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Selling a house that needs repairs

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Selling a house that needs repairs or major work

How to sell a house that needs major repairs & what not to fix when selling a house

Buying a property that is in need of some TLC can often seem like a great idea, you can flip it, renovate it and rent it out or even do it up for you to one day live in.

However, life can get in the way and often you can find yourself not having the time to fix your house needing renovation before it is time to sell it.

If you want to sell your home but you have not had time to make repairs, you can find the value of your home has decreased significantly and you may be struggling to find a buyer.

On this page we will look how you can put your run down house for sale, whether it is a better idea to renovate your fixer-upper or to sell it and what your options are for selling a house that needs work.

How to sell a house that needs repairs

When considering the sale of a house that needs repairs, it is crucial to approach the situation with a strategic mindset and engage in targeted marketing efforts. 

Selling a house in need of repairs can pose challenges, as potential buyers may be hesitant to invest in a property requiring additional financial commitment and renovation efforts.

However, with the right approach, it is possible to navigate this situation successfully. First, it is advisable to assess the extent of the necessary repairs and prioritize them accordingly.

This will allow you to determine a fair asking price that takes into account the property's condition. 

To attract potential buyers, focus on highlighting the house's potential and unique selling points, such as its location, architectural features, or desirable neighbourhood amenities.

Consider consulting with a reputable real estate agent who specializes in selling properties in need of repairs. 

Their expertise will prove invaluable in accurately pricing the house, staging it effectively, and negotiating with interested buyers.

Transparency is key throughout the process, so be sure to disclose all necessary information about the repairs required.

By adopting a proactive approach, emphasizing the property's potential, and leveraging the expertise of professionals, you can increase your chances of successfully selling a house that needs repairs.

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Selling a house that needs repairs - How does it affect a valuation?

When it comes to selling a house that needs repairs, it is important to consider how it can impact the valuation of the sale.

The extent of needed repairs and the overall condition of the property can significantly affect its value. 

Generally, houses in need of repairs are perceived as less desirable by potential buyers, which can lead to lower offers and longer listing times. 

The valuation of a house that needs repairs is often adjusted downwards to account for the estimated cost of necessary repairs.

However, it is important to note that the impact on valuation can vary depending on factors such as the location, market conditions, and the extent of repairs required.

Consulting with a professional appraiser or a real estate agent experienced in selling houses that need repairs can help provide a more accurate assessment of the valuation and guide you in determining an appropriate listing price. 

By being realistic about the property's condition and pricing it accordingly, you can effectively navigate the market and maximize your chances of a successful sale.

What brings down the value of a house UK?

There can be lots of different factors that affect the sale price of a home that needs repair work.

Some of the most common issues that can drive down the value of a property are:

Poorly installed windows

The presence of poorly installed windows can have several negative effects on potential buyers and ultimately affect the sale of the property.

Firstly, poorly installed windows can compromise the overall energy efficiency and insulation of the house, resulting in higher energy bills for the future homeowners.

This can deter buyers who are conscious of long-term costs and sustainability.

Additionally, these windows may not provide adequate soundproofing, which can be a concern for those seeking a quiet and peaceful living environment.

Moreover, aesthetically unpleasing or malfunctioning windows can create a negative first impression and give the impression of neglect or lack of proper maintenance.

Potential buyers may be put off by the need for immediate repairs or replacements, as it represents an additional expense and inconvenience.

In a competitive real estate market, houses with well-installed and maintained windows often have an advantage, as they offer better functionality, energy efficiency, and visual appeal.

Therefore, when selling a house with repairs, addressing and rectifying any issues related to poorly installed windows can significantly improve the chances of a successful sale and attract more interested buyers.

Cracks in the ceilings or walls

The presence of cracks in the ceilings or walls can have an impact when selling your property.

Cracks in these areas can raise concerns for potential buyers and affect their perception of the property.

Firstly, cracks can be indicative of underlying structural issues, which can be a major red flag for buyers. Structural problems can be costly to fix and can deter buyers who are looking for a move-in ready home.

