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Can You Sell an Unfinished House?

Property Saviour » Problematic Properties » Can You Sell an Unfinished House?

Are you thinking of selling an unfinished house?

It is possible to sell an unfinished property project.  Here at Property Saviour, we will buy an unfinished development.  If your property is empty, it is important to secure it.

A lack of funding is one of the biggest problems that can cause people to sell an unfinished house. There are several ways to finance a self-build or a refurbishment project, including:

  • using savings
  • borrowing from family and friends
  • taking out a self-build mortgage
  • or selling an existing home.

Budgeting for building a house and setting aside funds for contingency for unknown costs is recommended. 

This article will cover the different house-building stages and possible difficulties.  You can watch this video:

Table of Contents

Stages of a new build home

As a developer, you will have gone through several stages when building a house from scratch.  It is possible to sell an unfinished house at any stage, from acquiring land to completing a snagging list.

Here are the stages of building a house:

  • Buying land;
  • Designing your home;
  • Preparing the land;
  • Laying foundations;
  • Constructing the main structure of the house;
  • Adding the roof;
  • Installing exterior and interior fittings;
  • Connecting utilities – running electrical and plumbing lines;
  • Completing external works, such as drainage and landscaping;
  • Preparing ceilings and walls;
  • Joinery work;
  • Wiring and plumbing – first and second fix;
  • Decorating;
  • Landscaping and finishing off the garden and the drive;
  • Completing final touches (called “snagging”);

This is a simplified list, as each stage includes many different activities. However,  you can sell at any stage of building a house.

Selling unfinished development property
Unfortunately if costs of building a house over-run due to unforseen issues and you are up against terms of your bridging lender, it means running out cash quickly.

How To Sell an Unfinished House?

There is often opportunity in part-finished build projects as most people want to start from the beginning with a clean slate, but if you can get the builders who were involved back again, then they should know what has been done and where all the hidden services, etc, are. If you can’t, then it can be a real problem for anyone else to follow.

As house prices continue to cool, more people are considering renovating their current properties to sell for a profit.  However, what may start as an affordable project can sometimes become more expensive than expected. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see houses with unfinished refurbishment on the market.

When considering a refurbishment, there are several stages to keep in mind, including:

  • Finding the right property;
  • Getting planning permission;
  • Hiring trusted tradespeople;
  • Obtaining funding for refurbishment;
  • Setting a schedule of work;
  • Starting the refurbishment work;
  • Finishing off the final touches (called “snagging”);

While building a house from scratch is a larger project, it’s important to realise that refurbishing a property can be challenging. 

Funding is certainly a key factor, but many other issues must be considered. To avoid selling an unfinished house, staying in control of the timeline and budget is important.

Can you sell unfinished home
Unexpected costs and running of funds are main reasons for selling an unfinished house project!

Why Property Developers Don't Finish Building?

If you’ve seen Channel 4’s Grand Design program, you’ll understand why budding property developers, when asked if they’d do it again, many say no.

What starts as a dream can become a financial nightmare for developers, leaving them stuck with an unfinished home. Although it can be difficult to sell an unfinished house, getting a good price for it is still possible.

Here are some common reasons why developers don’t finish building or refurbishing their homes:

