Do I fix up my duplex before selling?

3 Replies

Hi I have a duplex in Hermosa Beach (4 blocks from sand).  It currently has 3 guys in each unit in there twenty's.  Needless to say they are slobs.   I want to sell my duplex.  I have been told that they are hot now and will sell for top dollars.     One of the units has it's original kitchen and baths from the 70's.     The other unit I remodeled 12 years ago and is looking quite thrashed, at minimum needs new floors.  Part of me feels I should try to fix it up before selling but with the tenants in there that might be hard.  To kick them out and fix and sell,  I would be  loosing $7,000 a month.   How important do you think it is for me to try to remodel the units before selling?     My buyer might be someone who wants to live in one unit and rent out the other unit?  The sale price would be between 2.3 mil and 2.6. mil.    I feel like once you get into that price range its all about location but I could be wrong.     Would love to get your thoughts on this. 

I think your hunch is correct its the location factoring in the lost income and cost of remodel it would probably be a small incremental price jump compared to the overall project Double check with a realtor on the comps and congrats on acquiring such a great property.

@Connie Stainbrook ,

I agree with @Steven Picker . Putting lipstick on a pig in this case might not be worth the expense. In fact, you can use the fact that it needs a little love as a selling point, People love bargains, so position your sale to the bargain hunters and sell hard on the location and potential. Talk to a realtor or two that sells in that area.

The problem is this: you don't know your buyer yet! If your buyer "might be" this and "might be" that, then take the "might" out of equation. Market specifically for the buyer you want to sell to.

"Hermosa Beach is a pleasant and relaxing beach community with moderate temperatures year round. It's mere minutes from the Long Beach Harbor and the Queen Mary and short drive from the unique, bohemian lifestyle of Venice Beach. Upscale shopping in Santa Monica is just bit further to the north. Where else are you going to find all this while letting tenants pay your mortgage? With just a little TLC you customize this duplex to be uniquely your own. Isn't it about time you dusted off your beach cruiser and watched a few more sunsets at the beach?"

....well, for example....

Make sure it shows clean and smells nice. When the buyer points out all the flaws you admit the place need a bit of love and that is why you're selling it at such a reduced price, then focus on how much it will be worth once they put a few thousand dollars into it which they saved on the purchase price anyways. After all, if you fixed it up, you'd be selling it for A LOT MORE.

....see what I'm getting at?

That being said, how much more could you get for the place if it were dressed out? If you had to put $50k and carrying costs into it, but could get $150k more on the sale, would it be worth it? Want a partner?

Thanks guys for your feedback.  Tom love the take on how to pitch it.   Makes me rethink selling it.    I actually thought I'd never sell it, wanted to retire in it one day.   When I realized I could take the money and buy something with much higher cash flow and wouldn't need to work NOW.   My desire to stop working now is greater then moving back to Hermosa one day.  ;-)   Although even with a property manager I have a feeling my new properties will keep me quite busy.  Looking at 3 20 plus unit buildings.

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