How To Sell A House That’s In Poor or Dated Condition

If you move to a new city or simply need a change of scenery, one of the first steps will be to sell your home. Many homeowners will fix up their home before selling, but this isn’t always required in order to get a sale done. It is required for you to get the very best price for your home no matter what the market conditions are. A well-presented home looks and feels better to buyers.

While many buyers will want a home in good condition, it is completely possible to sell one (or buy one) that isn’t or is in dated condition. Whether you are in a hurry to sell your house, or simply don’t want to put the time and money into renovations, here are some tips on how to sell a home that has conditional issues.

Price the Home Right

One of the best ways to ensure you can sell a home (whether in poor or dated condition or not) is to price it correctly. If the pricing of the home is off, it could either sit on the market for months. On the other hand, pricing it too low may not get you what the home is worth. If you are a Buyer – finding a house that needs some TLC might be the best way for you to enter a highly competitive seller’s market – and as long as the house is liveable you can purchase it for a lower price and make improvements as you can afford it over time.

As far as how to price your home, one of the best options is to contact a professional REALTOR who can look at market comparables in your area. REALTORS have access to data that the public does not and it is the data that dictates the pricing as far as where you need to be positioned in any market. Most homeowners and the public do not realize the data some of the sites such as Zillow use to share your estimated value ARE NOT BASED ON ACTUAL CURRENT DATA. These sites are sometimes 60-90 days behind the market, and they are not pulling real time data from the MLS – Multi-Listing Services – used in all markets to list properties for sale. Furthermore, these sites have no way of knowing the CONDITION of your property so if your house is not in good or updated condition, the pricing you are seeing is not relevant. Only a licensed REALTOR who comes to your property to take a look at the actual interior and exterior can provide you with the most accurate price for listing your property for sale.

If homes similar to yours are selling for a particular amount, that is a good place to start. Also, if your home is in poor condition, be sure to take that into account and factor it into the overall price. The better a home is priced, the easier and quicker it will sell.

Target the Right Buyers

As we briefly mentioned in the introduction, not all buyers will be interested in buying homes in poor or dated condition. These homes will often take a lot of time and money to fix up, which many people simply don’t have the patience, free time or funds for. If you want to sell your home easier, you need to take time to target the right buyers. Your professional REALTOR will know not to waste time trying to attract buyers who aren’t interested in this type of home purchase. They know where and how to market the target buyers using their professional network and resources.

So who are these buyers that are interested in homes in poor condition? Well it can depend. It will often be those looking to fix and flip the home, or those looking for a cheap home to fix up and rent out, or the industrious buyer who wants to purchase and fix the house for their personal use. Of course, some families or individuals looking for a project might be interested, but it will generally be investors of some kind.

Be Honest

When selling a home that has some issues, it is important to be honest and upfront about everything. Your listing information should share an honest overview of the home, and you should not attempt to hide any known issues from potential buyers. Some of the conditional issues are obvious if they are issues of age – such as older flooring, fixtures, paint colors, counters, etc. The issues that are hidden – that are issues of age or wear and tear need to be disclosed. Examples would be if you know there has been a water leak or other damage that was not repaired correctly, or you know an appliance is not functioning property. Selling a home requires sellers to disclose any known issues – and you want to be honest so that you avoid any potential future litigation. In order to help them make the best offer for themselves, Buyers need to know the overall quality of the home. Answer everything with honesty and be forthcoming with the things the buyer should know. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to hire a qualified and quality home inspector who will look for issues of health and safety, repair needs, and issues of age that will be documented and then discussed as part of the inspection resolution. Some buyers will offer cash “as-is” and that means they waive their right to an inspection and are taking their chances on a property that may have hidden issues. But for the right price, there are buyers who are willing to take the risk.

Proper disclosure can speed up the process. It can also help to ensure that there are no hiccups down the line. If you aren’t honest, and something comes up that you were trying to hide, it can cause distrust from the Buyer and possibly hold up or cancel the deal.

Prepare Yourself to Negotiate and Answer a Lot of Questions

Questions are going to be common from buyers when it comes to homes in poor situations. You need to be prepared to not only answer these questions, but also be open to the negotiations that are sure to come. A REALTOR is trained to negotiate on your behalf and they know how the “game” is played. You want an advocate for your equity and someone who knows when to push back on requests, what is reasonable and what is not so that you do not lose a sale but also do not cave to requests that are not normal or mandatory.

Your REALTOR may advise you to get current quotes from a contractor regarding the cost of some of the potential repairs that need to be made. Even if you market your home as an “as is” sale, or say that it is in poor condition, potential buyers will still find things to bring up complaints, and since most buyers are not contractors, they do not have knowledge on what things should cost and tend to overestimate. Buyers may believe your price is too high based on the needed repairs/updating, or the repairs will cost more than you’re saying. If you have the quotes in hand, you can legitimize your asking price and show them you have put in the work and aren’t going to be taken advantage of. The better prepared you are, the better the overall process will go.

Highlight the Good Things About the Home

While the home itself might be in noticeably poor condition, there are likely still some good things about the home that make it desirable. If everything you say or mention about the home is a negative, it won’t do you any favors when it comes to attempting to sell it. Make sure to take time to show off the good things, too. Make sure your share what you loved about the house when you bought it and any special features about the property that they need to know when preparing the marketing information on the listing.

This could be the size of the home, the potential, any recent upgrades the home has, the location or even the yard. Also, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with what buyers are looking for, as that can help you highlight the things that matter most.

In conclusion, we hope that this article has been able to help you sell a home that is in poor condition. It may not always be easy, but if you go about things the right way, it can certainly be done.


Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.