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Selling a fixer upper house without having to renovate

Child within a fixer upper house

Selling a fixer upper house without having to renovate

Is selling a fixer upper house without renovating the way forwards?

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

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Selling a house can be a complicated and often emotionally draining decision, and when that house happens to be a fixer-upper, the process can become even more daunting. The idea of renovating a property to perfection before listing it for sale is a common misconception that many homeowners hold. 


However, the good news is that you can successfully sell a fixer-upper home without undertaking costly and time consuming renovations. 


In this article we’ll explore how you can navigate the open market, how to enlist the expertise of expert real estate agents, and leverage the growing market demand for fixer-uppers to sell your home efficiently and profitably.

Selling a fixer upper house without having to renovate

According to Statista, in 2020, around 21,400,000 UK households were built before 2000, meaning almost 86% of the UK housing stock is not classed as a new build as they will have had more than one owner. 


Older housing is more likely to need a renovation, remodel or fixing up due to the wear and tear of family life, older construction processes and natural erosion. According to, in 2022, 88.1% of UK households underwent some form of renovation.


But, house renovations can cost upwards of £70,000 which is way outside of the average UK annual salary, bringing us to one question: Selling a fixer upper house without having to renovate — is it a good idea?


Well, although slightly biased, we would argue that yes, yes it is! You will easily be able to sell a fixer upper house without needing to renovate. Find out more below…

Is it worth renovating a house to sell?

Renovating a house to sell, may reap you benefits like a higher selling price or more interest from buyers but the time and investment you put in may not appreciate in the way that you wish.


Many renovations take months to complete, and can sometimes take far longer than expected if issues arise within the property. You could spend far more renovating the property than you make when you put it on the market. 


We would always recommend making sure properties look presentable before you put them on the market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should renovate. It could just be making sure there are minor repairs completed, the building is clean of any rubbish or even just has a fresh coat of paint. 


Furthermore, if you are looking for slightly more when selling your fixer upper house, you could try and obtain planning permission for a single storey house extension, which could drive your house price up by 10%. 


Alternatively, you could purchase an acre of land, or piece of land to extend the garden. If you live in an area which has limited land supply, then this could drive your house price tenfold.


Many of the people we sell houses to are used to taking up the mantle of fixer upper homes, so you don’t have to!

How do you value a house that needs work?

When you look to sell your house that needs work, you should look to get an honest valuation of the property. The extent of the repairs needed on the property will drastically impact the valuation you receive, so you will need to bear this in mind when you put it on the open market. 


Usually, fixer upper houses are seen as less desirable properties to the vast majority of potential buyers, which can lead to lower offers and longer times on the market. But, luckily, fixer upper houses are sought out by niche buyers who look to flip property and turn a profit.

What is a property flipper?

A property flipper is someone who purchases a property, often below market value, renovates them and then sells them at full market value. They can act as a lifeline for people with run down properties, as they will be actively looking for properties that can make them great returns. 


Property flippers are often well versed in buying and selling a fixer upper house, and will know exactly what properties to look for. Property flipping is a form of investment strategy and so different flippers will have different target houses, some will look at minor fixes for quick flips, while others will look for run down barns for amazing conversions.

How do you calculate the market value of a property?

When looking to put your house on the market, you will need to provide an honest valuation of your fixer upper house. You can use the average from three or four estate agent valuations to formulate a rough valuation, and then combine this with local housing market data. 


If your house is in a neighbourhood with other properties on the market, then you should ensure that your property is similar to theirs. But, you will also need to factor in the fact your property needs renovating. This could mean your valuation is 5-15% lower than your neighbours.

What factors can affect a house valuation?

When it comes to selling a fixer upper house, determining its value can be a challenging puzzle, where every missing piece – whether its the state of repair, location or market trends — plays a vital role in the final picture. 


But, there are also numerous factors within a property that can affect how much it sells for on the open market, here are just a few:

Cracks in ceilings, walls and uneven floors

£13,500 fixing costs.

While most cracks are harmless and are just a normal occurrence, dramatic wide and deep cracks in ceilings and walls have the potential to knock thousands off your home value. Depending on the severity and extent of damage and whether or not it suffers from subsidence, could dramatically affect your house valuation.

Poorly installed windows, doors & insulation

£1,500 fixing costs.

Windows, doors & insulation play a crucial role in a property’s energy efficiency, if any one of them is poorly installed then it allows drafts, and the heat/cold transfer — dramatically increasing energy bills. Furthermore, poorly installed windows and doors could compromise on a building’s security.


£2,500 removing costs.

Although Asbestos was banned in 1999, many of the UK’s older housing stock may include Asbestos due to it being a common building material.

Damp & mould

£2,300 fixing cost.

Dampness and mould are not only an eye-sore but can also be a health hazard. They indicate that the house has moisture-related issues in the house, which could be due to poor ventilation, plumbing issues or leaks. The presence of damp and mould can reduce a house’s value as buyers will factor in the cost of remediation.

A leaking roof

£7,000 fixing cost. 

A leaking roof is a critical issue with a property as it can cause damage to the interior of the house, including the ceiling, walls and flooring. Roof repairs or replacements are often costly, and a leaking roof will lead to a lower house valuation.

Japanese Knotweed

£3,000 removing cost.

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant that causes damage to the foundation and structure of a house. Its presence can be a significant concern for buyers and mortgage lenders, with some lenders even refusing to provide mortgages on properties with an infestation.

Is it worth buying a house that needs updating?

Buying a fixer-upper house offers you an avenue to enter a neighbourhood that might otherwise be financially out of reach due to soaring property prices and steep mortgage rates. By purchasing a property in need of renovation, you can often acquire it at a considerably lower cost compared to its fully renovated counterparts in the vicinity. 


