How to Sell a Fixer Upper House Fast In SF Bay Area

If your house needs fixing but you want to sell and think you can’t afford the fixes, there are two main options: finance the repairs before selling or sell your house as-is. Of these, selling as-is is quicker.

To sell a fixer upper house fast, you must understand your target buyers and decide on your sales strategy. You can do some small fixes to increase its value or sell it as-is to a cash buyer or real estate investor. The latter is best if you want to close in a few weeks.

Want to learn more about how to sell a fixer upper house fast? Here are some key points, from identifying your target buyers to methods for a fast sale.

How to Sell a Fixer Upper House Fast In  SF Bay Area

A fixer upper home is a property that needs major work; that’s why it is sold at a lower sales price.

This type of house is not suggested for a typical retail buyer because it may not be livable depending on its damage. Many fixer’s upper houses don’t just have cosmetic damage but structural damage as well.

Nevertheless, there’s still hope for many fixers’ upper houses; that’s why they’re the target of flippers and other types of buyers. 

What is a Fixer Upper House In SF Bay Area

In order to sell your fixer upper house fast, you need to know your target buyers. This will help you avoid spending too much time marketing to the wrong people (i.e., retail buyers). 

Target Buyers for Fixer Upper Houses In SF Bay Area

These are known as budget-conscious buyers, seeking affordable properties in need of minor touch-ups. Typically, they desire a specific location but find homes in top-notch condition beyond their financial reach.

House flippers, buyers with cash, and property investors are the top choices for many homeowners looking to sell their property in need of renovation, and there’s a strong rationale behind it.

These potential buyers streamline the sale of the fixer upper by acting swiftly, offering all-cash deals, conducting informal inspections, and finalizing the transaction without the seller needing to undertake any repairs.

Typically, these buyers generate income by either leasing out the renovated property or selling it after addressing significant repairs (i.e., flipping houses).

Landlords are often on the lookout for people selling fixer upper. After they have made major repairs to your house, they’ll lease it and move on to another fixer-upper they can work on.

Landlords are great target buyers for condos, townhomes, multi-family homes, and even single-family homes that can be converted into multi-family.

Property developers purchase properties, including homes in need of repair, in bulk to make money. These investors transform rundown properties into commercial spaces, apartment buildings, offices, and other properties that generate income.

Developers are eager buyers and typically commit to their offers without retracting them.


When selling a house in need of repairs, you generally have two primary choices: sell it as is or undertake minor upgrades before listing it. Let’s explore these options further to assist you in determining which could accelerate the sale of your home.

Options When Selling a Fixer Upper House In SF Bay Area

Make Home Improvements

Before selling a fixer upper house, some homeowners opt to make little improvements to attract buyers. These repairs can also improve the value of the property so homeowners can sell it at a higher price on the real estate market.

If you’re looking for some inexpensive repairs, here are a few options:

  • Repainting: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for a fixer upper. But before applying paint, make sure to patch any visible holes. If the house is too huge and would require a large budget to do a paint job, just focus on the bathrooms and kitchen. Most prospective buyers consider the condition of these areas more than any other part of the house.
  • Faucet Replacement: If the house has rusty and leaky faucets, replace them with more dated ones. This applies to all the faucets in the house, not just in the kitchen.
  • Installment of New Light Fixtures: Replacing the light fixtures with high-wattage bulbs can significantly impact the house’s appearance. The potential buyers would be able to see how much space they’re getting throughout the property.
Make Home Improvements In SF Bay Area
  • Fixing Roof Leaks: If there are any active roof leaks, make sure to patch them up. While you’re at it, also look for roof areas where water damage is evident. Prime and paint them as they can easily be seen by a potential buyer from the outside.
  • Damaged Blinds Removal: Damage blinds or those that already exhibit a weird coloration should be removed and replaced. If replacing with another blind is too costly, use neutral-colored curtains instead.
  • Outlet Cover and Wall Plate Replacement: Outlet covers and switch plates that are rusty or full of scratches should be replaced. These items are pretty affordable and easy to install.
  • Fixing the Floors: Fixing the floors of your fixer upper can also lead to a higher home sale. Remove the old carpeting or clean them up if you don’t have the budget to install new flooring.

Depending on how your house looks, you may spot some small touch-ups that are worth doing before you put it up for sale. But doing these fixes means you can’t sell your home immediately, and you’ll have to pay for all the fixes on top of any surprises that pop up during the process.

Compared to big fixes like plumbing, roofing, electrical work, and HVAC and septic system repairs, these smaller touch-ups can be done quicker and cheaper.

Sell As-Is

Selling a fixer-upper as-is is the optimal method for a fast sale in the real estate industry for several reasons.

Firstly, it helps you avoid the hefty expenses of major repairs, which can easily surpass $10,000. You also sidestep the additional costs associated with fixing up the property, such as time, labor, and patience.

Furthermore, selling as-is ensures a faster and simpler sales process, particularly when dealing with cash buyers or real estate investors.

Sell As-Is SF Bay Area

Since cash buyers don’t require mortgage approval and no repairs are needed, you can finalize the transaction within a few weeks. This is notably quicker than undertaking minor repairs, staging the property, listing it, marketing it, and waiting for retail buyers to make offers.

However, it’s worth noting that offers for as-is fixer-uppers tend to be lower compared to houses that have undergone minor repairs and enhancements. Nevertheless, you may still find this to be a favorable arrangement, especially if the property is nearing demolition.


Now that we’ve covered your options when selling, let’s talk about how you can market and sell your house.

Generally, you can sell your fixer upper independently or with the help of a professional real estate agent. But if you aim for a quick sale, you can opt to sell off-market.

