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Why You Shouldn’t Fix Up Your Fixer Upper Before You Sell in Charlotte, NC

Why You Shouldn't Fix Up Your Fixer Upper Before You Sell in Charlotte, NC

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It might seem necessary to fix every little thing that’s wrong with your house to attract prospective buyers. After all, who’s going to buy a house that needs repairs? The answer is lots of people. You don’t need to do a lot of work to sell fixer-upper properties in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte and the surrounding areas are home to many fixer-upper house situations. Selling a home in Mecklenburg County that needs major repairs is different from the traditional home sale through a real estate agent. Though the market value of homes in Charlotte continues to rise, selling homes with major underlying issues is still not standard practice.

Given the nature of the property market in North Carolina, it’s a good idea to explore selling fixer-uppers before trying to do repairs on a house.

Costly and time-consuming

Extensive repairs can cost a lot of money, and they can take a lot of time. Home sellers are busy, and there’s often not a lot of time or resources to go around. Not time or resources that you want to spend on home repair anyway.

Putting all of that energy and time into selling your home fast isn’t the only way to tackle the problem. In fact, there are tons of options to get around repair issues. You can still sell fast and get a good deal.

The basic options

Fixer upper house for sale in Charlotte, NC

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Home sellers in this situation have a few different ways to go about the process.

When you need to sell a fixer-upper house fast in Charlotte or Rock Hill, you have a couple of basic options. This fixer-upper selling isn’t challenging, but it is different from what most people are used to. If you’re a busy home seller, you can look at the following tacks to get your home on the market fast and for the best price.

  • Selling as-is
  • Doing minor repairs
  • Doing big-ticket repairs

These are a few options to make the sale of your property easy. You can decide which one works for you, then dig in and either go for the necessary repairs to the property or just start looking for a property buyer.

Selling your fixer-upper as-is

The easiest, fastest, and most hassle-free way to go about this is to sell your home as is. This means you won’t do anything to the property at all.

Though you don’t have to do anything to the property to get it on the market and get some money for the property, there are a couple of things to be careful of when you’re creating the listing. You don’t want to find yourself in a bad situation with a potential property buyer.

Here are two things you absolutely must do when you list a property to sell as-is.

1 – Include the words “as-is” in the property listing

Most homes are not sold as-is, so you want to make it clear to any potential homebuyer from the get-go that you are not doing anything to the property. This is critically important because otherwise, you might end up wasting your time and theirs.

Keep in mind that when you sell a property as-is, the price will be lower than what you’d get if you went all-in on repairs. That’s because you’re trading the expense and energy you’d spend doing those repairs for the quick sale.

Now, the burden of those required repairs is on the homebuyer. This is why the price has to be lower for this property.

By putting the disclaimer out to potential buyers for your fixer-upper house, you are making it easier for you in the real estate market. Potential buyers looking for a bargain price on fixer-uppers will know exactly what they’re getting into.

2 – Disclose everything

termites at a home in Charlotte, NC

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Though you are selling a home as a fixer-upper, you still want to be upfront. This kind of house is not for all potential buyers.

You should consider doing a pre-inspection and then definitely disclose everything you find in the report. If you work with a real estate agent, especially a real estate agent who has experience with these homes for sale, they’ll be able to help you.

What you should never, ever do is attempt to hide home problems to a buyer. North Carolina law requires that you tell prospective buyers of any known defects with your fixer-upper in Charlotte. Not only is it dishonest to hide potential problems, but it’s also illegal.

The selling price will be lower for a fixer-upper house, but the trade-off is worth it for many Charlotte homeowners. This is a wonderful opportunity to position your house in Mecklenburg County as an investment for cash buyers and real estate investors.

House flippers are always on the lookout for new properties at a reasonable selling price. They’ll be expecting the worst, so don’t be afraid to give them the truth.

What to know about inspections

Home inspection in a roof in Charlotte, NC

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Even if you put “fixer-upper” or “as-is property” in the listing, even in the title, you still might have potential buyers ask for an inspection.

Real estate agents sometimes have experience selling fixer-uppers in Charlotte, NC. They know about how you can sell fixer-upper properties and how to navigate local inspections. If the seller’s market is hot, then you could likely forego a formal inspection. This speeds up the sales process and gets you through to closing quickly.

Real estate agents might not be the best place to connect if you want to forego the inspection. Fixer-upper homes are known to have problems, so prospective buyers are aware that an inspection will find something wrong. The right agent can connect you with buyers who don’t want to pay top dollar.

When the buyer sees issues on an inspection report, they may or may not walk away. Hopefully, you’ve been upfront with issues already. Full disclosure is everything in this instance.

Pre-market home inspection

There are two kinds of home inspections. The first is the one we’re most used to hearing about. This is when a home inspector comes to gain access to the house and looks for major issues and minor issues after a potential buyer has already begun to explore buying the house.

A home inspector will note cosmetic issues as well as structural problems. These services cost money, but for buyers, they tend to be a good deal. A property doesn’t have to be perfect at the time of sale.

The difference between a pre-market inspection and a traditional inspection is the timing.

With a pre-market inspection, the home inspector comes in prior to the home even going on the market. This way, potential issues can be disclosed in the listing description.

Most real estate agents don’t use these kinds of home inspections because buyers will want a home inspection later in the process. When you want to sell a fixer-upper, however, this will likely be the only inspection on the home during the sales process.

Doing minor home improvements

Home repaird tools at an as-is house

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The second option for selling a fixer-upper is to do some limited home improvements. Don’t jump into cosmetic things for the most part here, though curb appeal still matters.

If you’ve decided to go with this middle route between major repairs and selling as-is, be sure to keep it easy. Think in terms of what you can do in a weekend, or what you can take on without a serious expense.

