Need to Sell a House in Poor Condition? Here Are Some Tips…

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a house in poor condition

Did you know the median age of houses in Tennessee is 33-38 years old? Thanks to HGTV, people think that most places on the market today are brand new, freshly renovated, or sparkling to perfection. However, since most homes in Tennessee were potentially built in the 1980s, they likely have experienced years of wear and tear. Meanwhile, over a third of homeowners say they have been putting off one home improvement project for at least a year or more. The fact is houses need constant attention, and keeping up with home maintenance is a never-ending responsibility. 

Need to Sell a House in Poor Condition? Here Are Some Tips…

When you decide to sell your property, you are usually confronted with issues like a leaky roof, shabby floors, water damage, or a cracked foundation, which raise red flags to prospective buyers. 

Usually, it’s not until homeowners need to move and start packing up that they realize how much work needs to be done. 

How you choose to sell a house in poor condition really depends on your personal timeline, financial situation, and goals. For example, if you need to sell fast, you might be okay with accepting a discount. But, on the other hand, you may prefer to invest some time and money in hopes of getting a higher price. 

Below we’ll share some helpful tips so that you can evaluate what kind of shape your home is actually in, determine if you should sell a house in poor condition, provide some selling advice, and look at the option of selling your house as-is instead. So let’s get started! 

What Determines a House in Poor Condition?

To begin, let’s define ‘poor condition’ and figure out where your house falls on the spectrum. 

“Poor condition” can be a broad term in real estate that translates differently from market to market. For example, your property could fall into any of the following categories:

  1. Uninhabitable 

A house in poor condition could be ruled uninhabitable or even approaching condemned status. This term is sometimes used by home inspectors when a place receives a bad inspection report. Typically homes that receive a poor condition rating have multiple problems that make them uninhabitable; those may include:

  • Serious electrical issues (outdated wiring or frayed wiring) 
  • Serious plumbing problems (leaky, corroded pipes, non-functioning water heater, etc.)
  • Extensive or severe roof damage
  • Black mold
  • Asbestos and/or lead
  • Termite infestation (or unrepaired damage)
  • Extensive or severe foundation issues
  • Extensive or severe chimney damage
  • Non-functioning HVAC

→ Selling a House in Poor Condition? Consider selling to one of the top companies that buy houses in Knoxville – Nexus Homebuyers. They buy houses as-is and in any condition. All you’d need to do is share a bit about your home and request a cash offer. As a bonus, you don’t pay realtor commissions and can close in as few as 7-days. 

  1. Visible Repairs Needed

If your home is liveable but has several flaws and repair issues, a home inspector would likely give your house a fair condition rating. But, many buyers and their real estate agents will still consider a home in “poor condition” if it has several of these serious problems:

  • Some plumbing problems
  • Some electrical issues
  • Significant wood rot 
  • Significant roof damage
  • Significant foundation issues
  • Failing yet still functioning HVAC
  • Outdated or damaged kitchen
  • Outdated or damaged bathroom(s)
  • Damaged flooring
  • Non-functioning or damaged light fixtures and/or faucets
  1. Outdated Needs Updating

A Tennessee home with good bones but has some general deferred maintenance or repairs may receive a “fair” or “good” condition home inspection rating. But even if the property shows poorly, some prospective buyers will still say it’s in poor condition- especially when writing their offer. Items that can give a place a bad rep as a “poor condition” property include:

  • Weathered exterior (including minor wood rot, peeling paint, etc.)
  • Outdated kitchen
  • Outdated bathroom(s)
  • Dirty, cluttered interior
  • Stained, dirty flooring
  • Peeling, shabby paint
  • Outdated finishes such as light fixtures and faucets
  • Overgrown, dead, untended landscaping

Should You Repair a House in Poor Condition?

No matter what level of “poor condition” your house is in, it can still feel overwhelming to decide if you should make repairs before selling. However, that choice is entirely up to you, your budget, and your timeline. 

Will addressing the issues and making repairs help in the success of your home sale? More than likely. But repairs can be expensive and, depending on what needs to be done, could take weeks or months to finish.

If you have the extra time and money, it won’t hurt to look into doing the work. But if you’d rather move on and have the next homeowner deal with that, that’s not a bad option either. 

Is It Easy to Sell a House in Poor Condition in TN?

Is it easy to sell a house in poor condition in TN? Yes and no. It is easy to sell a house in poor condition if you work with a “We Buy Houses Tennessee” home buyer. They would buy your house as-is, and you could avoid making all the repairs, sitting on the market for weeks or months, and paying thousands of dollars in realtor commissions. 

If you were to try another approach and do some of the work, a traditional buyer might be interested in purchasing your home, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get a positive return on your investment. 

→ Check out 10 Of The Highest ROI Home Improvement Projects

Generally, most buyers aren’t in the market for fixer-uppers; that’s not to say that you won’t be able to find a buyer at all; some people do buy houses in need of repairs. But most of the time, buyers are looking for move-in-ready homes mainly because repairs take time and money. 

