Do You Have to Fix Up a Run Down House Before Selling?

run down house-distressed house

So your time has come. You’re ready to sell your home!

That’s huge news. However, you also know that there is a lot of work that the house needs. It’s an old house and it’s a bit run down.

So what does that mean for you? Are you supposed to fix it or sell the house as is?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through why you should fix a run-down house and how you should go about doing it. Ready to learn more about this? Keep reading!

Why You Should Fix a Run-Down House Before Selling

There are so many reasons why you should fix a rundown house before you try to sell it. This is especially true if you want to sell the house fast. Here are a few of the many reasons to fix it!

Increase Market Value

If you want to make sure that you get as much as you possibly can from the house, you need to fix it up. This is what will increase the market value. If someone who is about to buy the house knows that it is in need of repairs and maintenance, it is not going to sell as much as it could.

Obviously, you will have to put in money upfront to fix it, but over time, that money will be made back plus some during the house sale.

Attract More Buyers

One of the best things that you can do when you’re trying to sell a house is to post pictures wherever you are trying to sell it. Many people are visual buyers, so showing them what they are getting is important.

However, if your house is run down, this is not going to do what it should. When you fix it up, you will start to attract more home buyers to your listing and even show the property to more people.

This drastically increases the likelihood of selling the home.

Improve Reports

Before you sell your home, you are going to need to have an inspection of it. This is what will help you sell it because you can show potential buyers what they can expect if they buy.

If you fix many issues beforehand, you have a higher chance of improving these inspection reports. This will make it more attractive to potential buyers!

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Avoid Negotiations

Chances are that if you don’t fix up your house before selling it, there is a higher chance that potential buyers are going to negotiate the price down because of things they know need repairs.

However, if you do go through with making the repairs before it becomes an issue, you won’t have as many negotiations come through. It is more likely that you will be able to sell the home for the price that you want!

What to Fix When Selling a House

Now that you know the why behind why you should fix up a run-down house, the question is what should you fix? There are many different things, and of course, you don’t need to fix everything. However, the more you fix, the more bang for your buck you will get.

Here’s a potential list to keep in mind when selling a run-down house.


The first place that you want to start is the kitchen. This is most often the heart of the home, so people pay a lot of attention to this. If it isn’t up to standards or comes across as extremely run down, it is best to start here.

Start with the appliances. Make sure everything is working properly such as the stove, dishwasher, microwave, etc.

For instance, if the microwave handle is broken, you may want to get that fixed before you put it on the market.

Then, check out the cabinets. The cabinets should be in working condition, not hanging off their hinges, and should look good.

If you notice any drawers that are off their tracks, fix those. If the cabinet seems loose, fix that. These are easy fixes that you can do yourself that will go a long way.

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The bathroom is like the kitchen in that you want to make sure that your cabinets and drawers are all in working condition.

Be sure to check the drains and the faucets as well to make sure that they are operating properly. If there is a slow drain or a blockage, this can be fixed as it is relatively easy to do so.

Lastly, check out the bathtubs and the shower to make sure they are in working condition. The drains should be free of clogs and the shower head should be fully operational. be sure that the exhaust vent is also working so that it pulls out the moist air from the bathroom to keep mold from growing.

Rest of the Home Interior

These are the two most important things to look at first. These are vital components of a home, so if you ignore them, your home may not sell as fast as it could.

However, there are some other aspects of the home to look at too.

Walls and Ceilings

Look around your home at the walls and ceilings.

Are there any dents or dings in the drywall? Are there chips in the paint or any areas of discoloration?

If so, it’s time to fix those. Some of that can be fixed with a new paint job while others may need some spackle and then paint.


Walk around your home and do a few laps. What do you notice?

Are there any dings in the tile or chips in the laminate flooring? Is your carpet tearing up in the corners?

These are noticeable things that can affect how the home sells.


No one is going to buy a home that doesn’t have working AC or heating. That’s especially true in areas that need heat and areas that get hot and need AC.

Have an HVAC contractor come out before you sell your house to ensure everything is in working order.

Water Heater

The same goes for the water heater.

If you don’t enjoy showering in cold water, your potential buyers probably wouldn’t either. This means that you need to fix this before you try to sell the house.

Double-check that there are no leaks and that the pipes are all properly insulated.


Take a look at your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detectors. Both of these should be in full working order.

If they need new batteries, replace them. If they are older than 10 years, you should also replace them.

Electric Panel

Have an electrician come out to make sure that everything in your home meets current codes, specifically on your electric panel.

It may also be due for an update, and your electrician will be able to let you know if that is the case or not.

Home Exterior

As great as focusing on the inside of your home is, you also need to inspect the outside to make sure the exterior is also in good enough condition to sell.

Garage Door

First, ensure that the garage door works so that your buyers can move in and run it right away! If the garage door is broken, this could be a huge red flag for buyers.

Exterior Doors

All hardware on exterior doors like handles should be in good working condition. You should make sure that there are no dings or dents in doors leading outdoors.

Additionaly, some doors have special codes so ensure that you bring an inspector out to make sure they are all up to code.


Before you sell your home, get a roof inspection to make sure there are no leaks. All shingles and gutters should also be in the right place.


Lastly, you should pay attention to the condition of your yard.

If you have a deck, it should be structurally sound. If there is room for landscaping, it should be alive and trimmed properly so that there isn’t overgrowth.

Fixing Your Run-Down House

If you are ready to sell a run-down house, it’s important that you get it fixed first. There are multiple components of a home that you should focus on, however, the ones outlined above are the ones you should pay the most attention to!

Once your home is fixed, you’ll be ready to put your house on the market and watch it sell fast!

When you’re ready, you can contact TX Cash Home Buyers so that you can get a cash buyer fast! We are here to buy your house from you!


The content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. We are not attorneys or tax professionals. For personalized legal or tax advice, please consult with a qualified professional.

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