How to Sell a Damaged House in Norfolk

Social media would make you believe that every house that hits the market is freshly remodeled, brand new, and sparkling to perfection. But contrary to what you might think, nearly 80% of the American housing stock has experienced 20 years of rain, wind, and sun. Not to mention, a report by Freddie Mac noted 38% of U.S. homes were built before 1970. Furthermore, homeowners say that they have been putting off a minimum of one home improvement project for a year or more. 

Homes need constant care, and keeping up with property maintenance can be a never-ending job.

When deciding to sell your home, the time comes to acknowledge the issues like a leaky roof, old carpet, a driveway that needs resurfacing, or a cracked foundation, which would raise red flags for potential buyers. Typically homeowners don’t realize how much work their home needs until they consider selling. 

How you choose to sell a damaged house in Norfolk really depends on your timeline, goals, and financial situation. Do you need to quickly sell your residence, or would you instead invest your time and money into making all the necessary repairs? This guide will help you establish what kind of condition your home is actually in and determine which type of updates and fixes you should make (if any).

Can You Sell A Damaged House In Norfolk?

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Defining ‘damaged condition:’ Determine where your house is on the scale

“Damaged condition” is a relative expression in real estate that implies different things from market to market. Your property could fall into any of the following categories.

1. Uninhabitable

When a house is considered uninhabitable, it should mean the home is in very poor condition. The term “poor condition” is used by home inspectors when a home receives a bad inspection report. A poor condition rating is given when the house has multiple issues that would qualify it uninhabitable. 

These issues would include:

  • Severe and/or major foundation issues
  • Severe and/or major chimney damage
  • Severe and/or significant roof damage
  • Serious electrical problems (frayed wiring, outdated knob-and-tube wiring, etc.)
  • Serious plumbing issues (corroded, leaky pipes; non-functional water heater; etc.)
  • Black mold
  • Lead and/or asbestos
  • Termite infestation or unrepaired termite damage
  • Non-functional HVAC
  • Major fire damage
  • Major flood damage


2. Fair Condition

To receive a “fair condition” rating from a home inspector, a house must be habitable and only have several flaws and repair issues. Even so, many potential buyers and their real estate agents will still label a property as “poor condition” if it has some of these serious issues: 

  • Certain electrical problems
  • Certain plumbing issues
  • Notable roof damage
  • Notable rotting wood
  • Notable issues with the foundation
  • Dated, yet still functional HVAC
  • Outdated and/or damaged kitchen
  • Outdated and/or damaged bathroom(s)
  • Flawed flooring 
  • Non-functioning and/or damaged facets/ light fixtures

3. A Bit Run-Down- Could Use Updating

A house with good structure, but needs some general repair or has deferred maintenance issues may score a “fair” or “good” condition rating by a home inspector.  

Still, if the property shows poorly, potential buyers could say it’s in poor condition- especially when making an offer. 

Items that can warrant a property as “poor condition” would include:

  • Unclean, cluttered interior
  • Out of date kitchen
  • Out of date bathroom(s)
  • Soiled, stained flooring 
  • Dirty walls or peeling paint
  • Out of style finishes on faucets and light fixtures
  • Overgrown, neglected, dead landscaping 
  • Weather-beaten exterior (including minor wood rot, peeling paint, roof shingles missing, etc.)

If Yours Qualifies As A Poor Condition House: What Are Your Options?

If your home falls into the poor condition or damaged range, here are three basic options to sell your home:

1. Sell It As-Is

If you lack either time, cash, motivation, or maybe a combination of all three, selling as-is, would be a great option. Selling as-is requires no time, money, or effort on your part. To sell your property in as-is condition means the buyer comes into the home sale knowing that they will be responsible for any repairs or fixing any issues they find. Keep in mind that in the State of Virginia, you are legally required to disclose any known problems in a residential property disclosure statement. So intentionally hiding any known issues about your house would not be advised. 

