How to Sell an Old House That Needs Work

Selling an old or damaged home can seem tricky, especially if you’re looking to sell the property without making a huge investment into repairs and renovations. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. If you’re looking to sell an old house that needs work, here are some tips for making the sale happen. 

List Your House As Is With an Agent

If you want to sell your old house on the open real estate market, selling with an agent is probably your best bet since an experienced realtor will know your local market much better than you. A realtor will also handle all of the marketing and promotion of the property and may already have a buyer or two in mind who’d be willing to purchase the house as is and invest in any necessary repairs. 

Keep in mind, though, that working with a realtor can be quite pricey and will eat into your take-home profit. When you sell, you’ll pay 5%–6% of your home’s sale price in realtor commissions plus closing costs and other transaction fees. By the time the sale is complete, expect to pay around 10%–12% of your home’s sale price if you’re planning to work with an agent. 

To illustrate, let’s say you sell your house for $225,000. Between commissions, closing costs, and other fees, you’ll fork over $22,500 to $27,000 before all is said and done.

Perform Some Minor Cosmetic Work

If you don’t want to sink a bunch of money into the old, damaged home you’re looking to sell, consider investing in small repairs and upgrades at the very least. Even just a few minor cosmetic improvements can make your house look a whole lot more appealing to prospective buyers. And if your house doesn’t look seriously aged and deteriorated, those buyers may be willing to undertake the other major repairs the property might need. 

What kind of upgrades should you make? Choose simple, quick, and relatively cheap improvements like:

  • Applying new caulking in the kitchen and bathroom(s)
  • Applying a fresh coat of paint to the entire interior or just the rooms that need it (neutral colors work best!)
  • Getting carpets professionally cleaned
  • Replacing dated lighting or plumbing fixtures
  • Touching up exterior paint
  • Painting aged cabinets and replacing dated hardware

Sell to a Cash Home Buyer

If you want to sell your house as is but don’t want to pay tens of thousands of dollars to complete the sale, selling to a cash home buyer (aka a real estate investor) is likely your best option. 

These types of buyers invest in homes, regardless of their condition, and can purchase your house exactly as it stands. They don’t charge commissions, closing costs, or other selling fees and won’t require you to pass a prepurchase inspection, make any repairs or renovations, or even clean the place before they’ll buy it. A cash buyer will, however, base their offer price on the current condition of your home, as well as several other factors that affect its fair market value. 

Another notable perk of selling to a cash home buyer is the expeditious closing process. Generally, real estate investors who pay cash for properties can close in less than two weeks. So if you need to sell an old, damaged house fast, working with this type of buyer is likely in your best interest. 

List Your House for Sale by Owner (FSBO)

If you’re not keen on any of the options above, you can try selling your home FSBO, but make sure you disclose everything that’s wrong with it. If you don’t — and you end up selling the place as is (only 11% of FSBO sellers succeed) — your buyer could sue you later on down the road. 

If you take this route, be prepared to do some work. You’ll need to market and promote your home, handle showings, and handle the closing process on your own. You should also expect to sell your home for about 25% less than you would with an agent-assisted sale. 

Sell Your House As Is to We Buy Houses Columbus!

Are you interested in selling an old house that needs work? If so, our team at We Buy Houses Columbus is ready to make you an offer to purchase your home! We buy all types of residential properties, regardless of their condition, and can buy your house no matter what it looks like or how aged or deteriorated it is. 

Ready to get an all-cash offer for your Columbus-area home? Then give us a call today at 614-699-6464 or request an offer online, and we’ll get in touch to get the process started!