Realtor® to Buyers and Sellers in Encino | Sherman Oaks | Studio City | Van Nuys | Tarzana
encino fixer upper

Should I sell my Encino Home “As-Is”?

encino fixer upperI took one of my buyers to a home the other day (not the one pictured here, thank god). I’d describe this home as a “cosmetic fixer.”  It has new dual-pane windows, a new a/c, good roof and solid foundation.  Almost all the big-ticket items were covered.  Unfortunately, it also has wall-to-wall green shag carpet.  When I say “wall-to-wall”, I mean that literally.  Aside from a small spot in the entryway and the kitchen and bathrooms, every room was covered in the stuff.

On our way out, looking again at the carpet and letting out a large sigh, I asked the homeowner whether he knew what was beneath the carpet.  His response (and I quote): “Beautiful hardwood floors.”

What!?! Seriously?!? The reason no one is buying your house is because they can’t look past the hideous shag carpet! Why isn’t his agent saying anything?!?  They’ve spent thousands over the past two years to redo windows and put in an air conditioner that you can control from your phone, but what about the flooring?!?

There are plenty of reasons why a home-owner would choose not to fix a home up before selling it, but in the end, you’re going to get a lot more money by spending a little bit to upgrade or update a few key items.

What if I don’t have the money to upgrade my home?

First, if you find yourself in the position of having to sell quickly, let me know so that we can prioritize what items need to be addressed.  An “As-Is” seller should be aware that FHA requires certain Minimum Property Standards that apply and therefore limits some of your market segment planning on an FHA loan.  Even with those buyers who will have a standard, conforming loan, there might need to be a few fixes that you’ll have to pay for.  Some of the time we can work these costs into the sale of the house, and the money will come from escrow when the sale closes, rather that out of your pocket.

Success of selling your home “As-Is” depends on a few factors that are tied to the market segment and economic conditions in a given area.  In my experience it’s always best for a seller to do as much as they possibly can to improve the condition and curb appeal of their home before listing it on the market for sale.  Tasks that are not too expensive and provide a big bang for the buck such as;

  • a fresh coat of paint,
  • patching cracks in drywall and ceilings,
  • repairing plumbing leaks and signs of leaks,
  • broken fixtures and windows,
  • perhaps removing or replacing old worn out carpet if the budget permits, but at least a good cleaning!  

The idea is to make your home as appealing as possible to a potential buyer and give them less to complain about, pick apart or use as a negotiating point!  If there was a roof leak be sure to remove signs of a leak after making necessary repairs.

Also, pay attention to the outside of the home, a fresh coat of paint, replacing any rotted wood and landscaping will go a long way towards making a great first impression.  Spend some time sprucing up the front entrance…paint that front door!  When you think about it, that’s where a buyer will spend a little time before the home is unlocked and they go inside.

The Encino As-Is Buyer

Right now Encino is a hot place to buy.  Investors are chomping at the bit to get their hands on anything south of the Boulevard, and will gladly pay you well over $1 million for the opportunity to tear down your home. 

During my free consultation, we can discuss the future of your home.  If it’s in good condition, and meets the standards of today’s end-buyers (ie. families who will live in the home), there’s a good chance we can sell it, even as-is, to someone who will do some light remodeling (if necessary) and then move in.  If, on the other hand, your home is outdated from top to bottom, and doesn’t meet the expectations of today’s buyers (would you buy a million-dollar home without a true master suite?), you might be better off selling to an investor.

If your home is purchased by an investor, odds are they will be paying cash (ie. not getting a loan from a bank), and they will either tear down your home or gut it and do some reconfiguring.  In this case, they’re not going to care if you made small updates here and there, and they won’t have a bank issuing safety requirements.  They’re looking at the value of your land – not the new flooring or fresh coat of paint.

The Bottom Line

First, decide what type of “as-is” buyer you’re looking for.  If it’s a starter home for a young family, get your home into as good condition as possible, and you’ll sell for the most money.  If you’re interested in doing little or no work, and your as-is home borders on unlivable, target investors who love a good bargain. Keep in mind, investors are going to offer an insultingly-low amount of money to buy your home.  Keep your head held high and always have a great Realtor (me) at your back, and you’ll do just fine!

Call me at (310)926-2386 or email me through this website to discuss your as-is home.


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