  1. Poor planning: If you don’t have much experience with building or refurbishing, it’s important to get expert advice. Planning is key to a successful project, and without it, the quality and budget of the work could be at risk. A small increase in spending at the beginning of the project might be a sign of things to come.
  2. Lack of project management: Hiring a fixed-price builder to build or refurbish a home is a great idea. You can hire your Architect as a project manager to help you manage.  Clear communication is key to ensuring that all trades come in the right order, materials arrive on time, and the works are completed to budget and to an acceptable quality.
  3. Scope creep: Often, self-build or refurbishment projects introduce changes later, but it’s important that the initial plan is clear. Disagreements can often arise between builders, their suppliers, and homeowners about what was agreed upon. It can be hard to prove who is at fault unless there is evidence. If additional funds are needed to cover new expenses, it can be difficult to find the money, and the only solution may be to sell the unfinished house.
  4. Low productivity: When you get a quote for building or refurbishment work, it includes an assumed level of productivity. However, holidays, sick days, and inexperienced workers can slow things down and increase costs. If productivity is low, the project will take longer to finish, which can be expensive for the homeowner.
  5. Ignoring problems: It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of building or refurbishing a dream home and ignore the challenges. If there are red flags during the project, addressing them as soon as possible is important, as they are unlikely to go away on their own.
  6. Change in personal circumstances: Building or refurbishing a home can be stressful and have an impact on living and financial situations. Changes in personal circumstances, such as divorce or a new job, can lead to a change in priorities and the decision to sell an unfinished house.
  7. Unexpected expenses: Even with a budget, unexpected expenses can arise during a building or refurbishment project. If you don’t have the extra funds to cover these costs, it may be necessary to sell the unfinished house.
  8. Poor communication: Miscommunication between homeowners, builders, or their sub-contractors can lead to delays and misunderstandings. It’s important to have clear communication and a common understanding of the project goals.
  9. Inexperience: Building or refurbishing a home can be a complex process, and having the necessary experience and knowledge is important. If you don’t have enough experience, it can lead to mistakes and the need to sell an unfinished house.
how much is unfinished house worth
Selling an unfinished development for a fair cash valuation can enable you to redeem your bridging loan, avoid repossession and take some profit out of project.

How much does selling an unfinished house knock off its value?

To calculate how much is an unfinished house worth, apply this formula:

Potential finished value – Cost of work to be done – Discount (for time, inconvenience, etc.) = Purchase price.

You’ll likely get different answers if you ask 10 people how to value and sell an unfinished house.

To get an idea of the potential finished value, you can look at similar properties in the area. Getting quotes from builders can help you determine the cost of the remaining work. The discount can be harder to calculate, as it can depend on factors such as:

  • The amount of work still left to do;
  • Quality of work done so far;
  • Outlook for the housing market.

Buyers may be able to get a self-build mortgage, but sellers who have had to stop building and sell their homes unfinished may not have much capital left. As a result, sellers may prefer a cash buyer, which could further reduce the purchase price. The discount is typically between 15% and 40% of the adjusted finish value, but everything is negotiable.

Can you sell a house that's not finished?

It is difficult to sell an unfinished house on the open market. However, it is possible to sell an unfinished property project to Property Saviour for cash.

If you’re trying to sell an unfinished house that you were forced to leave before completing, it can be disheartening. However, it’s important to remember that you had a vision for the house when you started the project. Even though it may not have turned out as planned, you can still sell the dream to potential buyers. Here are some tips for selling an unfinished house:

  • Improve the curb appeal: Even if you can make only a few improvements to the house, try to make the garden and exterior look as nice as possible. Avoid letting the property look like a construction site.
  • Create a virtual tour: With video technology and the internet, creating a virtual tour of your unfinished home is easier and more affordable than ever. This can help potential buyers see the potential of the property and get a sense of your vision for it.
  • Sell the dream: When you bought the property, the potential probably drew you in. Try to convey that same sense of excitement to potential buyers. While they will likely try to negotiate a good price, they may be more willing to buy if they can see the potential of the property.
can you sell an unfinished house if builders walk out of site
Many builders have gone bust because of fixed price quotes and didn't factor in cost of materials rising so sharply. If you can't pay them their new price, they'll walk off site.

Can you still sell your house if it needs repairs?

Yes, you can.  Rather than selling a house via an estate agent and getting haggled down on price, why not sell it for a cash price that’s guaranteed with no fees and an immediate exchange of contracts?

Whether you are looking to recoup funds or a change in your circumstances has resulted in the need to sell an unfinished property, we are here to help.

Property Saviour is a genuine we buy any house company.

We’ll assess the property and make you a cash offer.  We aim to complete the purchase within a couple of weeks. 

There are no fees.  The price agreed is the price you’ll receive, plus we will pay up to £1,500 towards your legal fees, too.

Why not contact us today to see how we can help?

Sell with certainty & speed

Can I sell my house half renovated?

If you are unable to finish renovations on a house then it won’t achieve the end valuation.  Why not sell it for a fair cash price, pay off any loans/mortgages and walk away from stress?

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
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We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
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Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
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