Home Selling in 23702>Question Details

William, Home Seller in Portsmouth, VA

Need opinion if we should update duplex before we sell in Portsmouth, VA

Asked by William, Portsmouth, VA Sat Mar 15, 2008

The duplex is 2/1 on each side. It does not have central air, has old furnaces, plaster walls, and may need a new roof. Our question is, should we do updates before we sell? And who should we call to ask what updates should be done, and does it cost anything for someone to tell us. Also, there isn't many duplexes for sale so it is hard to get a market value. The tax assessed value is around 183,000. Does anyone have an idea in this area what they could sell for? All advice welcome. Thank you.

Help the community by answering this question:


Sit down with someone who understands rates of return on income properties. Fortunately, income properties are very much a business/financial decision. Run an analysis on the property "as is" and then run an analysis as if the property were updated. Factor in the cost of updating and see if you can realistically get a better return for the expenditures.
Web Reference: http://www.tchurchwell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
William, You will make more money if the property is remodeled. I almost made that mistake with 2 of my homes. I was going to sell "as is" until I talked to Mr. Betterton in churchland. He runs a local contracting company called Betterton Home Improvement I think they were/are on Tyre Neck Rd. They helped me make an extra 23 grand on the 1st one. Should be the same give or take on the 2nd one when we decide to sell. Hope this helps.
Paul Mason
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2008
Keith and Kari hit it on the nail. You may want to start writing down all your questions and concerns now, and add to the list until you meet with your real estate agent. This will help give the agent a better feel of what you looking to do. Once you and your real estate agent sit down and discuss your over all goals, and find out if it's obtainable. You will be able to know where you stand, and ask yourself…Is this a good time to do the repairs, is it affordable, if you do the repairs, would it increase your asking price, and would this put you at a realistic market price. Since the market has changed, most buyers have a lot more properties to choose from, so you may not want to be at the max asking price with no room to negotiate. Most buyers start subtracting off the asking price when unfinished repairs are needed. You may want to start tackling minor repairs now, since this can take some time to accomplish. Remember cleanliness is everything, it’s amazing what fresh paint, simple landscaping, and low cost repairs can do for a place.
Web Reference: http://joanhart.lnfre.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
I will be happy to do market analysis for you. I live in port norfolk area. Barbara J Smith 757 237 3655 Prudential Decker Real Estate on taylor rd near chesapeake sq mall
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
I agree with Keith that you need to sit down with a Realtor to assess value, etc. I will add that income producing properties are an entirely different market than residential proerties. I've found that sellers of rental properties are expecting a gain in value similar to residential resale. However, rents play a major role in the valuation of your property and rents in this area have not gone up at the same rate increase.

As Keith says, meet wit ha Realtor and look at all of your options and the impact each has on you including the possibility of reahb/repair.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
I suggest that you contact some Realtors with knowledge about income property. I have noted this in previous posts, but here goes again. There are well-intentioned Trulia members giving advice about your property, however IMHO they do not know enought about your situation to make suggestions.

I recommend that you sit down with a Realtor and discuss:
1. What the Fair Market Value for the property is.
2. What you hope to achieve in the sale: cash out, buy another
3. What are the tax consequences
4. What alternatives do you have to selling now
5. What will happen if you cannot sell it for your desired net profit

When you and your Realtor answer these questions I thnk you will be in a position to make the smart decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
I cannot comment on what it would sell for unless I know the location. Another important factor is the occupancy and amount of rent you are currently getting.

As for the fix-up: know that you will not get dollar-for-dollar return on your improvements, but some of them may be necessary to make the property sale-able. Then again, there are a lot of investors out there would would love to buy something likek that "as-is" and do the work themselves- if you dicount it enough to make it worth their while.

Best thing you can do is get 3 Realtors in there to give you a CMA and report on what it would take to sell it. It doen't cost anything for that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008

If you want to email me, I will be happy to provide you with some currently active duplexes in the area and some comps. There's a similar duplex for sale on Harrower Court for $199,900. It's been on the market since this past October, no central or upgrades and that's the highest priced. If your property is assessed at $183,000, you "should" be able to get about $220,000 for it, but that all depends on condition.

Again, it you want to email me and provide the address, I'll be happy to provide you with some comps and also perhaps meet you at the property for an onsite evaluation - no charge.

Frank Biganski, Realtor ABR
(757) 303-0517
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
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