Most property buyers in the UK are looking for houses that can be lived in. Think of a young family that are moving into a new family home with their children, or first-time buyers who haven’t got the money to spend on a fixer-upper.

But getting a house fit for sale can be expensive and take a lot of time, especially if you have inherited the property through probate, for example.

So how much work should a seller put into getting a house fit for sale in the UK? Does the house need to be sparkling with brand new fixtures and suites, or can you get away with a quick once-over before putting it on the market?

Well, the answer will differ depending on how you want to sell your property. The good news? Our cash property buyers here at EasySale can buy your property in any condition. The same cannot be said for properties sold via estate agents.

Is it worth renovating a house before selling it in the UK?

In most cases, it’s likely not worth renovating your property before selling it. The only time you should think about doing so is if there are major problems, especially with the kitchen and the bathroom.

For a mortgage lender to find a property suitable for a residential mortgage, it needs to have a functional kitchen and bathroom. So, if the plumbing is completely broken or the kitchen has been ripped out and you want to sell your property through an estate agent listing, then you have a bit of work ahead of you before you can do so.

However, for cash buyers, this is not an issue as they do not need a mortgage. In fact, a cash buyer might thank you for ripping out the old, decrepit kitchen in the first place as it’s saved them a job.

If you’re thinking about splashing out on a kitchen or bathroom suite in an attempt to make some more profit on the property, then this is probably a waste of time and money. Your cash buyer is most likely going to want to gut the property completely and treat it as a blank canvas.

Types of disrepair properties

Of course, no two properties are the same, and there is definitely a sliding scale when it comes to the term ‘disrepair’. Here are two examples of properties at either end of the scale.

Lived-in properties

Properties that are outdated in terms of style, or properties that have minor damages are examples of less severe disrepair. Common examples of lived-in properties are probate properties, where renovations may have been neglected for decades before the property comes into your possession.

With this type of property, we recommend tidying the place up and moving on with a quick sale. Buyers of this type of property do so with the vision of creating their dream home in the future, but with the option of at least living in the property in the meantime. Perhaps renovating one room at a time when they can do so.

It will be possible to sell a home like this through a typical estate agent listing, although be prepared to receive some lowball offers from buyers looking for a bargain in comparison to your local house prices.

Perform some basic maintenance on the exterior of the property and spruce up its kerb appeal and you may be able to get a slightly higher sale. Remove any weeds, cut the grass, and pressure wash the paving. At most, repaint or repair damaged fencing.

Houses in severe disrepair

Houses that have structural damage, damp, or are without a bathroom or kitchen are examples of properties in severe disrepair.

You will struggle to sell a house like this through an estate agent without performing some renovations yourself. You may need to fit a new kitchen or bathroom, repair joists or other structural essentials, or treat damp and prevent it from occurring in the future. This can cost a significant sum of money and take up a lot of your time.

The options you have at your disposal if you want to avoid all of this and make a quick sale with minimal effort are cash buyers and auctions. Auctions can be unpredictable, and depending on the area where the property is located, you may not receive a price that you are happy with. You also have to consider the costs associated with auctions, with some sellers having to pay 25% of the sale price to the auction house.

With cash buyers, on the other hand, what you see is what you get. At EasySale, we quote up to 85% of market value and are able to have contracts exchanged within mere days. Be aware that the state of disrepair of your property will have an impact on any offers made.

What not to fix when selling a house in the UK

In general, you should avoid making any major changes to a property in disrepair if you are planning on selling it. This includes the appliances, fixtures and fittings, and cosmetic decorations.

Selling a property ‘as is’ is far more beneficial for both you and the buyers. This way, you can save time, money, and effort by not taking on any property development work that you may not have the experience to perform.

For buyers, they know exactly what they are buying when it comes to disrepair properties. Either it is a renovation project for themselves or a flip for profit. Either way, they will likely want to perform the property development work themselves so the house is to their specifications. Having to rip out a hastily fitted kitchen or bathroom only adds to their workload. So as a seller, don’t expect this to have much of an impact on the price you can sell the property for.

How to sell a property in disrepair

By far and away the best method of selling a property in a state of disrepair is to a cash buyer. Properties with disrepair issues that are listed by estate agents will struggle to sell and can sit for a long time before receiving any legitimate offers – if any.

At EasySale, we are experienced in selling properties that are in poor condition, and even properties with major issues such as to the electrical wiring or plumbing. Get in touch with us today and we can get started in putting a quote together for you, and if you are happy then we can proceed as soon as possible to guarantee you a quick sale.

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