which estate agent

If you find yourself in the position of wanting to sell your home but know that it is in need of some significant repairs,you have a lot of important decisions to make. Depending on which estate agent you approach, you might get differing opinions. We will try and cover a few for you here.

Whilst some buyers like a challenge, a blank canvas from which to create their perfect home, certain structural problems can be a major red flag and render your property unmortgageable. On the other hand, a lot of buyers want a house they can move straight into or one that needs just the bare minimum of decoration..

Maybe you are not in a position to get the repairs done or wonder if it is best to sell it as a ‘project’ / ‘do-er upper’. Whatever position you find yourself in with a property in a less than ideal condition, there are a few things you can consider when deciding which direction to take. 


Should I Do Up My House Before Selling?

People are often open to buying a property which needs a lot of renovation, something they intend to do themselves. However, the The asking price for the property will reflect the amount of work that needs doing. 

There are some simple steps you can take to illustrate your property’s potential and help viewers see how great it could be. Consider how much the house is worth in its current state and determine how much it would cost to fix it up. From there, find an estate agent and ask them to estimate how much the house would be worth after all of these changes. Are you going to be making more money than what you would be spending?

If you are going to be losing money or breaking even, it is not really worth fixing up. If you are going to earn money, it is a question of  how much and if you have the spare cash to do it.


First Impressions

First impressions count. Certain repairs can improve the initial impact of your home visually. Things like nice window frames and exterior paintwork can give the most unloved property a degree of kerb appeal. Are the bathroom and kitchen of a decent standard, regarding fixtures and fittings, as well as cleanliness? Perhaps you could do with replacing the front door, tidying up the front garden or jet washing the driveway can freshen up your property and make it look more appealing.


Structural Issues

Are there any known issues that could be flagged up on a survey? Do any of the walls have cracks or show any damage either internally or externally? Are there any slates missing from the roof or issues and a crumbling chimney? Are there any leaks or problems with the boiler?

Make sure you are aware of any work that needs doing and be prepared to pay a professional so that the job is done adequately. This may add value to your property, rather than be a sunken cost.

Do not try to hide any structural issues. Whilst they might go unnoticed during a viewing, the survey will show any underlying problems. If you cannot afford to fix anything yourself, just be honest with your estate agent and potential buyers. If they are aware of any issues from the beginning, you’ll find it easier to negotiate the asking price.


Know Your Target Market

A fixer-upper is not everyone’s idea of fun. You need to get an idea of the type of person who would be interested in your house as it stands right now and market it to them. People involved in buying and selling houses for a living are known as “Flippers”. They seek out properties like yours in the hope they can carry out the required repairs before selling the house on at a profit. This buyer will look to maximise their profit, meaning they may well make a very low offer. 

Be realistic about the value of your home, taking into consideration the work any buyer will need to finance but don’t feel like you should accept an unfair offer. Find an estate agent who can make a house valuation based on the property as it stands. When deciding which estate agent to use, enquire about their experience with properties like yours.

Buyers on a budget who would like to relocate to a more expensive location are another potential target for a house that needs work. Whilst they might ideally like to walk straight into their ideal home, they will know their budget will only stretch to a property that needs work, one that they can get at a lower price. This buyer is not necessarily looking to make an immediate profit, they are looking for an affordable option. This could work out well for both you and the buyer.   


Price It Right

Many buyers will be put off by the amount of work that needs doing if the price is too high. Make a list of essential repairs and get quotes for having the work done. Review the market: look at the asking and sale price of local properties in a similar state as yours. Consider what the property would be worth if all the renovation work was complete. If your house is in a prime location and potentially worth a small fortune, factor this into the asking price.

An estate agent can carry out a house valuation, no problem, but remember, buying and selling houses is their business and so they may tell you what you want to hear rather than what is realistic. When Deciding which estate agent to use, mention to them the condition of your home and see who can offer positive solutions to your problems


Extra Space

Finding ways to add in extra rooms, or storage space, can be an effective way of boosting the value of your home. Extra bedrooms, particularly if they have an en-suite can add a lot of value. Rather than dividing up the rooms you already have, consider converting your garage, loft, or cellar into additional living spaces.

Nationwide found that a loft conversion which includes a double bedroom and a bathroom can add up to 20% to the value of a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom property. Aan extra bathroom might increase the value of your home by around 5%.

If this is too expensive or intrusive, the next best option is to maximise your storage space. Consider erecting a shed in your garden, storage units in the cellar, or adding shelves in the spaces either side of a chimney breast. 


House Buying Services

A house buying service will buy any property, including those needing significant repairs or renovations. It guarantees a sale and the process is quick. After a firm offer has been made and accepted, funds are released in as little as seven days.

However, the cash offer will be somewhat less than the market value of the property, but on the flip side, it will save you time, hassle and the possible expense of mortgage payments, repairs and waiting for a buyer to come along. Furthermore, there are no legal, house valuation or estate agent fees to pay. Taking all of these factors into consideration, a cash buying service can be an attractive offer.


What Repairs Have The Biggest Effect On Selling?

In most cases, it’s not feasible to undertake lots of renovations before moving. Home improvements take time, and can be expensive. So which renovations should you prioritise if you’re looking to sell your home soon?


  1. Painting
    Painting is one of the most simple and affordable ways to liven up your property, whether internally and externally. Neutral shades will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers. Particularly re-paint dark overcast rooms and see if your fences or front door need a freshen up. 
  2. Simple DIY
    We’re not talking expert renovations here. The basics will make a big difference such as cleaning grouting, replacing door knobs, fixing any broken fence panels and a tidy garden.
  3. Kitchen and Bathroom
    These two rooms always inspire an opinion in potential buyers. Whilst completely re-fitting both may not be practical, it is worth considering any minor tweaks you can make to impact a viewer’s first impressions. Give both rooms a deep clean. Consider re-grouting tiles and descaling products in the bath and shower areas and protecting against mould.
  4. Lighting
    Maximise the space with clever lighting. Let as much natural light in as possible, especially during the summer months. 
  5. Bin The Carpets
    Are you aware of any beautiful hardwood floors lurking underneath old carpets? If so, pull up the carpets and treat your floors to a sanding and polishing. This will really give your home the wow factor.

Should I Sell My House If Major Repair Work Is Needed?

Buying and Selling houses that need major repairs can be a challenge but there are plenty of options that make the processes less stressful. Start with considering what a realistic sale price is and what your priorities are, whether they be how much money you can get or that you sell quickly.


Which Estate Agent?

Compare-agents.com analyses the performance of every active estate agent in the UK. Using basic information about your home, we provide you with a list of agents that cover your postcode and how they perform against each other. All you have to do is enter a few details about your property, and we will show you the performance of the estate agents in your area and those online. Let us help you choose which estate agent is the best for you.

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