condemned house in Wisconsin for sale

Sell Condemned House in Wisconsin

If you’ve found yourself with a condemned house on your hands, you may be worried about whether or not you’ll be able to sell it. Whether you’ve come into an inheritance or found the home on a foreclosure for an irrefutable price, the condemned house can be tricky to get rid of.

Fortunately, a few options are available to you, some of which can help speed up the process. In Wisconsin, condemned houses are pretty common and don’t exactly come with a how-to manual.

In this article, we’ll walk you through your options, explain what makes a house condemned, and show you how to sell a condemned house. 

condemned house in Wisconsin

What Determines a Condemned House?

The first thing you should know is that just because your house is empty, that isn’t enough to deem it condemned. A property needs to check off specific criteria to be determined fully condemned by the state.

Condemning a property involves the state government seizing the house. This could be either because of unsafe conditions or a new housing development or government project underway.

Generally, condemned properties are nearly dilapidated, unsafe, and a threat to the community. The house could be experiencing infrastructure failure, severe mold, excessive termite damage, or structural damage resulting from a weather catastrophe.

Can You Sell a Condemned House in Wisconsin?

It’s true that some local governments do not permit the sale of condemned properties, even if you can make the necessary repairs. Thankfully, Wisconsin isn’t one of them.

However, once a property becomes condemned, you may only have a short time to complete the repairs or sell it before it’s seized and requires immediate evacuation. In this case, the municipality will either make the repairs themselves or have the building demolished. In both cases, the owner of the property will be liable for the costs.

In Milwaukee, the condemnation process usually takes around six months to a year. However, the government could accelerate it in the face of immediate danger. For example, if the property may pose a risk to neighbors or their properties, the home may be condemned and demolished within a week.

If you’re looking to purchase a condemned property, there are lists available online of vacant condemned houses currently managed by different cities and counties in Wisconsin. They may also provide a reverse search option allowing you to find out if a property of interest is already condemned or about to be.

How to Sell a Condemned House

When it comes to the process of selling a condemned house, you essentially have two options.

The first option is to make all the repairs yourself within the stipulated time frame. The state will then inspect the property and must declare it habitable. From there, you have free rein to put the property on the market for sale to the general public.

The second way you can sell your condemned property is a method not many people are aware of. As it turns out, you do have the ability to sell a condemned property as-is without having to find the time and money to make the repairs.

To sell your condemned property as-is, you’ll likely need to find a real estate investor who plans on buying it right out in cash. But we’ll get to that in detail a little later.

Why Selling a Condemned House Is Difficult

Like we said earlier, the ability to sell a condemned house will largely depend on state housing laws and regulations. Some states will not permit the sale of a condemned house even before you get the chance to make repairs. And if they do approve the sale, you’d be given a limited amount of time to make it habitable.

Typical homebuyers are not interested in a condemned property, mainly because mortgage lenders don’t often provide loans for them.  Most real estate agents wouldn’t bother with the trouble of listing one either, especially without a Certificate of Occupancy and ownership that can be legally transferred.

Not to mention, it’s common for condemned houses to be located in less-than-ideal neighborhoods, full of crime and lacking safety. The fact that your home is sitting in an undesirable area will only hurt your chances even further of ever selling it.

cash buyer helping a couple sell house

Can Cash Buyers Help?

Now that you understand why selling a condemned house is so challenging, we can talk about that second option we mentioned earlier: selling the house as-is to an investor.

Real estate investors make for perfect cash buyers, especially for condemned properties. Accepting a cash offer for your house has many benefits, particularly if you are selling a house that needs work. 

As we said, mortgage lenders are not going to provide a loan for a condemned house. They know the government can quickly seize the property and that it cannot be occupied. Moreover, since the house is the collateral, they’re less likely to bet on the possible future value of the house after repairs.

This is where cash buyers come in. You want someone with enough cash on hand and who’s ready to move fast. In addition, real estate investors are qualified to buy condemned houses and are likely already aware of the condemned properties in their area.

Real estate investors usually have a lot of experience with building codes and other facets of the condemnation process. They already know how to navigate the legalities involved that will lead to a quick and seamless sale.

Real estate investors are also well-connected in the industry and will have licensed contractors on hand to get the ball rolling when starting repairs and renovations.

Also known as house flippers, real estate investors will typically sell the condemned homes upon repairing them. Others may decide to rent for a while before selling once the market permits for a better sale.


Whether you are looking to sell your home fast in Elm Grove or you need someone to buy your house in Milwaukee, selling a condemned house in Wisconsin can be a time-consuming and stressful process if you plan on making all the repairs yourself. Although it can be a rewarding experience, in the end, selling to a cash buyer can eliminate unnecessary stress on your end.

It’s important to understand the difference between an abandoned house and a condemned one to avoid surprises with the state government, who can quickly take control if it is the latter. Essentially, if it is entirely unsafe to live in and a threat to the community, you likely have a condemnable house on your hands.

Once deemed a condemned home, you’ll need to act fast before it becomes seized by the state. The best way to do this is to sell it to a cash buyer. Real estate cash buyers will already know their way around a condemned property and will manage to get the job done quickly.  

It’s also common for many states to deny you permission to sell your condemned house even if you plan to make repairs independently. There can be a lot of red tapes to go through that can be overwhelming for an inexperienced seller. Real estate buyers are experienced and typically well-connected enough that this won’t be a concern for them.

If you need to sell your condemned house fast with no realtor fees, no hassle, and no repairs, Cream City Home Buyers is interested in buying your Wisconsin home and can get the job as quickly as possible, letting you walk away with cold, hard cash in your pocket.

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