Last updated on March 4, 2021
What do you do when you need to sell your home fast, but extensive repairs are out of the question, either because they’re too costly or too time-consuming? Busy home sellers have a few options in this scenario, including selling as-is, completing just minor repairs, and focusing on only the big-ticket items most buyers are concerned about.
Read on for the options for selling a house that needs repairs, on a short timeline.
Options for listing a home quickly
- Include “as-is” in your listing: Selling your home as-is means that you aren’t going to be spending time making any repairs — what the buyer sees is what the buyer gets. Note that a buyer may still request an inspection, but your agent can set the expectation that no major repairs will be made. Of course, when you sell a house as-is, you’ll likely have to accept a lower sale price than you would if you had completed some updates and maintenance before listing.
- Inspect and disclose everything: Another option for selling as-is is to complete a pre-inspection and disclose everything found on the inspection report. Again, you’ll likely have to lower your price, but your agent can position your home as a great opportunity for investors, flippers, or people looking for a fixer-upper opportunity.
Complete home improvements
- Only tackle the highest priority items: Many buyers are okay with a home that needs some cosmetic fixes, If your time and budget are limited, consider just putting your efforts into the most important home improvement items — the sticking points that are likely to kill a deal. Foundation damage, mold, leaks, or furnace replacements are just a few examples (more on these big-ticket items below).
- Focus on minor cosmetic fixes: Alternatively, you can spend your time on the most cost-effective renovation ideas. These fall under the category of “sprucing up.” They’ll go a long way toward improving your curb appeal, which can make a big difference with buyers. Read on for more details.
How do I sell my home fast without completing repairs?
Selling to a cash buyer or investor is another way to skip the renovations, and even bypass the listing process itself. With Zillow Offers, we’ll buy your house directly, in cash, after you answer a few questions about your home and a home evaluation is arranged at no cost to you.
“No hassles. Didn’t have the stress of dealing with showings and fixing up to put on the market. Will recommend to friends and family in the area thinking about selling!”
— Melissa R., Zillow Offers review in Woodstock, Georgia
You’ll avoid the time and expense of listing your home, and you can close when it’s convenient for you. There’s no commitment, which makes it easy to see how much you could get in cash for your home. Check out how Zillow prices our offers.
The most important home improvements to complete before listing
If you’re looking to get a price for your home that’s better than “as-is,” consider tackling the big-ticket items that buyers are concerned about. Remember, for most buyers, a considerable portion of their available cash goes to their down payment, so a home that requires immediate work may be out of reach. But, if you take care of the improvements, you may be able to ask a higher price for the home, covering the cost of the upgrades with your list price and making it attractive to a broader group of buyers. Tackling problem areas now will also help you avoid post-inspection price reductions.
Home improvements worth doing
These are the most common big-ticket items, including some that buyers — and their inspectors — could flag as safety issues:
- Replacing the roof
- Updating the electrical panel
- Installing a new water heater
- Addressing termite, mold, or water damage
- Repairing pipes, sewer connection, or septic system
- Updating the HVAC system
Easy upgrades to sell your home fast
Beyond any critical updates, think about the following easy things to do before selling your house. Many of these items can be tackled over a weekend before putting your house on the market.
- A fresh coat of paint, always in a neutral color
- Caulking in bathrooms and kitchens
- Improving lighting by adding fixtures or replacing bulbs
- Having the carpets professionally cleaned
How to market a fixer-upper
If you want to know how to sell your home fast and for top dollar, your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced local real estate agent. Make sure to find an agent who has experience with marketing fixer-uppers. Selling on your own? Here are a few tips to make the most of your fixer-upper listing:
- Focus on the positives: Even if your house needs some improvements, things like the location, lot size, and floor plan can be big selling points.
- Price it appropriately: Pricing your home is a bit of an art form. Make sure you know if you’re selling in a buyers or a sellers market, and price accordingly. Hone in on the perfect price by looking at recent sales of similar homes in your area.
- Use keywords that count: Pack your listing description full of the features buyers are likely to appreciate. Consider eye-catching keywords that can add value to your listing, like spotless, upgraded, and landscaped (if they’re accurate, of course!).