Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Farm Friday: 4 Tips for Listing a Fixer-Upper

By Lauren Vaccaro Last Updated October 12, 2022 3 min read

Welcome to another Farm Friday! 

Transforming a less-than-stellar property into a custom dream home isn’t for everyone. While a fixer-upper may detract some buyers because of the work involved, don’t let that deter you from helping a seller in need. 

Listing a fixer-upper is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. If you’re ready to sell a home with “a lot of potential,” we’ve got four helpful tips to create a fabulous fixer-upper listing! 

What’s considered a fixer-upper?

You can consider a home a fixer-upper if it requires major repairs and updates, along with a lot of TLC. A fixer-upper is usually livable but needs major structural or cosmetic updates.

An outdated house for sale in good to great condition isn’t typically considered a fixer-upper. However, many people have different definitions of a fixer-upper. It’s your job as a real estate agent to gauge the amount of work necessary and find the buyers ready to take it on.

Pros of listing a fixer-upper

In this hot real estate market, buyers are more open to the idea of putting work into a home. In some states, inventory is so low, and the perfect home just isn’t available. Your job as a real estate professional is to help buyers see the potential to create their dream home out of a fixer-upper.

Also, many buyers benefit from the price cut a fixer-upper may offer. As home prices continue to increase, it’s more challenging for first-time buyers to afford the average home. Of course, you should weigh the cost of the house against the cost of repairs.

How to sell a fixer-upper

Now’s the time to take on a fixer-upper listing, and here’s four ways you can help it sell:

1. Create a clean slate

Cleaning is crucial for selling any home, especially a fixer-upper. Even though the home needs work, you should still show the space in the best light possible.

Suggest that your clients hire a professional cleaning service to eliminate dust, grime, and smells. Make a point of showcasing areas that won’t need significant repairs. For example, if an older bathtub is in good condition, at least make sure it is sparkling clean. 

Declutter the space even, especially if your sellers still reside in the home. Remove excess furniture, toys, and personal items to highlight the space.

Finally, knock out minor repairs before listing. You don’t want potential buyers to feel overwhelmed by every little thing needing updates. 

2. Set the stage

Staging a home is another key to showing it in the best light to prospective buyers. After the listing is clean and decluttered, bring in a professional stager to design the space. Stagers know how to appeal to buyers and are all about aesthetics. Most fixer-uppers indeed look better with some interior design touches. 

A staged home is not necessarily a practical home. A well-staged house will draw the eye to important features and show off its potential.

When it comes to showings and open houses, add special touches like fresh flowers, a lightly-scented candle, or freshly-baked goods.

3. Invest in photography

Professional real estate photography is an essential marketing strategy to encourage online prospective buyers to schedule an in-person showing. A highly-skilled real estate photographer can create a story with listing images. Your listing stands out online with professional photos.  

kitchen with range hood over island

When hiring a professional photographer or vendor, mention in the notes to the photographer what areas you want to be the primary focus. Excellent real estate photography should highlight the house’s natural beauty and minimize the pending major renovations. The goal is not to hide the bad but to highlight the good.

4. Perfect the price point

Once the house is in the best possible shape, it’s time to evaluate and set a fair market price with the seller. This decision is easier said than done when you know the house needs a lot of work.

Start by weighing the necessary renovations against selling points such as a large lot, beautiful yard, or family-friendly neighborhood. Keep in mind that sellers may have an emotional attachment to their home, regardless of the condition. Helping your seller reach a reasonable price is critical for the fixer-upper house sell fast and for the most money possible.

Fixer-uppers aren’t as glamorous as TV portrays them. Still, with strategic preparation and a well-thought-out marketing plan, real estate agents can successfully sell a fixer-upper listing to the right buyer.