Selling house that needs work

Asked by Sherri Squires Toon, Arlington, TX Thu Jul 14, 2011

I bought my home last July. My fiance had been remodeling it and added a 2nd bathroom, updated the wiring, and added a shed/barn. However, we broke up recently. The house still needs work, but I don't have the ability nor means to make that happen. I want to sell it. What are my options?

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Guy Gimenez’s answer
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Jul 14, 2011
If you don't have the money or time to complete the repairs / updates, you might also want to consider selling to an investor on a cash basis. In addition to being a broker I'm also an investor and would be willing to discuss a fast purchase if you are serious about selling. You can reach me at

Guy E. Gimenez ABR, CRS, GRI
Broker / Owner / Investor
The PowerHouse Group
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Jul 14, 2011
It depends on the condition of the home what is remaining. Many times could be matter of staginng those areas

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
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Deborah Garv…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 14, 2011
Sherri, My advice is to find an agent who is savvy with the FHA 203K program (which allows for renovation of a property and associated costs rolled into the buyers new loan). The agent can market the home as a "Design you own" or "Custom home" and you will not have to deal with any repairs and/or the associated costs. This product will also allow for corrections of any DIY snafus that may exist in your ex-finaces construction efforts because the new loan is made against the "future value", not the "as is" value.

To be sure, I have difficulty finding agents who understand the FHA 203K program and even fewer know how to successfully market the product. Another avenue would be to find a 203K specialist (mortgage professional) in your area and ask him/her for a referral to an agent they have worked with in the past. This product has been a staple of FHA for decades; however, as you can see by the fact no one has recommended this avenue, it is totally under utilized by the real estate community. I believe my company has local TX agents so you could contact my corporate office for a referral also. Best of luck!
0 votes
John Reaves, Agent, Fort Worth, TX
Thu Jul 14, 2011
There are a lot of questions involved. Is the house livable in it’s present condition, can you afford the payments without the help of your fiancé, how much equity you have in the property today, what still needs to be done and how much will it cost..

I would suggest you have a realtor do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on the property. See what other properties are going for in the area and the condition of those properties. Get a true understanding about the situation you are in and then make an informed and decisive decision.

You have options some better than other. Don't just sit around and hope things will get better.
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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Jul 14, 2011
Hi, since you cannot finish the work the best thing to do is factor the costs into the price of the home. This type of thing happens all the time. I would get a few reputable contractors to give you estimates so that you can have them on hand to show prospective buyers. I hope it works out for you!

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0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Jul 14, 2011
My first reaction is that, just like a car that needs some repairs, it would be cheaper to fix it, than to replace it.
Possibly, find a good Handyman or Contractor and ask him for time in paying the bill....

Okay, that said;
Have you considered making up with him until the remodeling is completed? Okay, I see.

Please understand that completing the work will mean more on the Selling price, probably more than you will spend. How about a Home Improvement Loan?

If some of the un-completed repairs are Health & Safety related, the new Buyers will not be able to get some Home Loans; it could hinder your selling the place.

You might want to get a couple estimates from General Contractors, so that you can show them what the House needs: There is no point in being secretive about it; you will have to disclose what's been done and what needs to be done, anyway.

Please enlist a Realtor to help you sell and listen to their advice on the subject too.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Mindy Lowry, Agent, Fort Worth, TX
Thu Jul 14, 2011
Sorry John. I disagree with getting a home inspection prior to selling. Due to disclosure laws it may be opening a can of worms. If the home owner does not have the ability or means to do the work, than having an inspection report may make the situation worse. I think it is only adventagious to do an inspection if the seller is planning on making the repairs before selling. Also, some buyers choose to buy homes without getting a home inspection, which I never recommend, but it then becomes "buyer beware," and no fault to the seller. Most buyers are going to want to get their own inspection done anyways and not depend on the inspection done by the seller themselves. Home inspections are a must for a buyer, but do not agree that they are good for the seller.
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Lara Donovan, , 76179
Thu Jul 14, 2011
Just sell it "as is". Chances are you will not make any money on it depending on what you paid for it. You could also get bids on the work and build that into the sale of the house. If the repairs are costly you would likely be selling it to an investor who wants to finish the home themselves. If the repairs are minor or cosmetic the cost could be reasonable to get it ready for sale.

Do you have family or anyone who would want to help with the cost of repairs for a part of the sale if you could make money on it?

You have several options but without knowing what you purchased it for and what needs to be done its hard to give sound advice. Contact a realtor and let them point you in the right direction.

Beware of waiting to long to either sell it or fix it. Things start to fall apart when they aren't maintained and you don't want to wind up in a deeper hole. Is the home fixed enough to maybe rent out if you can't sell it? Samson Park is a good rental area.

Wishing you the best of luck!

Lara Donovan
United Real Estate
0 votes
John Safstrom, Other Pro, Allen, TX
Thu Jul 14, 2011
I recommend getting a home inspection on the property so you have a complete list of what is and isn't in need of repair or replacement. Then you can go about making repairs or selling as is.

You can have copies of the inspection report to give out to potential buyers. This way they know what they are getting into and will make negotiations much smoother.

Systematic Home Inspections
0 votes
Mindy Lowry, Agent, Fort Worth, TX
Thu Jul 14, 2011
It depends on what items need to be repaired and what you owe on the house. If the house is in disrepair to the extent of it not passing inspections than you will need to try and find a cash buyer or investor who can purchase it "as-Is." If it is just cosmetic items than you can just make it show as well as possible and offer it at a lower price or with allowances. A lot will depend on the market in your area and the amount that you owe. I have various vendors that do good and reasonble work. If there are little things that could be done to get you a bigger price, than you may be able to negotiate with vendors to do the work and wait to get paid at the closing. I do work with investors that purchase homes on an as-is basis as well.

I would be happy to do a market analysis of the home. You can contact me with the address and I can email the information to you.

Thanks again,

Mindy Lowry, RE/MAX Heritage
682-559-1246 cell
0 votes
Donnie Keller, Agent, Fort Worth, TX
Thu Jul 14, 2011
First have a Realtor take a look at it and evaluate the "as is" value. The Realtor should be able to determine the best strategy for you. There may small inexpensive finishes you can do that have a good return on investment.

You will take a pretty good hit if you try to sell as is. Your buyer prospects will be investors and individuals looking for a bargain.

There are several different strategies for you.
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