How to Sell a Condo in Poor Condition in Massachusetts

The decision to sell a condo when it’s in less-than-ideal condition can be stressful at best and embarrassing at worst. No one likes for us, or a loved one, to be portrayed as struggling or living “less-than”.

In some cases, if you have the time and money, it may be worth giving the condo a spruce up before you sell. However, in many circumstances, that’s not necessary or not possible.

In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about selling a condo in “poor” condition.

What counts as a condo “in poor condition”?

The term poor condition has no strict definition. Generally, a condominium might have serious structural issues, outdated electrical wiring, and leaking water pipes. It’s unlikely to simply be outdated.

We can divide “in poor condition” into three subsections:

1) Needs some work

This includes condos or townhouses that, though they need some work, their structure is sound. It’s more of a case of a repaint and refit rather than getting a construction team in.

Issues might include:

  • A kitchen that requires a remodel
  • The plumbing needs some attention
  • It needs the wiring checked
  • The backyard is uncared for
  • The decor needs a reboot

A lot of this stuff is cosmetic and will attract buyers willing to put some work in, particularly if the asking price considers the extra work. And much could be done by the seller to remedy the situation with a thorough clean, and tidy. If you’ve got some time and a little cash to spare, talk to a local real estate agent to see if they think it’s worth your time.

2) Needs work before moving in

In this case, we are looking at properties that definitely need work and repairs and may be classed as “uninhabitable”. This is the category your home is in if it needs such things as:

  • Complete electrical rewiring
  • A new furnace
  • Broken plumbing
  • Bad cracks in the walls and/or ceilings
  • Problems with the roof
  • Extensive areas of damp

Any buyer will be someone who wants a project and the seller has to reflect the work that needs doing by offering the home at an appropriately competitive price.

3) Simply uninhabitable

This category is unlikely to apply to condos since all condo owners will need to have looked the other way. This is where a vendor will have problems selling their home and will need to sell to someone willing to develop the property. This may include:

  • Big cracks, particularly in the foundations
  • Mold and damp
  • Rotten wood
  • A damaged roof or floors
  • The presence of lead or asbestos

The advantages of a condominium unit

Because of the nature of a condominium, it is unlikely that many units will fall into the “simply uninhabitable” category. The covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that new owners have to sign together with the condo association should keep the fabric of the building in good condition.

It is possible that through lack of time, money, or even illness, an individual unit will become cosmetically sub-par but the “bricks and mortar” should remain in good condition, due to the efforts of the COA.

Why do some condos hang around on the market?

In Massachusetts, the simple answer is (nearly always) price. Massachusetts is a popular state, so you should be able to find a buyer willing to take on a home, even if it’s in a state of disrepair – especially if the building the condo is in good repair.

Whenever a property is put on the market, sellers should always be realistic in the amount they ask for. This goes double if the home is in poor condition. 99% of people prepared to pay for the work needed to repair and refurbish such a home wants to make a profit so make sure your pricing is realistic.

What are the options for selling a condo in poor condition?

1) Sell your condo “as-is”

You won’t get a top-dollar price, but thousands of homes across the country are sold just as they are. It may be you are short of cash, you don’t have the time or energy to make alterations, you need to move quickly, or you know you won’t get enough of a return for the work you would need to put in. Whatever the reason, sometimes it is worth “losing” some of the perceived value just to get on with your life.

2) Make your condo or townhome more attractive

It may be worth spending a little money attending to minor cosmetic problems. A little paint here and there, a thorough cleaning, and a little modernization of fixtures and fittings can work wonders. A good first impression when a buyer walks through the front door can be half the battle. If there are serious issues that need to be addressed you need to make buyers want to like the place and be prepared to get the work done.

3) Go for a complete rehab

If a seller wants to make the best price for their condo then anything major will have to be fixed. That’s going to take time and cash – potentially lots of both. You might not want to do a complete remodel but fixing most of the major problems will make your condo much easier to sell – and get a higher price too.

Although extensive work will delay the listing of a home it will often make the sale and closing a lot faster. So time spent improving the condo might be gotten back by viewer interest and a quick sale.

What next?

As the seller, you need to decide what your next step is. If you are prepared to invest time and dollars in a partial makeover then you need to prioritize the jobs that need doing. It may be best to contact a realtor or estate agent and get their views on what will make the most difference to the saleability of your condo.

If you’re looking to move as quickly as possible, we’re here to help. We buy condos across Massachusetts in any condition, allowing sellers like you to take the cash and avoid the weeks and months it takes to sell a home in poor condition. To get your no-obligation cash offer, click here.

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Selling a property in Massachusetts in today's market can be confusing. Get in touch with us and we'll be happy to help guide you through your options.

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