How to sell a Fixer-Upper

There are many ways to do business in real estate.  In a world where just about everything is “negotiable,” it is very important for you to be mindful of a few tips and techniques.  We have seen a lot of people inheriting property that is in very rough shape, so we will share a few ideas to help you with the process.
  1. Get a termite and home inspection to provide to prospective buyers.  This is to get ahead of problems, so they’re not used against you after opening escrow.  This will help thin the crowd of serious buyers as well.
  2. Add language to your Seller Multiple Counter Offer (SMCO) or Seller Counter Offer (SCO) that will protect you, as the seller.  One example could be that “this is an as-is sale. Buyer agrees that no repairs will be performed.”   There are many clauses you can add, so be as creative as your market will allow you to.
  3. Cash buyers are always ideal, but some financed offers may be worth looking at.  Buyers with hard money, or “as good as cash” type of financing typically pay a little more than a cash buyer.  Be sure to ask questions so you know what kind of loan the buyer is trying to use if they’re financed.
  4. Marketing is very important for this type of sale.  Make sure that you do as much as you can to promote your home, this would be to include it in all major public real estate sites and your local multiple listing service (MLS) for maximum exposure.
  5. While negotiating pay attention to who is offering to buy your property.  If you read “or assignee” on the contract, that isn’t really a solid offer.  That is a “middleman” trying to get some of your potential profits, by locking you into contract, and “flipping” the contract to another investor for a profit.  This is known as “wholesaling,” and there is a huge economy in this field.  Don’t voluntarily be a part of it as a seller because that is money that should be in your pocket.
  6. Clean up the place the best you can.  If it has a lot of trash, invest a few funds to remove it.  There are even some basic improvements you can make to some homes conventionally financeable that may make sense for you.  Contact a local loan officer, realtor or appraiser for guidance.  They should be happy to help you with some information and give you an their opinion as to whether it is worth considering the small investment or not.
These are some great tips, but truthfully, you may want to just hire a real estate agent/team that specializes in fixer-upper type sales to protect you from everything mentioned above.  Either way I hope this is useful, and that you benefit from these six essential tips as you sell your fixer-upper property.