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How To Sell A House In Poor Condition Without Overspending?

Property Saviour » Problematic Properties » Condition » How To Sell A House In Poor Condition Without Overspending?

Life can take unexpected turns and sometimes that means you need to move house. It could be due to a new job, to be closer to family, or due to a sudden shift in financial circumstances.

Whatever the reason, it can be especially challenging if you need to sell a house that is in poor condition and you have a limited budget for repairs and improvements.

You know that traditional buyers may not be interested unless the property is in good condition but you don’t want to take on debt or burn through your savings. How can you sell quickly and safely?

The challenge is real – every creak, drip and discolouration is felt and each cost adds up. It can seem like you are between a rock and a hard place but, thankfully, there are solutions.

With a bit of research and strategizing, you can find an approach that will work for you and help you move on with your life.

Table of Contents

First: It is possible.

You have options. This guide is designed to help those who need to sell their house quickly and it’s in less than ideal condition. We’re here to help you do just that without having to wait.

The Challenges of Selling a House in Poor Condition

Even in a bustling market where properties are being sold quickly, it can still be difficult to move a house that needs some TLC. There are a few key reasons for this:

Buyers don’t want to take on a “money pit” – unless the house is attractive and the buyer has plenty of money, they won’t want to tackle leaky roofs, faulty wiring or an outdated bathroom. This could require them to spend a lot of money over and above the purchase price.

Your asking price may not be realistic. You may think that because the house two doors down sold for X, yours should too, but this isn’t always the case.

That house may not need a new heating system or a full strip down, so it’s best to compare prices in your area, but remember that it’s not always a like-for-like comparison.

Traditional buyers may not be able to purchase your house. Even if a buyer does want to buy your house and is willing to take on the work, their lender may not be keen.

Homes must meet certain standards before traditional lenders (e.g. mortgage brokers, banks) will take on the risk. If the buyer defaults, they don’t want to be left with a property that will only cost them money.

There can be many other reasons why your house isn’t ideal for a conventional buyer or the regular house sale process. But remember that there are options available. It’s just a case of finding the right one for you and your situation.

How To Sell A House In Poor Condition Without Overspending
Buyers don't want to take on a "money pit" - unless the house is attractive and the buyer has plenty of money, they won't want to tackle leaky roofs, faulty wiring or an outdated bathroom.

Identifying Possible Buyers

The first step to take when you are attempting to sell a house that is in poor condition is to identify the types of buyers who are willing and able to make a risky purchase.

These include house flippers, skilled do-it-yourselfers on a budget, developers, and cash buyers.

  • House flippers are looking for a good deal and recognize the potential of a dilapidated structure. Skilled do-it-yourselfers may not have enough finances to buy outright, but they are looking for a bargain in a desirable location that they can renovate.
  • Developers may see the potential to rent, transition the property into a commercial space, tear it down, or hold it as an investment.
  • Cash buyers have the resources to purchase a property quickly and can do the same as developers.

If the property is sound and requires only minor repairs, you may be able to take a more traditional route, such as listing with an estate agent or through a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) approach.

However, if there is significant structural damage, buyers and lenders will require a survey to document the damage and decide whether or not to invest.

Regardless of the condition, there are still options available. These include listing with an estate agent, FSBO, auction, or a quick sale company. Consider each of these options to make the best decision for your needs and goals.

Listing with an Estate Agent

Estate agents can be extremely helpful if you are inexperienced in selling a house. They have a great network of potential buyers, contractors, surveyors and financial professionals.

No matter the condition of the house, they have seen it all, from the good to the bad and the ugly.

When selecting an estate agent, make sure to do your research and look for one with a good reputation and a history of success even in tough sales. It may also be beneficial to look for agents with experience in selling properties that others may view as ‘unsaleable’.

When it comes to estate agent fees, make sure to confirm the details before entering into any contract. In many cases, the fees are small in comparison to the convenience, expertise and support a good agent can bring to the table.


The ‘For Sale by Owner’ approach tends to attract those who don’t want to pay estate agent fees and don’t feel the need for a middleman. It gives you more control over who can view the house and allows you to emphasize its positive features.

There could be a greater potential for profit in your pocket, and you can make the process faster if you have a buyer in mind (i.e. a neighbour, relative, etc).

However, you still have to face the same risks we have discussed before: people may not want to buy a money pit, lenders may not approve financing, and your property may stay with a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of it for months on end.

Bear in mind, too, that you will be responsible for every aspect of the process, from viewings to Conveyancing to legal contracts, etc. This can be daunting for those outside the real estate industry.

Is it worth selling a house at auction UK
House auctions have the potential to attract numerous cash buyers.


People may assume that an auction is their only option when selling a house in disrepair. However, this isn’t the case – auctions can be a viable option, but the range of properties can vary from old and rundown to almost falling apart. House auctions have the potential to attract numerous cash buyers.

Completing the sale of a house can take no longer than 6 weeks, which is much faster than the 4-6 months (or more) it can take when using an estate agent. However, there are auction house fees to take into account and you might have to accept the lowest bid.

Quick Sale Company

Have you ever heard of ‘We Buy Any House’ companies, also known as quick sale companies? They are groups of investors that have the funds readily available to complete quick cash sales.

When you work with a reputable company, they can give you an offer in principle within 24 hours. After that, they will ask surveyors to inspect the property.

Finally, they will give you a final offer, which could be the same as the initial offer or different if there are major structural issues (e.g. a damaged roof, old piping, faulty wiring, etc.).

If you decide to proceed (you are not obligated and can back out at any point), the quick sale company will take care of the expenses for surveying, solicitors, and other necessary steps of the process. This process may take as little as 7 to 21 days.

Even though you will likely get an offer of 80-85% of the market value, you won’t have to pay for estate agent and solicitor fees, surveying and conveyancing, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), staging and improving your property’s kerb appeal, or extensive repairs, upgrades and improvements.

Selling a house in poor condition is not ideal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get cash for it and use it to fund a new down payment, rent a great place, travel, relocate or realize other financial and life goals.

What next?

Selling a house in disrepair without breaking the bank is achievable. It is even simpler and less stressful than you may think. Here are the steps to do it right:

  1. Identify buyers who specialize in distressed properties.
  2. Research your selling options and pick the one that meets your requirements.
  3. Work with a buyer who has the financial ability to close the deal quickly.
  4. Understand your rights and the details of any agreements before signing anything.

At the end of the day, every house has some value. With the right attitude and a smart plan, you can make this chapter of your life a wrap and move on!

Any Thoughts About Selling Your Home?

Are you looking to sell your house? We buy houses in any condition. Get in touch if you are thinking of selling.

auction hammer

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