Hiding the Wrecking Ball

Does it matter to the Seller if they know that their Buyer intends to do a “gut rehab?” (pretty much what it sounds like).


There are certainly some home owners who are so psychologically identified with their home — and think that its condition and appearance are so perfect, just the way they are — that any suggestion otherwise is construed as a personal affront.

However . . .

Usually it’s pretty apparent — to prospective Buyers if not the Seller — when a home is need of a total renovation.

Sellers who hear the same feedback, over and over, eventually become inured to the idea that the next owner of their home “may be making some changes.”

Lots of Showings

Too, Buyers planning on doing extensive renovation will usually show their hand in the course of doing showings.

A lot of them.

Of course, the purpose of multiple showings — typically with contractors in tow — is to determine the feasibility and cost of the project(s) being contemplated (as a listing agent, I encourage this process — to a point; much better to have no deal than one that blows up after lots of time wasted on negotiation).

Eyes on the Prize

At the end of the day, though, most home Sellers (properly) are more focused on whether the Buyer is able to perform financially, and what price they’re getting for their home.

There can even be offsetting advantages when the Seller knows that the Buyer intends to do a major renovation (or more).

So, a home that might otherwise get picked apart on inspection instead can get a “pass.”

There can be exceptions to that, though.

I handled one deal, the sale of a 19th century Victorian, that almost fell apart when it became apparent that the Buyer planned to do a tear-down.

The issue?

Both the owner and the Buyer wanted the home’s gorgeous (and quite valuable) leaded glass windows.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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