11 Things to Do When Selling a Fixer-Upper


Sometimes sellers need to offload their home as-is; when you have a fixer-upper on your hands that you need to sell, do it in a way that nets you the best dollar amount possible while avoiding lingering on the market.


1. Thoroughly assess the situation

  • Do a full inventory of what needs to be done before the house could be considered sales-worthy

    • You won’t do all this work yourself, but you should be able to answer buyer questions at least

  • Price those repairs

2. Do your research before deciding to sell as-is

  • Would it be worth making the repairs yourself?

  • Could you tap into a refinancing program?

  • What about a home equity loan or line of credit?

3. Work with an experienced agent

  • Selling a fixer-upper is not a good time to work with a brand-new agent

  • Find someone familiar with the challenges involved and a realistic, reasonable plan

  • Get referrals from friends, neighbors, general contractors

4. Consider the pool of possible buyers

  • You might find some buyers specifically seeking a house they can remodel

  • Investors and contractors might also be possibilities

5. Highlight the location’s benefits …

  • Is it in a stellar school district?

  • Is it located near an interesting or prominent landmark?

  • Is it within walking distance of a sports field or arena?

  • Is it near a natural resource or trailhead?

6. … And promote the home’s standout features

  • Original flooring in great condition

  • A larger-than-usual lot

  • A gorgeous garden or backyard

  • A quaint original kitchen

  • Anything that sets your home apart in a good way

7. Spit and polish goes a long way

  • There’s a lot you can do to make your place appear presentable and attractive

  • Get rid of any piles of trash, broken appliances, cars

  • Clean the windows and walls

  • Eliminate cobwebs

  • Scrub the floors

  • Polish all appliances

  • Remove drain clogs

8. Make as many small fixes as possible

  • Repair leaky pipes

  • Paint over water stains

  • Replace torn screens

  • Fix broken drawers and shelves

  • Fix broken windows

9. Enhance curb appeal

  • Water and mow the lawn

  • Plant flowers

  • Hang wind chimes and put out some rocking chairs

  • Purchase solar lights for path or driveway

  • Trim shrubs or trees

  • Fertilize grass

10. Price competitively – THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP!

  • Get an experienced agent’s opinion

  • Investors and buyers will want to get a deal for an as-is home

  • Figure out what you can realistically expect

11. Be upfront about necessary work

  • There will probably be an inspection

  • Be honest if the buyer asks you a question

  • Consider hiring an inspector before you list so there are fewer surprises