Additionally, cracks in ceilings or walls can give the impression of poor maintenance or neglect, which can lower the overall perceived value of the property.

These visual defects can make buyers question the overall integrity of the house and raise doubts about other potential hidden issues.

Furthermore, cracks can also impact the aesthetics of the property, making it less visually appealing.

Buyers often seek homes that are well-maintained and in good condition, so addressing these cracks is crucial in attracting potential buyers and securing a successful sale.

It is advisable to consult with professionals, such as contractors or structural engineers, to assess the severity of the cracks and determine the best course of action for repairs.

Uneven floors

When selling a house with uneven floors can raise concerns for potential buyers and affect their perception of the property. There are several reasons why uneven floors can affect a sale.

Firstly, uneven floors may indicate underlying structural problems or foundation issues.

This can be a major deterrent for buyers, as it can lead to costly repairs and impact the overall stability and safety of the house.

Secondly, uneven floors can affect the functionality and living of the property. Buyers prefer houses with level floors that provide a comfortable living environment and allow for easy furniture placement.

Uneven floors can cause issues such as doors that don't close properly, difficulties with installing flooring, or even potential tripping hazards.

Additionally, aesthetically speaking, uneven floors can be visually unappealing and give the impression of a poorly maintained property.

Buyers may be hesitant to invest in a house that requires immediate repairs and renovations to address the unevenness.

To mitigate the impact of uneven floors on a sale, it is advisable to consult with professionals, such as contractors or structural engineers, to assess the cause and extent of the unevenness.

Damp and mould

Dampness and mould growth are concerning issues that can raise red flags for potential buyers and affect their decision-making process. There are several reasons why damp and mould affect a sale.

Firstly, they can indicate underlying moisture problems, which can be detrimental to the structural integrity of the property.

Moisture-related issues can lead to rot, decay, and potential damage to the building materials. This can not only be costly to repair but also raise concerns about the overall condition and long-term durability of the house.

Secondly, dampness and mould pose health risks. Mould spores can trigger allergies and respiratory problems, which can be a major concern for buyers, especially those with sensitivities or health conditions.

Aesthetically speaking, dampness and mould can create unsightly stains and odours, giving the impression of neglect or lack of proper upkeep. Buyers are generally drawn to properties that are clean, well-maintained, and free from potential health hazards.

To address the impact of dampness and mould on a sale, it is essential to identify and rectify the source of moisture, address any structural or ventilation issues, and conduct proper mould remediation.

Seeking professional assistance from contractors or mould remediation specialists is advisable to ensure a thorough and effective solution.

By addressing dampness and mould issues and providing documentation of the remediation process, you can alleviate buyer concerns, improve the overall condition of the house, and increase the chances of a successful sale.

Leaking roof

There are several reasons why a leaking roof affects a sale.

Firstly, a leaking roof suggests potential water damage and structural issues.
Buyers may worry about the extent of the damage, as water intrusion can lead to rot, mould growth, and compromised integrity of the roof structure.

This can result in additional repair costs and can be a major deterrent for buyers looking for a move-in ready property.

Secondly, a leaking roof can cause damage to the interior of the house, such as stained ceilings, watermarks, and even potential electrical hazards.

These visible signs of water damage can raise concerns about the overall condition and maintenance of the property.

Moreover, a leaking roof can also impact the energy efficiency of the house, leading to increased utility bills and discomfort for the occupants.

To address the impact of a leaking roof on a sale, it is crucial to consult with roofing professionals who can assess the extent of the damage and provide a comprehensive repair plan.

Addressing the leaking roof promptly and effectively, and documenting the repairs or providing warranties, can help alleviate buyer concerns and instil confidence in the property.

Additionally, highlighting any recent roof repairs or replacements in the marketing materials can showcase the proactive steps taken to address the issue.

By resolving the leaking roof problem, you can improve the overall condition of the house and increase the chances of a successful sale.