Depending on the property’s initial purchase price and its individual renovation requirements, it may make financial sense to buy an unrenovated property and invest your own resources, both in terms of money and effort to transform it. The goal is not only to bring it up to par with the other homes nearby, but to potentially exceed their market value.


Renovating a fixer-upper, especially focusing on key areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, can yield an immediate increase in its value. These are the rooms that potential buyers often scrutinise closely when looking at properties.

Is it cheaper to buy a fixer upper?

On a whole, yes — opting for a fixer upper in a neighbourhood characterised by higher property prices can be a more budget-friendly choice. The rationale behind this is that the estimated renovation expenses are factored into the house’s valuation, resulting in fixer upper homes being priced below the prevailing market value.


In practical terms, this means that fixer upper homes can be listed at prices up to 15% lower than their fully renovated counterparts. For instance, on a property valued at £250,0000 this translates to potential savings of up to £37,500. However, the real financial potential lies in your ability to transform the house to a higher standard.


We’ve witnessed instances where homes have sold up to 30% more than neighbouring properties purely because the owners invested in improvements such as constructing a driveway, adding an extension, or converting the loft. 


Such enhancements can deliver a return on investment that significantly surpasses the initial outlay – up to 45% or more. Even after accounting for reconstruction expenses, you could potentially find yourself looking at a profit margin of approximately £70,000.


Did you know that we don’t just sell properties, we can also help you buy houses too? Many of the properties that we help sell are in need of renovation, if this is something you want to get involved with then contact one of our team who will be able to help you in your journey.

Is it worth renovating a house before selling UK?

Renovating before selling a fixer-upper house is completely your choice, your house may sell in the blink of an eye no matter what you do. But, if you have hesitations about how fast you can sell your house, it may be worth weighing up the pros and cons of renovating your house before selling it.

The best way of selling a fixer upper house

When faced with the prospect of selling a fixer upper house, the thought of starting an extensive renovation can be daunting. The good news is that you have alternatives – ways to sell your property without the need for a renovation project.


If you lack the time, inclination, or resources to transform your fixer-upper into a showcase home, there are several viable options to explore; via a house buying company, an auction house or the expertise of an estate agent.

Is it worth selling your house to a house buying company?

House buying companies, or sell house fast cash buying companies, specialise in purchasing properties in their current condition. These companies will typically have their own cash reserves and are experienced in dealing with fixer-uppers. 


They offer a convenient and swift solution for homeowners who want to sell without their burdensome renovation process. The advantage lies in the simplicity  and speed of the transaction as these companies are often ready to make cash offers, saving you time and effort. 


However, cash buyers purchase normal properties below market value, meaning properties that are in need of renovation may take a large hit (leaning towards the 15% – 20% below market value).

Is it worth selling a fixer upper house at an auction?

Selling a fixer-upper house at an auction can be an effective way to sell it without renovation. Auction houses provide a platform where potential buyers can bid on your property. Fixer-uppers often attract investors and individuals seeking unique opportunities. While your property’s sale price may vary depending on the level of interest it garners, auctions can offer a competitive environment that might result in a favourable sale. 


However, if you sell your property via an auction house there is a chance that your property will not sell at auction because potential bids do not meet your reserve price. This could mean that your house does not sell, and you’re left having to pay auction fees anyway.

Is it worth selling a fixer upper house to an estate agent?

Engaging in the services of a seasoned estate agent is a classic yet reliable method to sell your fixer-upper. These property experts possess a wealth of experience in marketing and selling properties of all conditions. 


A skilled estate agent can help you accurately price your home, market its potential and connect with prospective buyers who are open to the idea of taking on a renovation project. They can also negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that you get the best deal possible. 


However, finding prospective buyers who are interested in renovation property is quite niche, especially on the open market. Many property investors who are looking for these types of houses are looking off-market on property sourcing platforms. 


Moreover, estate agents work on large commission based fee structures of up to 3%+VAT, this could mean that if you sold your property for £225,000, you would pay up to £6750 worth of fees. 


Most estate agents will also fix you into a contract of 12 weeks or more, in which time you can only list your property with them. If they are unable to sell it within those 12 weeks, then you will be faced with estate agent fees and the struggle of having to find another estate agent to sell with.

Is it worth selling a fixer upper house to an online estate agent?

Selling a fixer-upper house with an online estate agent means that you can sell it completely online. They often work on a more competitive fee basis, when compared to high-street estate agents. This could range from a fixed fee of around £1,000 or 1% of the selling price. 


Online estate agents often provide a streamlined and convenient process for selling your home. You can manage your property listing on Zoopla and Rightmove, communicate with potential buyers online, and coordinate viewings that suit you.


Due to the online nature of the estate agents, they offer a broad online presence, being able to reach more potential buyers across the country, which puts more eyes on your property. This increased visibility can help attract more property renovation minded buyers. 


However, online estate agents are very hands-off when it comes to selling your property. They will make you do much of the grunt work, while taking in a commission or fixed fee for letting you use their platform. 


We’re not like that. We are The Property Selling Company, and we are an online estate agency that believes selling shouldn’t be complicated. 


We can sell your house in as little as 28 days, or on a timescale that suits you, all while getting you a selling price that meets your expectations. We will handle all the paperwork, marketing, conveyancing, negotiations and house viewings for you, all while making sure you are left in the loop at all times. 


Instead of asking for a commission or fixed fee for using our service, we will cover all the costs associated with selling a fixer upper property. 


Want to get started with selling your house today? Simply get in touch with one of our team below: