Homeowners who sell their houses “as-is” may end up costing themselves more than they would have spent to make the necessary repairs -- if they are able to sell their homes at all. For one thing, most buyers these days don’t want to buy a house that needs work. Fixer-uppers are OK for flippers, who are increasingly putting their own money into the houses they buy, as opposed to just relying on appreciation to make a buck, according to real estate analytics firm CoreLogic. But for the most part, families want a move-in ready place. They don’t want to mess with replacing worn carpeting, remediating a patch of mold or painting the walls. “If you don’t want to do the work,” says Jeanne Gregory of RE/MAX Southwest in Sugarland, Texas, “what on earth makes you think your buyer does?”
Equally important: Most buyers have no idea what the necessary fixes might cost. So, they tend to double or even triple what it would cost the seller to do the work, and then reduce their offer by that amount. Consequently, sellers net less -- sometimes far less -- than if they’d bitten the bullet in the first place. And don’t even think about offering your buyer a credit to cover the cost of repairs. That usually doesn’t work, either. Credits rely on the buyer’s imagination, say Sally and David Hanson of eXp Realty in Brookfield, Wisconsin. A credit is “an open invitation,” they added, for an uneducated guess from an uneducated buyer. All the agents hit on a common theme: The eye buys. So, do what you have to do to fix up your place, even if it’s unpleasant or time-consuming. Otherwise, be prepared to wait a while for one of the few buyers willing to take on your headaches. Prepare yourself, too, to accept less than your asking price.
Source: Lew Sichelman, The Housing Scene