house that needs repairs for sale

Sell a House That Needs Repairs

Does your house need a lot of work or just a few touch-ups? This is the question you must ask yourself first before you go look for companies that buy houses Wisconsin residents are selling. Regardless of your answer, it is very possible to sell a house no matter the types of repairs you’ll need to consider. 

So, can you sell a house that needs repairs? Let’s find out.

house that needs repairs for sale

Should You Sell a House That Needs Repairs?

Firstly, are you Googling “Sell my house fast Milwaukee?” Every homeowner knows there are always going to be touch-ups needed to sell a property. Depending on the number of repairs your house needs will determine your answer on whether you should sell or not. 

Look at your home. Does it need a ton of work such as water pipe replacement, moldy floorboards/carpet, or walls that need extreme overhauls? If so, it is still possible to sell the house. However, your target audience changes. 

Homeowners don’t look at perfection; they look at potential. So, if your house has potential for a buyer dedicated to putting in the work, you can sell your house for a lower price. However, if you have some extra money, you can try fixing it yourself, which may increase the value of your property (which we will get into later.)

Every house – before it’s sold – needs minimal repairs to get buyers’ attention. For example, new kitchen appliances, freshly painted walls, new flooring, and minimal wear and tear the eye can see. One thing to consider before selling a home that needs repairs.

The question is to sell a house as is for cash or to fix and then sell?

Selling a house “as-is” means that you have decided not to make any repairs and sell the house in its current state. If your house needs a lot of repairs, your buyers are most likely going to be one of the three buyers mentioned above. 

If your house only needs a few repairs, such as a fresh lick of paint, or baseboard repair, it may be in your best interest to fix this before listing the property as-is. On the other hand, if you are selling a condemned house, there really isn’t much you can do to increase the house’s worth. 

Will Making Repairs Increase Your House Value?

If money and time are not a problem for you, it may be worth adding value to your property before selling. Yes, making repairs increase your house value. However, not everything adds house value, so be specific on choosing what to repair. 

The main points to focus on when it comes to adding value are:

  • Kitchen remodeling or changes
  • Bathroom upgrades
  • Front or back deck installments
  • Outdoor landscaping 
  • Roofs and windows. 
  • Interior and exterior paint

Don’t go super crazy and upgrade everything as some things won’t add value and will be a waste of money, such as:

  • Luxurious surroundings
    • Marble floors and counters
    • Custom made cabinets 
    • High-end paint
  • Swimming pools
  • Changes that don’t suit the neighborhood
  • Add-ons or conversions

It may also be good to add energy-efficient appliances such as an air-conditioning system, a water filter system, and stoves and laundry appliances. When buyers view a home, they look for what homes will give them exactly what they are looking for at a fair price.

Types of House Repairs to Make

So, you have decided it’s worth your while to make repairs before selling. However, repairs are no cheap and easy task. Before you start, allow yourself a few days to research and write some numbers down. Once you know how much things are, create a budget plan and don’t go over your repair range. 

Here are two things you should consider first before knowing the types of repairs your house needs.

  • What to fix first
    • The roof
    • Insulation 
    • Foundation/floors
    • Electrical circuits
    • Plumbing
    • Window replacements
    • Water and heat
  • What’re the most expensive repairs
    • Paint
    • Ensuring everything works properly.’
    • Lighting
    • Kitchen 
    • Bathroom
    • Outdoor upgrades
    • House Inspection

Your house may need four types of repairs: minor, major, structural, and cosmetic.

Minor House Repairs

Minor home repairs are repairs that don’t cost a ton of money and are easily fixable such as:

  • Caulking
  • Door and window insulation
  • Unclogging drains and plumbing fixtures
  • Light paint
  • Toilet and bathtub replacement

Most minor repairs can be fixed easily on your own simply by watching a tutorial video or hiring a handyman.

