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Selling a fixer-uper- what's the min property work we need to do

(41 Posts)
Onwardsandupwards101 Mon 28-Nov-16 08:41:33

My parents are selling their house and downsizing to a smaller place. It is quote run down and will need a lot of work doing by the new owner- new kitchen, bathrooms, carpets, wallpaper/paint etc.

They are thinking of putting double-glazed windows in as a bare minimum before putting it on the market. Is it worth doing that, if any purchaser would be coming in knowing they will have to strip it down and do it up anyway? I think it is only worth doing the double glazing if it will increase the value of the property by at least double the cost of the double glazing. If they only get back what they put in (or not even that), then it's not worth the effort and disruption to them.

I know it's not an exact science, but do you think it is important to do the double glazing? Will it majorly put off buyers to see that they don't have it?

LillyLollyLandy Mon 28-Nov-16 08:45:44

I'd ask some local estate agents for advice.

Bluntness100 Mon 28-Nov-16 08:52:52

I probably wouldn't do the windows unless they are very bad, are they? If they are then yes, but if not, I'd go for something like the carpet or the kitchen or bathroom instead. It really depends on the state of the Windows.

SpotTheDuck Mon 28-Nov-16 08:54:28

We took advice on this when my parents were selling, and were told there's no way they'd recoup the cost of the double glazing on the sale. It just doesn't add enough to the price, especially on a fixer upper when the buyer is likely to have their own views on how to do everything and will want to choose their own Windows etc.

We were advised to have the place clean and clutter free, same as on any sale really and let the buyers imagine what they could do with the place.

One place we nearly bought last year, the sellers had obtained quotes from local workmen for the most obvious work that needed to be done - that was really helpful as it gave us ballpark figures, so when the survey came back we weren't at all surprised by those costs so didn't pull out or try to renegotiate. Costs you nothing to get quotes but leads to a smoother process, so I'd do that.

Doodles15 Mon 28-Nov-16 08:57:09

Ask the local estate agent. Obviously price will be reflected in the state of the property however if it is a fixer upper people may opt for some new fangled glazing or something. Having bought a fixer upper and thinking of another I'm not sure if we would have paid much more if it had new windows. Will the electrics, plumbing and roof also need redone? If so then doing the windows is honestly probably pointless from profit point of view.

Brown76 Mon 28-Nov-16 08:59:54

Have it super clean, clutter free, clean windows and dressed as a home, looked at a few places that were half cleared and they looked worse than they were. If there's any positives like a nice garden or original features these will then stand out.

Rubberduckies Mon 28-Nov-16 09:08:54

As a general rule, new kitchen and bathroom are the most likely to add value.

I would decorate throughout in neutral colours, new cheap neutral carpet in rooms you can't get away with just a carpet clean and look at bathroom and kitchen. Could the tiles stay if you replaced the suite in bathroom or other way round? Can cupboard doors in kitchen be replaced? Check with estate agents the ceiling price - it might be worth completely new bathroom and kitchen.

SoupDragon Mon 28-Nov-16 09:12:01

I wouldn't bother with kitchen or bathroom as the new owner would probably want to their own taste of fittings. I would make sure the house is structurally sound and leave it at that.

Double glazing might be a good idea but that depends on whether a new owner is likely to extend and thus need different or more windows.

SoupDragon Mon 28-Nov-16 09:13:22

Some things might be worth doing to make the sale quicker rather than adding value.

YelloDraw Mon 28-Nov-16 09:18:58

If you are selling as a 'fixer upper' as in needs 100% new decoration, flooring, kitchem, bathrom, heating/electrics etc then I have seen a lot of 'fixer uppers' stripped down - so all furniture gone, all curtian rails, and all carpets and floor coverings. Kitchen and bathroom stays.

So basically you can see the room sizes and potential.

RTKangaMummy Mon 28-Nov-16 09:38:52

We sold DH parents old house as a fixer upper

It needed rewiring, storage heating (so no central heating) new double glazing, kitchen and bathroom were OK, but old fashioned, needed new carpets and decorating

IMHO & IME just clean it and let whoever buys it choose kitchen, bathroom, carpets, wall colours and window style (I like white window frames my best friend likes brown window frames)

canwestart2016again Mon 28-Nov-16 09:39:18

If they only get back what they put in (or not even that), then it's not worth the effort and disruption to them

I'm not sure I agree with that. I think all work you do that saves the buyer having to do it, or makes the place look more livable / less of a hassle widens the market. There are jobs that some people will look at and think "that's going to be too much hassle" and not bother to put an offer in, where as they would have happily put in an offer for an extra £1K or whatever the job cost, had it been done.

What do you mean by a fixer-upper? Do you mean it needs redecorating, or that it needs a new kitchen / bathroom perhaps, or that the whole place needs rewiring, plastering etc.

If they're going to have to gut it, then maybe not. But if it's largely cosmetic work then perhaps. What are their windows like at the moment? What other jobs need doing?

Onwardsandupwards101 Mon 28-Nov-16 09:39:19

Doing the kitchens and bathrooms are not an option, they would like to put on the market quickly and do the bare minimum they need to to realise the value on their great but run down house. Thanks for all the really helpful replies.

They have asked one local agent who recommended doing the windows, but I'm not sure how much though he gave it and whether he considered the amount of added value. For my parents, its only worth doing if its going to add a decent amount of value over and above the cost of the double glazing. Otherwise, it's not worth the effort and disruption They're going to ask a couple of other local agents too.

