It’s a fact universally acknowledged that homes need constant TLC but not everyone is able to properly maintain their home. When the time comes to sell it, they are faced with overwhelming repairs and upgrades that need to be done for it to be market-ready. Selling a house in poor condition doesn’t necessarily mean repairs, renovations, and upgrades. We will discuss here how to sell a house that needs repairs depending on your timeline, budget, and personal goals.

You can sell your house as-is even in its poor condition if you need to sell fast and don’t mind getting a lower offer. You can also choose to invest some time and money to demand a higher price. But first let’s define what a house in poor condition really is.

What Houses are Categorized as in “Poor Condition”

Poor condition houses for sale are not usually in the same condition. The term poor condition is relative, but poor condition houses in real estate usually fall into three categories:

1. Uninhabitable Houses for Sale

Uninhabitable homes may be unfit for human occupation since they don’t comply with basic living and safety standards. These are also houses that receive a poor condition rating from home inspectors because of multiple issues that make them uninhabitable such as:

  • Black mold
  • Extensive and/or severe foundation problems
  • Serious electrical problems (for example, frayed wiring and outdated knob-and-tube wiring)
  • Asbestos and/or lead
  • Serious plumbing issues such as leaky and corroded pipes and non-functioning water heater
  • Non-functioning HVAC system
  • Termite infestation
  • Extensive and/or severe chimney damage

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2. Houses in Need of Multiple Visible Repairs

These houses are still habitable but they have several flaws and need multiple repairs. They may receive a fair condition rating from a home inspector, but many shoppers and their agents will still categorized them as in “poor condition” due to a number of serious issues such as:

  • Significant foundation problems
  • Some plumbing issues
  • Some electrical problems
  • Malfunctioning HVAC
  • Major roof damage
  • Very noticeable wood rot
  • Damaged flooring
  • Damaged and outdated bathroom/kitchen
  • Wood rot due to excessive moisture or a rodent infestation

3. Houses That Shows Poorly or Could Use Some Updates

A house with good bones but has unaddressed maintenance issues and some general repairs may receive a “fair” or “good” condition rating from home inspectors. However, if your home is dingy some buyers will still consider it as in poor condition even if you get a fair/good condition home inspection rating. This will reflect on their offer.

These are common issues that can give your house a “poor condition” label to buyers despite having no major problems and having good bones:

  • Weathered exterior
  • Untended landscaping (dead or overgrown)
  • Outdated kitchen/bathroom(s)
  • Dirty, cluttered interior
  • Peeling paint
  • Outdated finishes on faucets and/or light fixtures
  • Dirty and/or stained flooring

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How to Sell a House in Poor Condition

From dingy homes to completely uninhabitable houses, here are your three options to sell a house in poor condition:

1. Selling a House in Disrepair As-Is

This is a good option for people who don’t have the time or cash or simply don’t want to do repairs, upgrades, etc. This is referred to as “selling house as-is condition.” The buyer knows from the get-go that they’ll be the ones responsible for any necessary repairs. But you’ll still be legally required to disclose any known problems (depending on your state).

Keep in mind it’s still highly advisable to disclose problems with your house even if you are not required to do so. However, if you are selling an inherited house that you’ve never lived in, you may be exempt from filling out a disclosure form since you aren’t expected to be familiar with the home.

If you are planning to list your home as-is, while you don’t need to take care of major repair problems it is still advisable to invest a little bit of time and money on addressing issues such as a layer of grime, dirty carpet, and wildly overgrown landscaping. Issues like these will make it more likely for you to get the least amount of sale proceeds for your home. Addressing them won’t cost a lot of time and money so it’s worth investing in. You can even do it on your own if you don’t want to spend money on them. Take time to declutter and clean.

Listing your home in poor condition may not be a good option if you want to sell fast unless you drop the price a lot. You may be better off selling it to local real estate investors like us.

Sell Your House in Poor Condition as-is to a Cash Home Buyer

“Cash home buyers” refer to real estate investors who buy homes as-is for cash. For example, we at Cincinnati Property Twins buy homes as-is (regardless of what condition they are in) for cash and we do it fast. This is highly recommended to people who want to sell their homes quickly. Closing can be done in 10 days. No need to spend time and money on repairs and cleaning. Selling a home in Cincinnati? You can request a ballpark offer here. We also take care of the closing costs.

poor condition as is home sale cash home buyer

2. Only Make Cheap, Cosmetic Fixes

If your house needs a lot of major and minor repairs, usual buyers would be overwhelmed if not put off with it. What you can do to make it less intimidating for buyers is to take care of a few of the low-cost, cosmetic fixes.

