how to sell a fixer-upper home

How a Real Estate Agent Can Help Sell Your Home if It’s a Fixer-Upper

How To Sell Your Home If It’s a Fixer-Upper

Selling any property requires expertise and skill, and nowhere does this ring truer than when the property in question requires some work. Should a property seller decide to sell their home without renovating it before the sale, the advice of a real estate agent who knows how to market a fixer-upper is of the essence.

Selling a fixer-upper may necessitate some extra work on the seller’s behalf, but with the help of a good real estate agent in tow, this process becomes significantly less strenuous for the home seller.

If you are planning to sell your home as a fixer-upper, these are the important aspects to keep in mind.

Find an Honest and Qualified Real Estate Agent

All types of home sellers benefit from taking advantage of the services of a qualified, honest and experienced real estate agent, but perhaps none benefit as much as the home seller who is trying to market a property, which, quite obviously, needs some work.

There’s no point in trying to hide the fact that a property is in need of some TLC, but in this regard a real estate agent who knows to appeal to the potential a property has to ultimately really shine.

To start with, real estate agents have spent their lives acquainting themselves with the many ins and outs of the property market at large and, more specifically, of the city or suburb they do business in. This means that they know and understand the legislation as far as the transfer of ownership of a home is concerned – something Joe Public often knows very little about.

This fact alone should be reason enough to employ the services of a real estate agent to help you sell your property, but even more so, real estate agents also usually have access to a large database of potential buyers, and may also know of a few buyers who are expressly looking for a property which they can renovate and sell for a profit.

Real estate agents know how to market a property that needs work without sacrificing a price high enough to satisfy the seller. This usually entails letting the focus fall on the potential that the property has to offer a return on investment and a healthy profit to the investor who buys it. Make no mistake: a real estate agent is an impartial person and will not get overly sentimental about the property, rather focusing on the real financial benefits there are for people willing to buy a fixer-upper, be they property investors, or contractors looking for a home to fix and flip.

A real estate agent you can trust will be able to give you a broad idea of how long comparable properties typically stay on the market for in your city or suburb. If they have experience selling fixer-uppers – and that’s something you should definitely ask about when interviewing agents in order to find one to help you sell – they’ll be able to make an accurate guestimate of how much your home will sell for in its current state, aiming for an amount that is as reasonable to the seller as it is realistic.

Of course, your agent will also take the load of compiling online listings and organising and undertaking viewings. The amount of commission they earn truly is a small price to pay. Here is why your real estate agent is the perfect partner you’ll want by your side as you embark on selling a property as is.

A Real Estate Can Highlight the Attractive Features

Especially if there are certain parts of the property that require extensive renovation and repairs, highlighting the shining features of the property is key. A real estate agent is, figuratively speaking, the muse that sparks the inspiration in potential buyers and allows them to see the “angel in the marble”.

Even if a property is in dire need of a few coats of paint, drawing potential buyers’ attention to the redeeming aspects of the property forms a large part of sparking inspiration for them. For example, a property might be older and a little worn down, but may also come with a rich history, architectural significance or a solid structure. A home’s kitchen might be a little out-dated or not very ergonomic, but its living space might be wonderfully airy and well laid out. Older properties can often lay claim to beautiful furnishings like hardwood floors and more floor space – if your property has any of these appealing features, they are certainly aspects of the property that should be mentioned by the real estate agent when accompanying potential buyers as they view the home. When these features are pointed out to potential homebuyers, it is the redeeming qualities that will probably stick out in their memory, rather than the areas that need work.

The juxtaposition of what a home is and what it can be is an indispensable part of marketing a fixer-upper, and you’ll want someone on your side that can discern which parts of your home make it attractive to buyers. A real estate agent who is worth their salt will know to draw the attention of potential buyers who view the property to the aspects of your home that are worth highlighting.

A Real Estate Agent Can Be Upfront and Honest about Flaws

If you’re selling a fixer-upper, you really don’t want an agent who is going to sugar-coat the flaws of the property, or those areas that need attention. Remember, there is no point in trying to obscure faults, as the homebuyer will likely require a home inspection before signing any contracts or sales agreements, and find out about them anyway.

Withholding information about faults sees you running the risk of being faced with legal action on account of this omission, and it simply isn’t worth it. Full disclosure is key, and your real estate agent will know to not only disclose information about property defects, but to also mention sensitive historical issues like deaths, drug manufacturing or other crimes, and to give buyers information pertaining to building consent.

Acquaint yourself with the laws relating to disclosure requirements that are applicable in your home state, bearing in mind that these differ and vary from state to state. The legal maxim caveat emptor, or “let the buyer beware” is also a valid legal principle in Australia, placing the onus on buyers to thoroughly examine a property before buying it. According to Cornell University Law School this “often places on buyers the burden to reasonably examine property before purchase and take responsibility for its condition”.

Still, as Jennifer Duke explains in an article on Property Observer, caveat emptor is not valid when the seller or agent acting on their behalf behaves in a way which is misleading or false. According to Duke, this includes “express or implied statements that created a false impression about a property’s characteristics, a vendor knowingly disguising or concealing a physical defect in order to mislead and where a known latent defect, flaw, fault or imperfection is not readily observable or discoverable through the exercise of ordinary care”.

The long and short of this is that honesty is the best policy as far as flaws and faults of the property is concerned, and that your real estate agent, who is the marketer of the property, should keep this in mind. Any reputable real estate agent will adhere to this principle of honesty.

A Real Estate Agent Can Help Set The Right Price

Setting the right price on a property is a complicated matter, and even more so when the property in question is a fixer-upper. Even if property investors buy a property with the perceived value of the property after renovations in mind, sellers cannot charge for the perceived value of a property. A qualified and experienced real estate agent will estimate an asking price after conducting a thorough comparative market analysis, based on comparable fixer-uppers in the suburb or city, keeping in mind that the seller also wants to make a profit.

A Real Estate Agent Can Help You Make Your House and Listing Shine

Real estate agents know how to market a property most efficiently. This entails marketing the property wide enough amongst the best group of property investors. By finding a balance between those aspects of the home that make it worth buying, and on the value a property has after the new owner has done repairs and renovations to the property, the property listing can stand out among the rest.


Having a real estate agent that understands the ebbs and flows of the local property market, and that has experience of selling fixer-uppers in the area is perhaps the most crucial step in the selling process. This person will know how to highlight the features of the home that make it a worthy investment property, without omitting the flaws of the property that will require some work on the buyers behalf. Still in search of a real estate wizard to help you market your fixer-upper and help you to sell it fast? Simply fill out a brief questionnaire, and let Perfect Agent recommend someone who knows how to get the job done.