How to Sell a House that Needs Work

May 12, 2021
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cat sitting on the window sill of an old green house

When you watch the home selling shows, the houses all look immaculate, but what happens when you need to sell your house, and it’s got quite a lot of work that needs to be done? There is an entire market of investor buyers who look for just these houses. 

When you are looking to sell your home, look at your options to determine what you need to do to sell your home quickly.

Prioritize Your Projects

When assessing your level of work, the critical thing to remember is to consider how long each project will take to finish and the price of each update. Are the tasks you need to complete something that a skilled buyer can take on (a potential DIY project), or will they need to call in a contractor? 

Lots of homes are bought on contingency plans – where the owner promises to update the windows as part of the agreement or take money out of the sale of the house so the new owners can pay for those replacements. Projects could include new windows, new heating and cooling system, and even new fencing. There is no limit on what a buyer could ask for and those projects can be costly and time-consuming. When looking at your projects you want to think like the buyer.

  • What are items you would want to be updated before you moved in?
  • What would you ask for and what would you be willing to update yourself?

Most investors have access to a well of resources to handle just about any project. However, if you choose to take on the repairs before selling it’s unlikely you’ll get a profit from a home with work to be done. When you just need to get out from under the financial burden of a mortgage loan and a list of honey-do projects a mile long, selling for cash is a great option. 

Neglected Maintenance

More often than not, the most significant cause for big projects around the house is neglected maintenance. It’s so easy to delay on big projects because they’re expensive or overwhelming. But waiting on critical issues like roof leaks, foundation cracks, plumbing issues, or a dirty fireplace flue can be catastrophic in the long run. 

You’ll see a higher financial return on your home if you can get these issues taken care of before they cause further damage to your home’s bones. Maintenance neglect often happens in an older home and those inherited from elderly family members. You can figure out the extent of the damages in an inherited or neglected home by scheduling and paying for an independent home inspector to come out and take a look. 

You are likely going to loose money on the sale of your home, if you have to pay for critical issues like your houses foundation or rotted roof. Make sure you know which repairs are critical and the cost to make the most informed decisions when it is time to sell your home.


Another thing that realtors often see when touring homes is partially completed remodels. Maybe you wanted to add an extra bathroom in the finished basement or the partially finished basement, but the funds just ran out. It happens sometimes, but it’s a problem that most investors have the resources and cash to deal with. 

If you are looking to sell your home with unfinished projects, it can be difficult to sell to the general public. Most people do not buy a home that needs additional projects completed. Often times you will end up having to reduce the price of your home or finish out the project in order to sell it.

Cash Investors

Cash investors fix and flip homes for their primary source of income. This means that they have the financial capital to pay your home’s full cash price but are unlikely to offer more than what’s owed against the title lien. 

For many cash investors, your home will be one of a dozen or more they’re considering, and if there is too much work to be done, they may choose another home over yours. If you can afford to finish some of the smaller tasks or outline the process and concept you were planning to follow, it may help them choose your house instead.   

House Guys USA

House Guys USA are specialists in cash sales. We specialize in buying houses in ANY CONDITION in Kansas City. Even if the tasks laid out before you seem overwhelming, know that the House Guys USA team will be able to help you out. We have a range of solutions to help fit your unique situation with your home. We are here to give you honest information and guidance so you can feel informed about your decision.

Give us a call to discuss your home selling needs today. 


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