RTKangaMummy Mon 28-Nov-16 09:45:23

With my DH parents old house it didn't have a roof or working door on garage and we didn't repair it as it was better to leave it for the buyer to choose if they wanted a garage or an extension into it

We have seen the house since and they have extended into it

Also with regard to new double glazing it had a French door at front of house from sitting room and that is now changed to a window so if we had paid to have the glass replaced they would have taken it out and changed for a window

Also they changed the glass in front door to coloured stained glass type

EssentialHummus Mon 28-Nov-16 09:51:59

In terms of what's going to help sell it, I'd declutter heavily; paint/restore/dress the outside of the house for kerb appeal; remove anything like wood-chip wallpaper which is dating and not a huge hassle to remove; and price keenly. The last point is the most important IMO.

Onwardsandupwards101 Mon 28-Nov-16 10:23:07

Just to clarify, by run down I mean dated, old carpets that are worn in places, very old wallpapers thay have peeled in areas. The windows themselves- they're black around the frames from mildew and the paint is a cracked/peeling.

Structurally the house is fine and the heating and electricity all work fine, new boiler put in recently, good insulation apart from plain glass windows.

appalachianwalzing Mon 28-Nov-16 10:24:17

We bought a fixer-upper recently. They'd painted the whole house a neutral colour and cheaply recarpetted throughout in the same neutral carpet. I think it helped. They also stripped back the furniture- it was an executor sale so a bit different, but actually I think they made it too sparse and should either have taken everything out or left a bit more on- once we moved our furniture in it seemed a lot less bleak.

I'm so glad they didn't do the windows! I hate them, they were done early nineties so are double glazed but quite unattractive, it'll still be a number of years before we get to them but I'd have been gutted if I felt I was stuck with them.

I'd start with much more cosmetic things- when things look dingy I think people often assume there's damp and neglect under the surface, paint, carpet, whatever it takes to spruce a little is all you need.

SpotTheDuck Mon 28-Nov-16 10:42:50

We spoke to three agents, plus a surveyor friend and a property developer and they all said that for fixer uppers just sell them clean and uncluttered so people can see the potential, changing the windows really wasn't going to be worth the cost.

Aftershock15 Mon 28-Nov-16 11:15:40

Have you tried scrubbing the mildew off. The mildew cleaner with bleach in is remarkably effective. I think I would clean and maybe sand and repaint rather than replace. As a pp said maybe have quotes for the work and say that it is priced accordingly.
If the house is in a desirable location and is priced to sell I think the buyers would rather do the work themselves to their own taste.
Our house was in a run down state when we bought it but we knew it needed a total refurb. We lived with the dodgy decoration, non existent heating and ancient bathroom and kitchen for a year while we planned the refurb.

wowfudge Mon 28-Nov-16 11:42:43

Repair or replace the things that are obvious otherwise potential buyers will think other more serious things need doing. So replace worn carpets with something neutral and inoffensive and have peeling wallpaper stuck down and painted over or stripped and replaced with neutrally painted lining paper. Clean the windows and frames, sand back/repair and re-paint.

A few thousand difference in the sale price could make a big difference to your parents but not much to the EA's commission so it's sensible to make the place as presentable as possible without investing money they just won't recoup.

anotherdayanothersquabble Mon 28-Nov-16 11:50:01

I would use the money they have allowed for the windows to replace the carpets, strip the wallpaper, repaint throughout including the windows, tidy up the outside including the garden and pay for storage to declutter the house. Make it look well maintained and clean.

I would consider getting a private survey done and getting quotations for any major works that need doing including the cost of putting double glazing in. Compare the house to others in the area in good conditon and ensure it is priced approoriately and make it clear that the property is priced with essential works taken into account.

flownthecoopkiwi Mon 28-Nov-16 12:41:47

we are buying an empty probate sale and it is a fixer upper, but you know what you are getting and what your offer should be based on.
The windows thing is interesting, as I was surprised how little they cost compared to what I thought they would so would have overestimated the cost if I thought i had to pay for it to be done.
Might be useful to have to hand quotes for windows etc so you can talk to potential buyers if they look worried?

Needmoresleep Mon 28-Nov-16 13:46:47

Make the property look as large and as light as possible by clearing it and cleaning windows, and indeed make sure everything , bathroom etc is as clean as possible (including washing over mould etc) . Ditto tidy up the garden. Get rid of anything that distracts like dodgily patterned curtains.

Anyone thinking of buying a fixer upper will not be put off by work that needs doing. So don't bother doing anything other than if there was something very obvious that would distract.

One thing I would consider is to have the heating on for a short while each morning to take the edge off the cold. People will be coming round wearing coats so won't expect a warm property, but there is something different between a property which has not been heated in months and one where there is a level of heat retained within the walls. It will keep down any damp plus protect the pipes.

Doodles15 Mon 28-Nov-16 13:50:50

OP I would potentially strap yourself in regarding value. I assume you are not in Scotland where a Home report needs done by the seller. If the decor is as dated as you say then the likelihood is that the electrics and plumbing will need redone. They tend to have a Circa 30 year life span. If this is the case I wouldn't bother with the windows. Dependent on house size they will probably cost £10kish and you won't get that back on value... I wouldn't think anyway.

Onwardsandupwards101 Mon 28-Nov-16 13:54:34

The house will be occupied until sold, therefore being warm and comfortable is not an issue.

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