Cosmetic House Repairs

Cosmetic repairs don’t really matter but increase house value, such as stained carpets and wear and tear. Some examples include:

  • Nail holes
  • Blind replacements
  • Smelly or moldy carpet
  • Wall stains
  • Dead plants and poor yard maintenance. 
man making major electrical repair

Major House Repairs

Major house repairs include work that every house needs at some point during its lifetime, such as:

  • Any immediate safety concern
    • Mechanical problem
    • Electrical wiring
  • Water damage
  • Sewage
  • Old furnace
  • Roof and gutter replacement

Major repairs always require a professional to fix these damages as it is unsafe for someone without knowledge in the above areas. Major repairs are often more expensive than minor ones. 

Structural Changes

Structural repairs are foundation issues, framing or siding, and beams that hold the house together. Structural repairs are mainly due to the construction being incomplete before the house was livable or the materials used were of poor quality. Structural repairs include:

  • Cracks in bricks or mortar
  • Loose soil surrounding house walls and foundation
  • Sunken in floors
  • Leakage
  • Gaps in doorways
  • Windows that don’t correctly latch or close
  • Seam cracks in walls
  • Loose baseboards

Ensure that you have a house inspection before and after repairs are in process. 

Tips for Selling a House That Needs Repairs

Whether you have opted to fix your house first or sell as-is, there are still a few things to consider:

  • Find yourself a real estate agent
  • Clean everything or hire a professional cleaner
  • Make as many minor and structural changes as you can
  • Write a fantastic listing including all the renovations that were made and highlight key features
  • Figure your target buyers: Flippers, deal hunters, or remodelers
  • Ask for a fair price

Work Out if It’s Cost-Effective 

Houses cost tons of money for maintenance and damage control. When you first buy a house, you need to save at least 3 to 5 % of the total cost for upkeep and repairs. For example, if you bought a house worth $300,000, five percent of that would total $15,000. 

The main costs before selling your fixer-upper are going to revolve around real estate costs, inspections, and pest control. Once you get these numbers, you can move on to the next step as to whether or not you should sell as-is or take savings to pay for the advice from the professionals.

Anticipate Lower Market Value 

Market value is the value of the property depending on surrounding houses and the condition it is in compared to similar house conditions. Based on these statistics, market value is what the buyer is willing to pay instead of what the seller is willing to sell. 

Based on your asking price, anticipate that the market value may be lower than what you’re asking for. 

Research Potential Buyers 

Which homebuyers want fixer-uppers?

There are three types of homebuyers – flippers, deal hunters, and remodelers. 

Flippers or investors have a specific budget and need to buy a house, make all the repairs it needs, and design it according to their target audience within their budget limit. Flippers are looking to make an investment and make a profit after. 

Deal hunters are the guys who look for specific neighborhoods but are unable to afford them due to increasing housing prices. However, if there is a fixer-upper house being sold in their chosen location, they will opt for the lower price to fix it themselves so they can live in an area they like. 

Remodelers are buyers who have the money, but the houses they have their hearts set on getting bought from under them. Remodelers look for homes to repair based on their dream idea of design. 

How to Sell a House That Needs Repairs

Your best bet to successfully sell a house in need of repair is to look at your buyer pool and target that audience. Second, it’s time to find a quote from real estate agents. Next, there is a contract to sign, and finally, the deal is closed. Other things to keep in mind are:

  • Ensure your listing says “selling house as-is.”
  • Know your numbers
    • How much did you spend to fix it?
    • How much of a return are you expecting?
    • What is the value of your property?
    • How much have you increased your value? 
  • Make a list of all the minimal repairs you have accomplished
    • Fresh paint
    • Fill in nail holes
    • Caulk cracks
  • Look for structural and significant damage.
  • In your listing, focus on the best features of your house


So, should you look for a company that claims, “We buy homes Greenfield residents want to sell that need repairs?” In short, yes, you most definitely should. However, there are many things you must do before listing your property for sale. This includes talking to real estate agents, researching market value, and fixing as many minimal damages as you can. 

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