Japanese Knotweed

When it comes to selling a house with Japanese knotweed, it is crucial to navigate the situation carefully and transparently.

Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive plant that can cause damage to buildings and structures if left unchecked.

While disclosure requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction, it is generally advisable to disclose the presence of Japanese knotweed to potential buyers.

The presence of Japanese knotweed can be a cause for concern, as its eradication can be challenging and costly. However, it is important to note that buyers' reactions can vary.

Some may be deterred from purchasing a property with Japanese knotweed, while others may still be interested but would require assurances and professional advice.

Seeking the guidance of an expert in Japanese knotweed management and working towards an eradication plan can demonstrate proactive efforts and potentially ease buyer concerns.

Consulting with a real estate attorney to understand the specific legal requirements and obligations related to the disclosure of Japanese knotweed in your area is advisable.

By approaching the situation honestly and taking necessary steps to address the issue, you can increase the chances of a successful sale while maintaining transparency with potential buyers.

These issues can drive down the market value of your property minorly or majorly depending on the issue. Property issues such as Japanese knotweed require specialist treatment and so can be an expensive yet necessary fix.

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Selling an abandoned house or empty property

When it comes to selling an abandoned property, it is essential to approach the process strategically and understand the unique challenges involved.

Abandoned properties often require significant attention and rehabilitation before they can be sold.

One of the key considerations is to assess the condition of the property and identify any potential issues, such as structural damage, code violations, or environmental concerns. Obtaining a professional inspection and necessary permits can help address these issues and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Additionally, it is crucial to conduct thorough research to determine the market value of similar properties in the area. Pricing the abandoned property competitively can attract potential buyers who are willing to undertake the necessary renovations.

Highlighting any unique features or potential for redevelopment can also enhance its appeal. Collaborating with a real estate agent experienced in selling abandoned properties can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the process.

By taking a proactive and informed approach, sellers can maximize the chances of successfully selling an abandoned property.

The advantages of purchasing an abandoned building:

Purchasing an abandoned building can offer several advantages for buyers who are willing to invest time, effort, and resources into its renovation.

Firstly, abandoned buildings often come at a lower purchase price compared to properties in better condition.

This provides an opportunity for buyers to acquire a property at a more affordable rate, potentially allowing for a higher return on investment in the future.

Secondly, buyers have the flexibility to customize and design the space according to their specific needs and preferences.

This creative freedom can be appealing for those seeking a unique property that reflects their personal style and vision. Additionally, purchasing an abandoned building can contribute to urban revitalization and the preservation of historic or culturally significant structures.

Buyers who are passionate about restoration and revitalization projects can make a positive impact on their community by breathing new life into neglected buildings.

However, it is important for buyers to carefully assess the renovation costs, secure necessary permits, and engage professionals with experience in building restoration to ensure a successful and compliant transformation of the abandoned building.

Selling an old abandoned barn for conversion:

Selling an old abandoned barn for conversion offers a unique opportunity for buyers seeking a rustic and charming living space or a commercial venture with a distinctive character.

Old barns possess architectural and historical significance that can be appealing to buyers who appreciate their unique charm.

Selling an old abandoned barn for conversion offers a unique opportunity for buyers seeking a rustic and charming living space or a commercial venture with a distinctive character.

Old barns possess architectural and historical significance that can be appealing to buyers who appreciate their unique charm.

Collaborating with a real estate agent who specializes in barn conversions or historic properties can provide valuable marketing expertise and increase the chances of finding the right buyer for the old abandoned barn.

Selling an abandoned disused church building:

Selling an abandoned disused church building presents a unique opportunity for buyers interested in repurposing a historic and architecturally significant structure.

The advantages of purchasing such a property can be diverse.

Firstly, disused church buildings often boast stunning architectural details, such as stained glass windows, high ceilings, and intricate craftsmanship, which can be appealing to buyers looking for a unique and visually striking property.

Additionally, repurposing a church building can contribute to the preservation of local history and cultural heritage, which can be a compelling aspect for buyers passionate about restoration projects.

