The important consideration for you, is that most buyers, particularly for "affordable" homes, need to have a turn-key; because they have little or no money by the time the Escrow closes.
If you have to sell quickly or don't have the financial resources to invest in some improvements, then you should just sell the house in "as is" condition. If you choose this route, I would have a home inspector do an up-front inspection and have the report available to potential buyers. I would also make sure that the price reflects the necessary improvements needed. In this situation, you want potential buyers to understand the condition of the house before they make their offer. This will save you a lot of difficulty when it comes to home inspection time.
Ideally, I would have you spend some time and money to get the basic systems up to current standards. Copper plumbing and updated electrical are a priority to most buyers. Asbestos ducts tend to come up in a home inspection. It would be best to have the ducts removed and a new forced air system installed. I would also encourage you to have an inspector look at your fireplace to determine whether it is dangerous.
I love older homes and understand your situation. I have bought and sold homes myself that had the old wiring and old plumbing. As we progress into the 21st century, these original systems are getting older and older. With my current home, I decided to take care of all those issues (I do have a crack in my firebox though) and feel good about this decision.
Good luck as you figure it all out!
I think it really depends on the home and how much you can afford to spend on fixing it. Homes often show better and sell faster when fixed up, but you would need to disclose any problems you recently fixed anyway. It sounds like there are some safety issues and buyers may request to have these fixed, but you can always try to sell as is.
I would be happy to provide a free professional estimate of your home value at the time with no obligation and help you evaluate the situation.
Feel free to contact me directly at (310) 717-1321 or JamieTian@RodeoRE.com.
Asbestos is not a health issue unless you have airborne fibers.
Knob and tube wiring still works, may be issue if wires peeled or loose. or if overloading circuits.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310)625-9005
42 S. Pasadena Ave
Pasadena CA 91105
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The stuff that you really should do is to make sure that the place is so clean that if a child dropped their gum on the bathroom floor, it wouldn't gross anyone out if they put it back in their mouth! Clean what's dirty, paint what needs painting, and fix what's broken.
Here in Seattle, I would not advise you to rewire, re-duct, tuckpoint the fireplace, none of that. You don't know what the next buyer's plans are - they may want to remodel, so they'll probably be adding wiring anyway. Or they may not want a fireplace, they'll take down the chimney rather than repoint it. The remodel may include heated floors, no need for a furnace.
I would absolutely recaulk the tub and sinks, wash the windows and the gutters, pick the moss off the roof, weed the garden and paint the trim! But that's for here in Seattle. Local conditions may vary!
All the best,
Cash buyers typically want a sizeable discount because they are purchasing with no contingencies.
Not making the repairs now could cost you dollars down the road