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Ask Dave

Get House in Condition to Sell?

This caller wants to relocate but isn't sure what she needs to do to get her house ready to sell.

QUESTION: Diane and her husband may have to relocate and Diane wants to know how to get their house in a condition to sell.  They don’t have much money for renovations.  Diane has considered selling the house to her daughter and her fiancé if they want to do the renovations.  Are there any other options for fixing up the house in a financially wise way?

ANSWER: There are some very cheap ways you can fix up this house.  Paint is amazing.  A fresh coat of paint – especially on the front door – is completely necessary and it’s so affordable.  You also need to be willing to do some extensive yard work – especially making sure that any bushes or hedges around the house are cut low.  That will make the house look bigger.  Take off almost all of the stuff you’ve got on the kitchen counter to make it look bigger, too.

If you want your daughter and her fiancé to do some of the work in order to buy the house, their work cannot count toward the down payment.  You can count it toward the overall price of the house, but very few mortgage companies will do a sweat equity deal.  If the fiancé does $5,000 worth of work, take $5,000 off the price of the house – give them a break that way. 

You may also consider letting them move in and rent the house while they fix it up.  That way you can agree on a base price at which to sell the house and anything above that can be split between you and your daughter’s fiancé.  Or maybe split the costs that he puts into it.  Come up with some deals like this that will benefit you and your daughter’s fiancé.
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Want to Buy a House With Confidence?

Want to Buy a House With Confidence and Peace of Mind?

Want to Buy a House With Confidence and Peace of Mind?