None of these minor home repairs will change the fundamentals of your house, but they could boost the price a little more without saddling you with hefty repair costs. Real estate is all about appeal, and sometimes a fresh coat of paint is all it takes to create curb appeal.

Here are some ideas for minor property improvements that you might want to consider when you’re selling fixer-uppers.

Beyond any critical updates, think about the following easy things to do before selling your house. Many of these items can be tackled over a weekend before putting your house on the market.

  • A fresh coat of neutral paint
  • Garage door paint job
  • Replacing light bulbs
  • Clean ceiling fans
  • Fix old light fixtures
  • Add new light fixtures
  • Deep clean hardwood floors and carpets
  • Caulking the edges of bathtubs and counters
  • Cleaning up yard debris and removing junk

All of these property improvements are cosmetic only. None of them are going to affect the fundamentals of your home. A home inspection won’t be materially affected by these kinds of improvements.

However, these minor home repairs will help a real estate agent do their job a little better. A good-looking product is easier to sell than a dull-looking product.

Effective renovation ideas like these are all about sprucing up the place. They’ll help a lot with curb appeal, which is naturally a first and critically important part of selling a house.

Major home improvement projects

replacing insulation at a home for sale in Charlotte, NC

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A house in good shape will get the most attractive price. Selling a property with good bones is also the way to get more money.

When looking at major property improvements before selling, think about the fundamentals. This is not the time to try to change the floor plan or add an extra bedroom. You can get the right price without all of that.

Note that if your home is in a prime location or has a desirable floor plan, the Charlotte real estate market will reward those two things handsomely.

Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the new home, without worrying about potential problems. If you’re selling a house with issues, you’ll have a harder time getting rid of it.

Make a priority list
Home repair on a fixer upper in Charlotte, NC

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If you are thinking about doing major work to your house before you sell it, start by making a priority list of things that must be done. Keep in mind that the best way to stay sane through this process is to think logically rather than emotionally.

Many home buyers are not bothered by a home that needs some cosmetic improvements. In fact, prospective buyers want to think of themselves in the home, so they want to do some of the work themselves. This lets them add their own style.

Once you have your list, look for real sticking points for buyers. Then, you can put your effort into what’s most important on the property. For example, adding hardwood flooring isn’t going to help in selling a fixer-upper. However, a house with a new roof is more likely to sell.

Some of the highest priority items should be things like plumbing issues, dealing with mold, HVAC and furnace problems, or fixing foundation damage on the house. Though these are big-ticket items, they’ll also make a big difference in how many buyers think of your house.

The most important home improvements can be found in the list below. These are important for inspectors too, who could flag your home for safety issues. Even with a fixer upper, individual buyers are reluctant to go into a home that is unsafe.

  • Roof replacement
  • Fixing water damage
  • Repairing old pipes, sewer
  • Clean out the septic system
  • New electrical panel
  • New water heater
  • Addressing termite damage
  • Updating the HVAC system

These are the kinds of repairs and updates that will cost a lot of money, but they might not take as much time as you think. The relevant part here is that they make the house a better deal for any potential buyers.

These are the kinds of repairs that will appeal to any and every buyer. Whereas things like paint color, room layout, finishes, and landscaping are very much about personal taste, these major fixes are universal.

When thinking about whether you want to commit to a major repair, think about whether it will be one of these universal fixes. If it’s not, then it’s not worth the time or the money.

Think about your buyer

Who you target as a buyer for your as-is house is going to have a lot to do with what you do to prepare your home for sale. Though most buyers want the same thing, not all buyers are created equal.

If you want to sell to an individual family, then think about how much cash they’re going to be putting on their downpayment. That’s going to leave them a lot less to work with to fix potential problems on the property.

Any home that requires immediate repair to be livable is going to be a burdensome house for a family. Obviously it’s up to the individual to decide what they have the bandwidth and budget for, but sellers want to target their market too.

If you tackle the repairs yourself, you’ll be able to sell your Charlotte area home for a higher price. This will cover the cost of your upgrades thanks to an increased list price. It will also make it more attractive to a wider group of potential buyers.

The other thing to consider here is the negotiation process. If you decide to go the traditional route with a real estate agent, you might well find that you end up with a last minute ask for a reduction. This is common with individual home buyers in North Carolina, who want to get the best they can in a competitive arena.

Should you decide to go the way of a real estate investor with an as-is property sale, you’ll have less to worry about. There is no haggling and there’s no midnight hour asking for costly repairs this way. Investors know what they’re getting into, and they have the cash flow to manage the repairs that are needed.

Take some time to decide

Roofs in a upcoming neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina

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Even if you have a pressing need to sell fixer-upper houses quickly, don’t jump too hard or too fast. Read up on what the best options are for you, and write down what you can and cannot afford in the process.

You deserve to have the best outcome possible for your home sale in Charlotte. This is a great area with tons of potential buyers and lots of real estate investors. There’s no reason to think you’ll miss the boat. Another buyer is always out there.

When considering the asking price of your home for sale in Charlotte, always remember to include closing costs in your numbers. All real estate transactions have some kind of closing fees, depending on the nature of the sale.

Do consider the option of just selling your home in its current condition. The mental strain of home repair is a lot on anyone. It’s more of a problem when you know that you’re just going to turn around and sell the house. To sell a fixer-upper, you just have to commit.

You don’t need to fix up your fixer-upper in order to sell it for a good price in Charlotte. Though there are drawbacks, like a lower sales price, that you’ll need to consider, it might still be the best option for you.

Brett Riggins

Brett Riggins

Founder of Connect Home Buyers Brett Riggins started his real estate journey after graduating from Western Michigan University in Construction Engineering. After completing his first few residential flips, him and his wife Arin started Connect Home Buyers LLC, and today, they help homeowners sell their property quick and hassle-free.

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