The large open spaces within the building can offer versatile possibilities for conversion into various uses such as residential lofts, event spaces, art galleries, or community centres.

It is crucial to highlight the unique features of the church building, its potential uses, and any existing

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 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 and avoid a loss of market value.


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.

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.

Kitchen and bathroom

These are the two key rooms in a property that people will scrutinise when they view it.
While 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.


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.

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

People 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.

Is the seller responsible for any repairs after securing a sale?

As the seller of the property it is your responsibility to inform the buyer of any issues within the property or any areas that are in need of repair.

However after the exchange of contracts it is up to the buyer to have the repairs carried out.

As long as the seller has properly disclosed all relevant information, it is not their responsibility to fix.

Renovate or sell - know your target buyers

In order to sell a home, regardless of whether it is a house in need of repair, it is important that you know your target buyer.

This will allow you to cater your property to your buyers needs.

Below are the several types of buyers who may be interested in buying a house that needs work done:
First time buyers

First time buyers can be ideal target buyers for a run down property 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.


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.


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.


They will be looking to buy a property to restore or amend in order to rent it out.


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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Can you still sell your house if it needs repairs?

The good news is you can sell your house even if it is need of repairs! However, you need to be aware that you may struggle.

When it comes to selling a property there are two main ways that you can sell, either through an estate agent or through a property auction.

Both of these ways come with their own pros and cons which are outlined below:

Estate agents

One of the ways that you can go about selling a house in need of repair is through an estate agent. As you are selling a property that could be viewed as a somewhat 'problem property' you may have to go through a specialist estate agent.

Specialist estate agents excel at putting damaged houses up for sale as well as run down houses for sale and houses needing renovation.

A big positive to selling through this route is that your estate agent will do all of the hard work for you, from creating a listing, advertising it for you and creating floorplans and hosting viewings.

A down side to selling through an estate agent is that it can take months to find a buyer on the open market. It is not a guarantee even if your home is not in need of repairs and if you are looking for a fast, hassle-free sale it may not be the option for you.

Selling through an estate agency also means that after paying for estate agency fees and having to take time off work for viewings, you will still have other fees to pay such as legal fees and removal costs. These extra costs can quickly add up and eat away at your final profit.

Property auctions

A different route you can take rather than selling through an estate agent is to sell your fixer upper through a property auction. The main advantage to selling this way is that bidders will now that the house is in need of significant repairs and upgrades and will not be put off by this.

A property auction works by agreeing a minimum reserve price for the property. Once this has been met, the highest bidder wins the property. In the best case scenario, multiple buyers will be interested in the property and will be bidding on it, increasing your final profit.

Another advantage of selling at a property auction is that auctioneers have a lot of experience selling properties, including ones that are indeed of home repairs.

However, there are a few issues to be aware of when it comes to selling through a property auction. If it is a fast sale that you are looking for, then a property auction may not be for you.

Once you have listed your property for sale, you will have to wait for the next auction which could be months away. There is also no guarantee that you will find a buyer through this route as people may not be interested.

Even after the auction is complete you will still have to wait for all of the necessary paperwork to go through which could take a further month or more, adding to the delay.

Furthermore, auctioneers will also charge a commission to cover the cost of marketing and selling your property, and this can take away from the final profit made.

How to sell a house that needs repairs

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.

Does this sound like something you might be interested in?

Then look no further as here at The Property Buying Company, we are here to help! We are a cash buyer of houses who buy any house in any location in a time scale that suits you! Plus, we cover all fees for you – even legal ones!

We only require one quick viewing to make sure that our cash offer is accurate and as we are a genuine cash buyer, once you have accepted our offer, that is the amount that you get in your bank in FULL.

We are also a member of The National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman, as well as being rated excellent on Trustpilot, with over 1000 reviews, allowing you to feel safe in our hands.

So, if you have an house that needs major repair that you are ready to sell, give us a call or fill in our online form for a free, no-obligation CASH offer which we could have in your bank as soon as you choose…

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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.

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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