer to do on their own to make it more appealing if they decide not to take on all of those repairs.

You want everyone at least on one page going into the closing day, so there are no surprises when it comes time for finalizing paperwork and agreeing upon the price.

Advertise It Well

When buyers see something, they don’t like, they aren’t likely to tell you. If you attempt to hide an issue, it could haunt you later. For example, say your basement smells musty or has water damage.

You could try covering it up with air fresheners or dehumidifiers, but there is still a chance that someone will discover it later on.

Instead of hiding things away, deal with them head-on and let your buyers know about any issues upfront; once everything is out, you can get back on track with selling your home for sale that needs updating.

Add Value Through Staging And Photography.

Home staging and photographing your home can help sell it faster and for more money.

If you need a fresh coat of paint or some minor cosmetic repairs, consider taking care of those things before listing your house. (Homebuyers will assume these fixes are included in their offer.) There are three main areas where you can add value through staging: 

1) Cleaning up clutter and making sure everything is in good working order, 

2) Changing out furniture or accessories that aren’t in good condition, 

3) Adding decor items like throw pillows, accent rugs, flowers, vases, etc. 

A clean home shows buyers how much pride you take in your property—and it signals them to take care of it once they buy it.

Understand Buyer Motivations

The goal is to sell your house that needs updating, not have it sit on the market with little interest. To avoid spending too much money on unnecessary repairs and prepare it for sale, make sure you understand buyer motivations.

The typical homebuyer is looking for location, condition, and price. This means in most cases, even if your home is move-in ready, your buyers are likely to want at least some of these updates made before they’re willing to put their money down.

If you’re going to sell quickly and for top dollar, know what buyers want!

Prepare Your Home for Showings

Having your home prepared for showings is essential. Hire professionals—such as painters, window washers, and landscapers—to ensure your home looks its best.

This can help convince buyers they’re investing in their future when buying your house. Plus, it might even shave some money off your closing costs when you sell it! 

Make Room for Negotiation

Although you don’t want to take your asking price down too much, there are ways you can leave room for negotiation to entice buyers.

One way is to make your list of repairs as long as possible. If people know they can get a great deal on a home if they fix it up, they might be more willing to buy it.

For example, if there’s extensive damage from mold due to water leaks, that will scare off some potential buyers concerned about whether other significant problems exist with the home.  

Don’t Hide Anything

It’s hard for potential buyers to see what’s happening with your house when you have dated decor and clutter.

This could easily scare them away from making an offer. So, if you’re selling a home that needs updating, don’t hide anything.

After all, it may be hard for potential buyers to see what’s going on with your house when you have dated decor and clutter. This could easily scare them away from making an offer.


A house that needs updating can be a tough sell. Homes in need of significant repairs also tend to come with price tags that put them out of reach for first-time homebuyers.

However, there are ways you can market your home and improve its curb appeal while you’re fixing up its interior. By doing so, you’ll ensure it will be worth what you’re asking—and more!