Selling a new or well-conditioned house is already a time-consuming and challenging process. Naturally, selling an Arizona house in bad condition will bring in double the challenges and hardships.
It’s not surprising, either. A quick look at online house listings will fill your screen with Instagram-worthy photos of new or well-kept homes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Tempe — the results remain the same.
Homes that aren’t brand new or freshly remodeled but still nicely staged can get pushed to the back of the line. You can only expect worse treatment from houses that look extremely weathered and abandoned.
However, this isn’t meant to discourage you, and rather, it’s best to keep an objective mind regarding your situation. Selling a home in extremely poor condition can be extremely difficult and may even seem impossible at times, but it is still very much possible.
The Issues With Selling an Arizona House in Bad Condition
It’s normal to encounter problems when dealing with the real estate market. This is true whether you’re selling or buying a house. But when you’re trying to sell an Arizona house in bad condition, you need to get ready to face more problems, setbacks, and other adversities.
In line with keeping an objective stance about your home’s situation and your prospects, here are four issues you should prepare to encounter.
Depreciated or Low Property Value
Real estate is often touted as an appreciating investment asset. And this is true most of the time. If you hold on long-term to a real estate property, its value will go up over time.
However, this only applies to a positive housing market and to well-maintained real estate properties throughout the years. Such market value appreciation automatically goes out the window if the property is in deplorable condition.
Suppose you go through with selling an Arizona house in bad condition traditionally. In that case, you need to face the fact that you will have a weaker bargaining position against both real estate agents and buyers.
Often, houses in poor condition are sold way below the original price and current property market value. Moreover, you will likely not be able to recoup your costs, especially if you choose to do some repairs before selling.
Unwilling Real Estate Agents
Having the assistance of a reliable real estate agent is invaluable. They have the connections and housing marketing know-how that can help you sell your house as fast as possible.
Unfortunately, many real estate agents operate on commission, and this means that their income will be a certain percentage of the sale of properties they represent. As such, homes in bad condition do not offer enough incentive for realtors to invest their time in.
When you approach real estate agents regarding selling a house that needs major repairs and overhauls, be prepared for reluctance to take you on as a client. And if they do accept you as a client, be prepared to receive the bare minimum effort and time.
After all, why would they prioritize an unappealing home over ones that are more likely to sell and to sell quickly?
Extensive and Continuous Delays
Delays are only natural when trying to sell houses and other properties. There is a lot of paperwork involved and hoops for buyers to go through before finalizing the sale.
With poorly conditioned houses, though, expect more and longer delays. Moreover, expect to encounter these delays throughout all stages of the selling process — from finding agents and finding buyers to negotiating with prospective buyers and finalizing the sale price.
Additionally, you can expect the selling process to take at least twice as long if you plan to do repairs. Not only do the repairs themselves take time, but the added cost can also add further delay in negotiating the selling price.
The fast-moving real estate market also means that a positive market today might take a turn for the worse by the time your repairs are finished, which can put your sale on hold indefinitely.
Lastly, expect to hear buyer objections if you’re planning on selling an Arizona house in bad condition traditionally. Regardless if you sell your house as-is or after minor repairs, buyers would still have complaints about the property, and they would likely dispute or negotiate whatever price you place on your home.
Moreover, house inspections are a natural part of the home buying process, even for homes in visible disrepair. If they discover any hidden or undisclosed issues with the house, this will give them greater leverage in trying to low-ball your selling price.
One way you can prepare for this is to hire a property inspector. Having an inspection report specifically noting issues and possible buyer complaints can help smooth the process somewhat. Should the buyers insist on repairs before buying, you may even be able to raise your prices based on the inspection reports and contractor quotations.
Is Your Home Truly in Bad Condition?
Before you start worrying about how to sell your Arizona house in bad condition, it’s best to make sure your house does qualify as one. Take note that there are degrees of severity when it comes to property degradation and repair.
Requires Cosmetic Updates But Still Good
Houses in this condition are largely still structurally sound. The important parts of the home, like the plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, and foundation, are still in good shape. The only issues are general maintenance and superficial or cosmetic repairs. These may include:
- Outdated kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom
- Cluttered and dirty rooms
- Old, peeling, or cracking paint
- Stained floors
- Dying or unkempt landscape
- Shabby facade
If your house problems are along these lines, you might not have as big a problem selling it. You can still get a relatively high price on the market and willing real estate agents.
Habitable But Requires Major Repairs
For homes that require major repairs but are still habitable, you can expect some amount of pushback from agents and buyers. Some prospective buyers and home inspectors may still see your house in a “fair condition” rather than bad if the following problems are limited to only specific areas of the house.
- Wood rot
- Plumbing issues
- Electrical or wiring problems
- Foundation issues
- Roof damage
- Floor damage
- Intermittently failing HVAC system
- Damaged lighting
However, it all depends on the severity or range of the issues. If several of these issues are present simultaneously or over several large areas, then your home would still be seen in bad condition.
Uninhabitable and in Deplorable Condition
If any of the following problems are present in the house you are trying to sell, it means it is in truly deplorable condition.
- Extensive roof damage
- Frayed or outdated wiring and other serious electrical issues
- Termite and other pest infestation
- Leaky pipes, dirty water, and other serious plumbing problems
- Asbestos or lead
- Black mold growth
- Shaky or rotten foundation
Houses with these issues are uninhabitable and pose risks for anyone planning on living there. You would need either a complete overhaul just to find a buyer or sell the house as-is at a lower price than you bought it for.
Options for Selling a Home in Poor Condition
Perhaps the best way to sell an Arizona house in bad condition is to forego the traditional route. This means doing away with going through a real estate broker or agent, and it also means targeting a different audience.
One approach you can try is the “For Sale By Owner” strategy. As the name implies, you try to find buyers yourself. You would be responsible for all aspects of the selling process — from listing your property, marketing it, scheduling house viewings, and more.
As for your target audience, you’d need to focus less on prospective homeowners and more on fixer-uppers who plan to buy low, fix fast, and sell high.
Another option is to sell your house to a real estate investor or property management services as-is. Many real estate investors let you sell your house fast and for cash.
They accept houses as-is, despite any issues, since they don’t plan to live there anyway. Like individual or small-time fixer-uppers, real estate investors aim to develop your property after buying them.
The Bottom Line
If you need to sell my house fast: Selling to property buyers not only means doing away with expensive repairs but also time-consuming and equally expensive stagings, viewings, and more. Most importantly, they offer fair prices, and this allows you to complete the sale for a fraction of the stress while possibly earning more than you would have if you went through the traditional selling route.