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Is it worth time/money/effort to upgrade & repair a rental home or just sell as is?

My dad owns 2 homes (his residence & a rental duplex) and will be retiring and moving to another state in the next 2 years. He wants to sell both, but the issue at hand is the rental property. It is in bad condition. My dad has been too generous in the past with his renters and they have taken advantage of that. It is an old house in an urban, mostly low-income, yet up-and-coming neighborhood and currently unoccupied. My dad has always done construction, repairs & renovations himself but is now too tired and does not have time to do this anymore. He just wants to sell the house. Is it worth it for him to do repairs/light upgrading before selling in hopes of a higher selling price or is it smarter for him to just clean it up, do some basic maintenance and sell it as is? Thanks in advance!
  • March 25 2012 - Ohio City - West Side
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Answers (3)

I think that it is really important to take into consideration the market conditions.  I specialize in Ohio City and Tremont.  I have found that there are many buyers looking to update a home (even doubles) if it is on the "right street". With the city's tax abatment incentive buyers are very willing to convert. 
We are in a real seller's market.  Homes are selling faster and for higher prices.  Ohio City is really hot.  Contact me and we can do a quick walkthrough.  I can price the home in its "as is" condition and give you a "fixed up" price as well.
Chris Merry
Howard Hanna Greater Cleveland Office
  • May 13 2012
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Profile picture for plask
thank you for your reply we are faced with this situation.  we have a second home on a lovely street and is immaculate (very clean, fresh paint throughout) with a nice lot.  the only negative is that we haven't updated in twenty-five years.  buyers seem to be going for the homes with up to date improvements even though the streets are less desirable.  we have held off thinking buyers would prefer to do their own updating to their taste but the buyers who are willing to do the updates want hugh discounts off our price.

we keep hearing from realtors to reduce our sales price but at some point i think it is worth doing some modest improvements to yield a higher sales price.  we plan to rent out the house for a year and use the income for the improvements.  thank you for confirming my thoughts.
  • March 25 2012
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Having fixed and flipped 50+ homes in the area since 2008, I highly recommend fixing the property to be in turn key condition. You don't want to over improve, however, you do want to bring it up to the highest level of improvements relative to area homes for sale. By doing so, your property will likely be first to go pending. With FHA loans still readily available, most of those buyers want a turn key home as they are looking to purchase with 3.5% down and don't have the extra cash after closing to do the improvements.

Kevin R. Kieffer Broker Associate, Keller Williams Realty Northern California - East Bay
  • March 25 2012
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