For instance, your home has not been updated for two decades and its HVAC is almost the end of its lifespan, the roof is due for replacement, and all of the fixtures are worn out and outdated. The potential buyer is now faced with 5 to 6 digits more on remodeling on top of the money spent on buying your house. This can definitely be a deal-breaker.

To make it less overwhelming and make it more palatable for buyers to deal with the expensive items like the HVAC and roof, you can address smaller repairs before listing. You can tackle smaller jobs such as:

  • Repainting your interior
  • Refinishing cabinets
  • Replacing old faucets and outdated light fixtures

3. Selling a House in Poor Condition for Money by Investing in Some Major Repairs or Upgrades

If your house is truly in poor condition, the average buyer might not even take a look at it because they would rather not want to tackle severe problems. While it is not practical to invest tens of thousands of dollars to turn a rundown house back to its glory, you may want to tackle one or two major repairs just to get your list price nearer to what your actual home value is.

In choosing what to repair, you’ll need to make an honest assessment of what your house needs, and some research on how much each job will cost and how that repair will increase your home’s market value.

  • Floor replacement – can range between $2000 to $7000 for materials and labor depending on the type of flooring
  • Upgrading appliances – $2,200 for new appliances (oven/stove, fridge and dishwasher) and $100 to $400 each for installation
  • New HVAC – $8,200 for installation and unit
  • Kitchen Update – can range between $38,000 to $70,000 for a complete renovation
  • Bathroom Update – $35,000 to $40,000 for a complete renovation
  • Roof Replacement – $7,000 for materials and labor

If you don’t have the finances to take on any of the above major issues or if your home requires all of the above updates, replacements, and upgrades, consider option number 1, sell it as-is to a local real estate investor.

Because they have access to a network of contractors and wholesale materials, local real investors like us, The Cincinnati Property Twins, can repair your house for considerably less than the average homeowner so we are more willing to pay a higher price for your home than a traditional buyer.

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Other Factors to Consider When Selling a House With Issues

If you’re in a dilemma on whether or not you should do repair or not in the house you’re going to sell, consider the following factors:

1. Current Conditions of the Market

Find out what the buyers are buying and how quick they are in buying it. This is the first question you need an answer to when choosing to invest in your home to improve its condition.

If your house is located in a hot seller’s market where there is a high demand for homes and lots of interested buyers, you can do less repairs and still get a good price. On the other hand, if you’re in a buyer’s market, then consider investing a little money, time, and effort on improving your home. If you don’t, chances are it will sit on the market for a long time which will give buyers a reason to ask for a low price, and if you want to sell quickly, you’ll need to settle for a rock-bottom price.

2. The Competition

Check out comparable homes to have a good idea on how your property stacks up against your competition. If every house for sale in your neighborhood has great curb appeal, updated kitchens/bathrooms, new appliances, new flooring, etc, your home being in poor condition will sell for a lot less than its worth or sit on the market for a long time.

However, if a house in bad condition for sale is more common in your neighborhood or a mix of homes in different conditions, then you have a better chance in asking for a reasonable price and you only need to do some cleaning, decluttering, and if you have the budget for low-cost cosmetic repairs.

house selling competition cincinnati house buyer

3. Will You be Able to Recoup the Amount You Spent in Improving Your Property’s Condition?

Make sure to invest on repairs, upgrades, or replacements that can increase your home’s market value. Remember that most improvements do not necessarily translate to ROI. When choosing which improvements or repairs to invest on, decide on what repairs are affordable and can give you a decent ROI.

Know that When Selling a House in Terrible Condition…

Do not undersell it. It has value regardless of its condition. In many instances, the lot, the location, and even the house itself are worth a lot more than the amount your buyer will spend to get it back in tip-top shape so don’t settle to accepting an offer that is a lot less than its worth.

Expect to have buyers coming in with low offers when selling a house in poor condition. Avoid getting low balled by selling your property to a reputable local real estate investor. We are looking for houses in bad condition for sale near Cincinnati. Get your ballpark offer here.