For a general sense of what it would cost to do minor fixes like deep clean, declutter, and depersonalize. Here is an average range to hire professionals in Norfolk:

  • Deep clean- $25-50 per hour (to deep clean a 2,000 square foot house runs between $100-$400.
  • Declutter/Depersonalize- costs around $255-$760 for a professional organizer; or if doing on your own 8-12 hours per room, plus the cost of storage containers or storage unit.

2. Do Cosmetic Fixes Only

If you think your home could get away with some cosmetic fixes or repairs, it would be good to look into it. Depending on how out of date your home is, you may need to prioritize the major and minor repairs and determine which ones you want to knock out. Just keep in mind if you’re going to open that can of worms, you may discover more issues along the way. 

Here is a general idea of what some minor repairs could cost you.

  • Repainting the interior-  on average runs anywhere from $1,100- $4,000 to do a full home interior ($1-3 per square foot)
  • Replacing dated light fixtures- $80 to $250 for installation by a licensed electrician, plus the additional cost for each fixture ($30 to $100+)
  • Replacing old faucets- typical cost per faucet ranges between $25 to $200 and to remove and install one sink faucet costs $200+
  • Restore existing cabinets- To hire a pro to refinish your cabinets look at spending $1,800 to $2,200

3. Do Some Significant Repairs Or Upgrades

If your home is truly damaged and in poor condition, it doesn’t seem right to invest a lot of time, energy, or hard-earned cash into a home, you plan to sell. If you still want to give it a go, it would make sense to complete one or two major repairs. Deciding which one or two repairs you should complete takes a good assessment of what work your property needs and some research on how much each job will cost you. Here are some examples of typical repair and upgrade costs to get you started:

  • Floor replacement- depending on flooring type, material and installation can range from $2,200 to $7,500
  • Upgrading appliances- An appliance package starts at $2,200, and installation is an additional $100 to $300+
  • Updating a bathroom- for a complete renovation costs $35,000
  • Updating a kitchen – the average kitchen remodel will set you back $13,500 to $38,000 for a complete renovation or upgrade.
  • Roof replacement or repair- for installation and roofing materials $7,000+
  • HVAC replacement- for the unit and installation costs roughly $8,200

If your property needs all of the above and you don’t have the financial means or ability to do some on your own, consider selling to a Norfolk real estate investor. 

Is Putting Money Toward Improvements Worth It?

The burning question when it comes down to selling a house in bad shape is if it is worth spending the cash on improving your home’s poor condition? To help better answer that question, consider these four factors. 

1. What Is The Current Market Condition?

Are you in a hot seller’s market or a slower market? Do you have time to wait the average 65 to 93 days on the market to sell? Not include the time it will take for repairs or renovations. If you need to sell your property fast, finding an as-is buyer that will pay in cash and close quickly is your best option.

2. Competition

Are other homes similar to yours available to buy? What condition are they in? Can you make similar changes without it costing you a small fortune? If your home can’t compete, buyers will likely choose another listing over yours, making your place sit on the market for months. 

3. Spend vs. Value

When it comes to improvements adding value to your home, not all are the same. Always consider your return on investment; research what updates will benefit you the most. Typically kitchens and bathrooms have the best return on investment, but both are more expensive renovations.

4. Inspections

Virginia is one of the states that require you by law to disclose all known issues about your property. A buyer usually requests an inspection of their own when purchasing a house, which guarantees to uncover more problems. If your property’s condition is in pretty bad shape, be prepared for a buyer to use that as a powerful tool to negotiate the price. 



After determining what type of condition your house falls into and the finances involved in making your house sellable, you probably decided your best move is to sell your home to a home investor. If you need to sell your house fast in the Norfolk area, contact Avante Home Buyers. 

They buy houses in any condition:

  • Storm damage
  • Fire damage
  • Termite damage
  • Major repairs needed
  • Full of stuff or trash
  • Unfinished contraction 
  • And many more

Avante home buyers will make you a no-obligation cash offer for your house and get you on your way to your perfect home. To get started, visit their website or give them a call at (757) 530-5353. We look forward to hearing from you!