My house is a 'fixer-upper,' should I sell as is or pay to fix it up?

I own a house with an good location, large wooded yard, and good floorplan. However, it is 40 years old and is showing its age. The bathrooms need renovations. It needs new flooring throughout. And, there are other small or large projects that likely need completion.

Assuming the house has an estimated sale price around the $400K, am I better off putting $30-50,000 repairing the house before the sale? Or, sell for $30-$50K less 'as is.' I an not worried it will sell, the neighborhood is very desirable, and about to get more so given nearby new businesses. (I suspect a realtor will say do the repairs because it ups their commission.)

6 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 6
    2 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Since I'm in the middle of selling and buying a new house, I'll tell you my experience. YMMV.

    Current house. Spent about $20K in upgrades (hired out) and staging (ourselves). Refinished the wood floors, painted, . siding repairs, new carpeting downstairs, new water heater, stove, other stuff. Was very selective to make sure we fixed things buyers would see. Siding needs replacement IMO, but not willing to spend $15K. Bottom line: Sold first day, 13 showing requests, offer was $23K over ask. 3 other houses on street are still for sale. After inspected kicked back $5K for radon abatement and more siding repair.

    New house. Looked at two we liked, offered full ask on one. Inspection came back, needed new roof; water damage, heaved garage floor, sagging porch. Wanted to negotiate; asked for $19K for roof and we would fix everything else. Realtor (also the owner) refused to budge saying the house was appropriately priced. We cancelled and offered on 2nd house. we offered $15K below ask was accepted. It's in better condition, but needs roof repairs (deja vu); We asked for $7K and settled at $5K. Moving forward with the sale.

    Remember, you can price a house according to condition, but most buyers are putting all they have into a mortgage downpayment. The won't necessarily have $20-$30K hanging around unless they have equity in their current house. And the inspection may find other stuff that needs attention. BTW we had our house inspected BEFORE we listed to see what needed attention.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    I personally would sell as-is since it's in a desirable location and there is no issue with selling it.

    Remodeling is a pain in the butt - making all those decisions and living in the mess. Plus, if I were a buyer, I'd want to oversee the work and make the cosmetic decisions myself.

    I'd have it professionally cleaned (including the windows), touch-up the paint where needed, have the lawn mowed and edged, toss down some new bark, vacate the house and have the agent professionally stage it before taking the marketing photos. But no, I wouldn't be remodeling kitchen, bathrooms, etc.

  • 2 years ago

    It depends on if you can do it yourself, ad how much fixing it up the house needs. If you know of good, reliable handyman that can do a good affordable job, then perhaps have that done. Otherwise, it might be best to get as much as you can in the condition it's in. Also, one other major factor is how long would the house be torn up doing all these repairs.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    I binge watched a number of those fix & up & flip it shows and they always made money from spending money and upgrading.

    My house needs a lot of work too but the location is not as desirable so I just put off spending on it. If & when I decide to move, I am going to have to treat it like a business, estimates its actual cash value as is, and fixed up and then get the work done.

    Of course, I might just blow it off & live here the rest of my life because my cul de sac is better than the surrounding area and we have not had much crime on our street.

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  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    I read an article just today about this decision, especially as it applies to house flippers. Its advice works for owners who live there, too.

    If the house is in a good location, it will sell in poor or outdated condition, so long as it doesn't need major structural repairs. However, if you get quality work done upgrading kitchens, baths, and flooring at a "niceness level" that suits the house and its neighborhood, you can usually get more than it cost you to have that work done.

    This is especially true if you do any of the work yourself. Even without much skill, you can probably take down cabinets you will replace, tear out carpet, etc., then leave it to the pros to install the new. You can plant shrubs and take great care of the lawn for curb appeal. You can save serious money if do interior painting, which makes everything look fresh and clean.

    The remaining question becomes whether you can still live there comfortably while work is going on, whether you have time and energy to do any of it yourself, and how badly you need the money you'd get when you sell, in either condition.

  • 2 years ago

    I would try and sell as it is. You might not get back the money you invested in fixing it.

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