Mark Cipolletti Knows How to Market His Business
James Fairchild Knows Fixer-Uppers Are Out
Fixer-uppers used to be trendy, but this fad has quickly come and gone.
James Fairchild is an award-winning real estate agent with The Fairchild Group of Ebby Halliday in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He has received many designations such as Oak Cliff Advocate Top Realtor, D Magazine Best Real Estate Agent and Top Producer, Local Profile Magazine Top Realtor, and DFW Real Producers Top 500 Agent. Being in the business since 1995, James also has seen many changes in the market including what buyers want. And nowadays, fixer-uppers are not on that list.
James himself has experience firsthand with fixer-uppers. He explains, “I was working in the tech industry, but I bought a house in my twenties and was fixing it up. It had been something I wanted to do for as long as I can remember. While I was renovating the house, I just realized it was more of a passion than a hobby. And I wanted to do everything I could to move my career towards housing and real estate. And that’s what I did. I studied for my license, got my license, and never looked back.”
While a fixer-upper may have sparked his interest in the real estate industry, James is unique. There are many others who buy fixer-uppers and experience buyer’s remorse instead.
The Fixer-Upper Regret
Take James’s recent Curbio project. The seller originally bought a fixer-upper with every intention of transforming it into what she wanted it to be. James remembers it fondly. “She felt really lucky, and I felt really lucky that we found the home of the age and style and everything that she wanted. But it needed work… And her intent when she bought it was to do a lot of do-it-yourself home improvement to it and hire some workers but do it slowly over the course of her ownership.”
Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan. Like many people, the seller had discovered that DIY life was not as glorious as home improvement shows made it out to be. She was busy and working full time so setting time aside to fix up the house was a challenge.
With the DIY approach stalling, she turned to tradespeople, but that wasn’t working well either. James notes that trying to manage these contractors was, “something she found she didn’t have much patience for.”
In the end, James’s seller recognized that a fixer-upper wasn’t for her. “A few weeks in, she realized it was kind of wearing away at her. And she was changing careers and wanted to do some other things, so she decided it was time to sell it.”
Going from Fixer-Upper to Move-In Ready
While the seller was ready to get the home off her hands, James noted, “It wasn’t finished. It wasn’t ready to be put on the market.” Plus, the home had some historic charm and was in a desirable location, so James knew that a little work could go a long way to boost the resale price of the house.
Although a lot of work was needed, there was some good news. “She had owned it at a great time. So she had made equity just by virtue of owning it during the period of time that she did.” Because of her equity, James knew he had a solution that could help her fix up the home without the hassle of paying for everything upfront.
While some concierge services rely on good credit, Curbio focuses on equity. “Curbio seemed to offer a solution that would keep her from having to manage the renovation project so that was the strongest pull to her — that and the idea that she didn’t have to outlay the funds to make the improvements prior to closing.”
Partnering with the Curbio Dallas team, James was able to help the home finally go from fixer-upper to move-in ready. As James explains, the seller “had done the hardwood floors and some repainting in most of the house, but she hadn’t tackled the kitchen and the bathrooms. They were the big projects that she had put off and that we had Curbio help with.”
Curbio stepped in and did a kitchen remodel as well as some major updates to the exterior. And James was right; these updates paid off. “We went on the market on Wednesday or Thursday and had quite a bit of traffic the very first weekend. We were under contract by the following Monday. So, within less than a week we were under contract. And over the asking price too.” Not only did the home sell quickly and over asking, but also the seller made $38,000 in profit after project costs.
Why Fixer-Uppers Won’t Do
This project is just one example of how fixing up a fixer-upper before it hits the market pays off. Current homeowners may not want to deal with making updates before they sell, but most buyers can’t afford to buy a home that needs a lot of work.
James explains, “They [the buyers] are seeing home prices higher than they’ve ever seen them before. And for many, they’re also seeing interest rates that are higher than they’ve ever experienced in their lifetime. So, with these home prices and rates eating into buyers’ savings and monthly budgets, they’re being pickier about the condition of the homes. And most of them don’t feel like that have a lot of leftover savings to buy a home and then come back and turn around and renovate it.”
With buyers’ budgets tight, James knows that sellers and agents need to adapt if they want to get homes off the market in a timely manner (and for a good price). “So I’m telling my sellers all the time, ‘We want to get your home in turnkey condition. We want to make it appeal to as many buyers as possible, and right now those buyers are only looking for homes in move-in ready condition.’” And James is right. According to Curbio’s recent survey, 77% of buyers will only consider a home that is move-in ready.1
If you are still trying to sell listings as they are, you and your sellers are going to be disappointed. Instead, follow James’s advice and get to work making that fixer-upper move-in ready with Curbio’s help. Curbio is the Realtor’s general contractor because agents no longer have to worry about overseeing pre-sale updates. As James notes, Curbio helped solve his biggest pain point by “managing the day-to-day of the contractors showing up, and doing the work, and ordering the supplies and materials, and all of those things. So, I didn’t have to be involved in that at all.”
Fixer-uppers are a lot of work, but as James knows, you can get the work done without any added hassle. Get a free estimate, and let Curbio take care of the work for you.
- Curbio (2022). Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report