Buyers can expect a substantial discount on fixer-uppers


In a piping hot real estate market, it’s the stale homes that get buyers the best discounts.

Homes that have been on the market for more than a year and need repairs or renovations have a median discount of 18 percent, according to a new report by UrbanDigs.

The report examined sales from the first quarter of 2019 nearly through the second quarter of this year. Even homes on the market for at least six months and need a tune up sold at a median discount of 16.4 percent, the report found.

As pandemic buyers flocked to more spacious homes that were move-in ready, non-turnkey homes sat by the wayside, said John Walkup, who authored the report.

“Units that required extra time to be ready generally were passed over a little more than they normally would be passed over,” Walkup said.

In the third quarter of 2020, townhouses that sold despite needing extra work had a median discount of a whopping 40 percent, Walkup said, noting that townhouse data had a small sample size.

Homes that did not need work but sat on the market for a full year had a median discount of 14.3 percent, according to the report. The discount was smaller for homes that were on the market for a shorter period of time: Those that were on the market for at least six months had a discount of 12.4 percent.

All-cash deals have been known to give buyers a boost, but closing fast doesn’t always offer the same volume of deals one would expect, particularly in markets with high demand, Walkup said.

Quick deals — meaning they closed within 45 days — had roughly the same median discount as the overall market: about 6.4 percent, according to the report.