Ways to Sell Fixer Upper Homes In SF Bay Area

For sale by owner (FSBO) means selling homes independently, without any real estate advice from an agent. Most home sellers go this path to skip expensive real estate commissions, but this may also lead to financial loss.

Without professional guidance, setting the right price may be challenging. Buyers could exploit the situation if they realize the property needs work and the seller lacks market knowledge, potentially leading to a lower sale price.

Selling a house that needs fixing up with the assistance of real estate experts would be the ideal approach for newcomers to the real estate scene.

Engaging a seasoned real estate agent—someone with a track record of selling many fixer-uppers—means less effort for the owner.

These agents already understand the target market, which can expedite the process compared to selling on your own. They’ll negotiate with potential buyers for a fair sale price and provide guidance throughout the transaction.

However, it’s important to note that working with agents doesn’t always result in higher profits. One must consider deducting repair expenses, commissions, closing costs, and other fees.

Selling your fixer-upper directly to a cash buyer or real estate investor is the quickest way to make a sale. These individuals purchase properties in their current condition, sparing sellers the need for any fixes or upgrades.

Moreover, these buyers give cash offers fast (most in a matter of hours). They don’t need to wait for mortgage approval which makes for a quick sale. 

While cash offers from investors may be lower compared to those from traditional buyers, the overall profit may be higher.

Keep in mind that major repairs, particularly for homes with structural issues, can be costly. By selling to cash buyers, you can avoid these expenses, as they cover both repairs and closing costs, saving you time and effort.


If you’re looking to quickly sell your home that needs some renovations, but prefer not to deal with a cash buyer, there are additional steps you can take. These suggestions apply to selling your property through traditional real estate channels, although this method may not yield as swift a sale as accepting cash offers from firms specializing in buying homes as is.

How to Sell a Fixer Upper House on the Market In SF Bay Area

While it may seem appealing to list your fixer upper at a steep price, this could deter potential buyers.

Today, many buyers use online platforms to hunt for properties, often narrowing down their options based on price. You don’t want your fixer upper competing unfavorably with move-in ready homes…

To determine a reasonable price for your fixer upper, it’s advisable to get an appraisal. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a real estate agent to conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA).

Even if your property needs significant repairs, it might still boast some noteworthy attributes worth emphasizing in your listing. A top-notch location holds sway with buyers, so if your property in need of repair sits within a desirable school district or close to a bustling downtown, be sure to highlight these points to command a higher price.

Additionally, it’s wise to showcase the potential of the property in the listing. Incorporate estimates of its post-repair resale value, details about its floor plan, and its positioning within the market.

The attractiveness of a property’s exterior can affect how quickly it sells. Prospective buyers often scout the neighborhood they desire. A tidy yard can make a positive impression and increase interest.

To enhance the exterior appeal of your property, focus on clearing clutter, mowing the lawn, trimming plants and trees, pressure washing the outside, and maintaining the roof and gutters.

Have a pre-listing home inspection to determine how much work your fixer upper needs and disclose this to potential buyers. This way, you’ll gain their trust, and you will be able to sell quickly.

While disclosing deal-killers you have discovered through the inspection report, make sure to highlight the potential of your entire property as well. You don’t want to scare buyers away by only showing them the ugly side of your property. 

Many sellers overlook the importance of thoroughly cleaning a fixer upper house before listing it for sale. While buyers frequently undertake extensive renovations on such homes, it’s crucial to present a clean and tidy space during showings.

Prepping a fixer upper for sale involves decluttering, depersonalizing by removing family photos and decor, washing windows, eliminating mold and mildew, and cleaning the floors.


Cash buyer companies are the fastest way to sell a fixer upper house. Cash buyers are actively looking for homes in disrepair, and have the funds available to close as soon as the title company or attorney finishes the title process (sometimes in as little as 7 days).

The seller doesn’t have to make or pay for any repairs. There is no house cleaning. No agent commission. No closing costs.

Cash buyers don’t care about curb appeal because they work with distressed properties daily– they have low expectations for what they are going to walk into with every fixer upper house.

Selling a fixer upper property can be a fast process with the right approach. For instance, setting a reasonable price and targeting the appropriate audience can lead to a prompt sale, especially in a market favoring sellers.

But if you’re eager to sell your fixer upper quickly, consider selling to a cash buyer or real estate investor. They’ll purchase your property as-is, sparing you the need for repairs—thus saving both time and money.

If you own a fixer upper and seek a speedy sale, contact us at We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area. We’ll present you with a competitive cash offer and close according to your timeline!

Complete the form below or dial (408) 557-7554 to explore more about selling your fixer upper property in SF Bay Area.

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The Easiest Way To Sell Your House Fast In SF Bay Area

You’re in the driver’s seat when you accept our cash offer for your house. We make the process simple, fast, and easy to follow when working with us. You have no obligation to accept our cash offer for your home when contacting us for a fair cash offer for your home. No matter the reason you want to sell your house, we want to buy your home as is. Remember that you get many benefits that include no real estate agent commissions, no cleaning, no improvements, and no stress. Our cash offer for your as-is house assures you of fast cash payment at closing with a reputable Title company. You can count on our company to give you a fair cash offer for your home! If you’re still thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, calling us could be your best decision all day. 🙂

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Gagan Saini

Author: Saini

My name is Saini, and I founded the We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area team with years of experience in the real estate industry. I have assisted numerous sellers in selling their homes quickly, “AS-IS”, and for a fair price.

He’s been featured in multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, LegalZoom, The Mortgage Report, Apartment Therapy, US News and World Report, and SuperMoney among others.

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