Brokerages cater to buyers in search of “fixer-upper”

TRD New York /
Mar.March 15, 2013 05:30 PM

A particularly intrepid group of homebuyers actively scours the market for dilapidated properties known as “fixer-uppers,” and brokerages are getting in on the action, the New York Times reported.

Real estate insiders told the Times that there is a rise in the number of buyers who look out for properties in need of a major overhaul and watch out for listings with telling phrases such as “bring your contractor and your imagination.” These buyers look to rebuild according to their specifications and end up with an attractive home at a bargain-basement price, insiders said.

Jonathan Miller, the president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, said that between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the same period in 2012, sales of properties rated as “wrecks” or in “fair” or “poor” condition rose 40 percent.

Part of the reason for this trend, Miller said, was a continuing decline in housing inventory, with 34 percent fewer properties listed in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period the previous year. “So we’re seeing more creative and flexible buyers,” Miller said, “and an increase in sales of places in poor condition — aka wrecks.”

Manhattan housing inventory dropped 34.2 percent in that same period, as The Real Deal previously reported.

Brokerages such as Brown Harris Stevens and the Corcoran Group cater to this market segment by allowing buyers to search for listings containing the trigger words, which included “wreck,” “estate sale,” and “fixer upper.”

“There are always buyers who want places they can put their mark on and don’t want to pay for someone else’s renovation,” Doug Perlson, RealDirect’s CEO, told the Times. [NYT]  –Hiten Samtani

Related Articles

The number of closed sales fell by more than 14 percent year over year in the third quarter (Credit: iStock)

Low mortgage rates are killing Manhattan’s all-cash buyer

Renovation kings: The city’s 30 leading general contractors

Notre-Dame fire calls attention to other historic properties that could be in jeopardy

French billionaires Arnault and Pinault pledge 300M euros to rebuild Notre-Dame

Major fire engulfs Notre-Dame cathedral

Revamped design for 550 Madison receives Landmarks’ approval

Hurry up and wait: Airlines strike deal for $344M expansion at JFK

MoMA closing this summer for final stage of $400M overhaul