Ultimately, to maintain your home’s worth, making repairs will be necessary. However, if you’re hoping to make a profit, then updates and upgrades are what increases the value of your home. So it’s entirely up to you and what you’re hoping to get out of your home sale. 

Tips for Selling a House in Poor Condition in TN

Whether you’re trying to sell a house that’s been flooded or has termite damage, no matter what level of “poor condition” your property is in, you do have a few ways you can try to address the condition of your home. Below are some tips for selling a house in poor condition to help you get that SOLD sign in the yard.  

Make Minor and Major Repairs

One way you can sell your house in poor condition is to go ahead and make the minor and major repairs needed to sell. However, if your home definitely has severe issues that would be too much for the average buyer to take on once you start adding them up, then you may want to consider doing some of the work. 

Although it doesn’t make sense for you to invest tens of thousands of dollars getting your rundown home back into brand new condition, it may make sense to make one or two significant repairs and a few minor repairs to get your house closer to what it’s actually worth. 

Picking which needed repair or two you’ll want to do requires an honest assessment of what fixes your house needs and a little investigating on how much each job will cost:

  • Update Kitchen- $38,300 to $68,000 for a completely enovation or upgrade
  • Updated Bathroom- $35,000 for a complete remodel
  • Roof Repair/ Replacement- $6,500- $8,500 including installation and roofing materials
  • HVAC Replacement- $8,200, including the unit and installation
  • Replacing Appliances- $2,200 for new appliances (oven/stove, fridge, dishwasher), plus additional $100 to $300+ each for installation
  • Replacing flooring- $2,200 to $7,400 for materials and installation, depending on flooring type

If your Tennessee house needs all the above (and you don’t have the finances or ability to DIY a few of them to increase your list price), consider selling to a cash home buyer, which we’ll explain more later on. 

Interior Design Tips

Showing a clean, decluttered, nicely decorated house can make necessary repairs seem less of an issue to fix. Still, even buyers in the market for fixer-uppers can get overwhelmed by a long list of needed repairs. 

If your home requires multiple major and minor repairs, it might make sense to complete a few of the low-cost cosmetic fixes and some interior decorating to help make your house more appealing to prospective buyers. In addition, staging your space by rearranging furniture and adding nice decor touches like fresh flowers, candles in the bathrooms, throw pillows, and a blanket can help your place look homey and welcoming. 

Below are a few more interior design tips that will help your house stand out:

  • Proper Lighting- more light is better and can help highlight a space
  • Have some greenery and plants around the house
  • Hang some artwork or mirrors 
  • Make your color palette more neutral- from paint color to bed linens and drapes, light colors look clean and appealing. 
  • Put away any personal items and photos
  • Keep your style cohesive- try to go for a more cohesive look throughout your home
  • Cater to your location- set your decor up to match buyers’ expectations.
  • Clean out your closet – clear out closets and storage areas so visually they are less cluttered. 
  • Create good flow- set your house up with good traffic flow 
  • Cut down on furniture 
  • Consider renting pieces- if you have bright or outdated furniture, renting some pieces may be helpful
 a new lick of paint for old cabinets

A New Lick of Paint

Adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior and interior of your TN home can go a long way. If the paint is starting to chip on the outside of your home, it would be a good idea to add a new lick of paint. If the interior walls look a little rough, or maybe the color was popular in the 80s but not currently, repainting to a neutral color is recommended. Fortunately, paint isn’t overly expensive and is a project you could do on your own or hire some painters to at least paint the exterior of your home. 

Add Something Interesting to Your Home

Another great way your house can stand out is by adding something interesting to your home. Maybe you have a lovely patio that could easily be screened in, or you have a big backyard that you could plant a small garden for the next homeowner. Of course, built-ins are always a plus, or even creating a workspace with a built-in desk. Anything that can set your house apart from other listings will help make your home more functional and attractive to prospective buyers. 

Sell to a Cash Home Buyer

When trying to sell a house in poor condition, sometimes the fastest and easiest way to sell is to work with one of the local cash home buyers in Chattanooga, Nashville, or Knoxville that will buy your house as-is. That would help you avoid all the headaches and expenses involved with selling your house by owner or with a realtor. 

Cash home buyers aren’t held up by bank financing and contingencies; since they pay with cash, they can make you an offer within 24-hours and close within 7-days. As a result, they buy houses in as-is condition all the time and Nexus Homebuyers, in particular, has a team in place to handle all the work that needs to be done to the home.

This would provide an excellent way for you to quickly sell a house in poor condition without investing any more of your time or money into it. 

Final Thoughts

Selling a house, in general, isn’t easy. Add the fact that your home requires some repairs and updates; well, you have your work cut out for you. But as you’ve found out, there are a few things you can do to your place that won’t break the bank but could help your home sale be a success. Or you could take the easiest approach and sell your house as-is to Nexus Homebuyers and avoid the hassle. 

If you’re interested in working with a local home buyer like Nexus, contact them today to get started, learn more about how it works, or ask questions. They’re ready to help make selling a house in poor condition super easy. 

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