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Selling a House That Needs Repairs or Major Work

If you want to sell your home but know it needs some TLC, it can impact the property’s desirability.

Whether you don’t have time to renovate your property before selling it, or you’ve become unwell and are unable to do any work to it, there are some things that buyers will look for specifically before putting an offer in.

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  1. What Repairs Have The Biggest Effect On Selling?
  2. What To Do If Major Repair Work Is Needed
  3. Renovate or Sell - Know Your Target Buyers
  4. Sell Your House Fast For Cash - The Alternative Method
  5. Useful Related Articles
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

What Repairs Have The Biggest Effect On Selling?

Over time, wear and tear can build up in a property. Regular maintenance can prevent longer-term problems, but if you’re unable to afford large-scale repairs, or are unwell and can’t keep on top of the smaller things, then certain problems can arise. Should you decide that it’s time to sell your house fast, there are a few things to consider getting sorted first in order to achieve the best price for your property.

  1. Paint

    This is one of the most affordable ways to spruce up your property, both internally and externally. Choosing neutral shades to appeal to a wider range of potential buyers, re-paint rooms that are dark or that need freshening up. It’s also worth giving window frames, doors and any fencing a lick of paint, as this will give a better first impression than a chipped, unkempt front of the house.

  2. Simple DIY

    You don’t have to be an expert, but the basics will make a big difference. Clean grouting in the bathroom and kitchen, replace missing doorknobs, fix any broken fence or gate panels and tend to your garden.

  3. Kitchen and Bathroom

    These are the two key rooms in a property that people will scrutinise when they view it. Whilst completely re-fitting both rooms may not be in most people’s budgets, it is worth considering any minor tweaks you can make that could have an impact on the viewer’s first impressions. A fresh coat of paint, replacing any fixtures or missing tiles and tightening any leaky taps is a great start. Give both rooms a deep clean as grubby bathrooms and kitchens are a big no-no for viewers. Consider re-grouting tiles and using specialist products to de-scale bath and shower areas and protect against mould.

  4. Lighting

    Maximise the space you’ve got by illuminating it with clever lighting. Letting natural light in, especially during the summer months, will accentuate your property’s best features and will make the space much more inviting.

  5. Ditch the Carpets

    If you have a slightly older home, you might be hiding some amazing hardwood floors underneath dated carpets. If so, pull up the carpets and treat your floors with a sand and polish to really give the wow factor to your property. This is a relatively cheap thing to do. Similarly, if you already have exposed wood flooring then give it a buff and re-polish to restore it to its former glory.

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What To Do If Major Repair Work Is Needed

house needs repairsPeople who buy a house tend to renovate it over time. Sometimes time slips away from them and, by the time they come to sell the house on, they realise they haven’t done half the things they should have. The asking price for the property will reflect the amount of work that has gone into it and the amount that hasn’t. However, all is not lost. There are some simple steps you can take to attract a buyer who will see the potential you once did and is prepared to take on a bit of a project.

The important repairs to consider are the ones you can instantly see. Maybe the window frames need repairing or re-painting. Perhaps you could do with replacing the front door with an upgraded, more secure one. Sometimes simply cleaning your windows or jet washing paving stones and walls can freshen up your property and make it look more appealing.

Recognise the things that would be flagged on any survey carried out on your property. Are any of the walls damaged, internally or externally? Are there any slates missing from the roof or issues with the chimney? Are the bathroom and kitchen of a decent standard, regarding fixtures and fittings, as well as cleanliness? Are there any leaks or problems with the boiler?

Don’t jump into DIY mode if you’re unsure of any of the work that needs carrying out. Be prepared to pay a bit of money to a professional so that the job is done to a high standard and will actually add value to your property, rather than deduct it.

There is no point trying to hide any issues because, whilst you can do this during a viewing, the survey will undoubtedly come back to haunt you. If you are unable to afford to fix anything yourself then be honest with any potential buyer. If they’re made aware of any issues from the beginning, you’ll find it easier to negotiate the cost of any repairs into the asking price.

Renovate or Sell - Know Your Target Buyers

Knowing your target buyer is key to getting that all-important sale. There are several different types of buyers to be aware of:

  1. First time buyers – looking for a bargain and a bit of a project, but won’t have a huge budget for major repairs so will expect to negotiate on the asking price if the survey flags anything structural
  2. Flippers – looking for a property they can do up and sell on quickly and easily. They’ll be looking for a bargain, but will have a decent budget behind them to do renovations and make a profit out of the sale
  3. Developers – like flippers, but they buy on a larger scale and usually have a large portfolio behind them. They’re professionals in the property business with a lot of experience
  4. Landlords – they will be looking to buy a property to restore or amend in order to rent it out
  5. Bargain Hunters – people who are keen to get a property that doesn’t need too much doing to it, but that also ticks the boxes of being in a good neighbourhood or catchment area

Most of these are motivated buyers, but just be careful when dealing with developers, flippers or landlords because these are professionals within the property world and will be keen to maximise their own profits. Getting a valuation carried out by an impartial surveyor means you’re in no doubt about what your property is worth and what it would be worth after necessary repairs are carried out, so you won’t get the wool pulled over your eyes during the sales process.

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Sell Your House Fast For Cash - The Alternative Method

There are alternatives to selling your property on the open market. If you can’t afford to get any major repairs done yourself, but need to sell your property then it might be worth talking to a quick cash buyer. They’ll include all legal fees in the process and are guaranteed to take your property off your hands, whatever condition it is in. Although you’ll receive less than the market value of the property, you will receive a fair cash sum and a completion date that works for you. Get in touch with one of our team today for a no-obligation chat to explain the process and tell us more about your property and why you need to sell it. Selling your property to The Property Buying Company is a simple, straight forward and hassle-free solution to selling your property.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you're looking to sell a house that needs repairs then we've covered a few of the most frequently asked questions below, but if you don't find an answer to your question, feel free to get in touch!

Can I sell my house to you if it needs repairs?

Yes -we'll buy your house no matter the condition, it is, however, likely that it will have an effect on the amount we offer.

Should I sell my house or fix it up first?

It really depends! Every situation is completely different. It's always good to do the smaller pieces of work like painting, lighting, carpets & small DIY, but if you have major repair work you will need to weigh up the cost vs benefit. If the repairs required are going to be flagged on a survey you need to consider repairing it or prepare to get bartered down.

My house needs major repairs, will you still buy it?

Yes - whatever condition we will still buy it, however, if there are major repair works it will have a significant effect on the amount we'll offer you.

My house needs repairs, what is the quickest way to sell it?

If you are looking to sell your house that needs a significant amount of repairs then you likely want to avoid the open market as it may put off a lot of potential buyers, alternatives that may be more suited are auctions, fast house buyers like ourselves and part exchanges.


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We’re one of the leading we buy any house UK companies for residential/commercial property and land in England and Wales. We buy using our own cash house buying facility meaning we can offer the best prices in our industry and complete the sale quicker than anyone else.

Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
The Property Buying Company 2-3 weeks £0.00
Other House Buying Companies 2-10 weeks £1000
Property Auction 6-10 weeks £2500-£5000
Online Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £1000(upfront)-£5000
Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £5000

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The Property Buying Company is registered with the Property Ombudsman and is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers

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