Can You Sell a Condemned House?

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A boarded up house with plywood in the window frames. Boarding up the windows is fundamental when selling a condemned house as it keeps squatters and animals out.

If you are a homeowner with a condemned property, whether due to damage from natural disasters, safety hazards, or violation of housing codes, you may wonder if selling your property is still possible.

The good news is that it is still possible to sell a condemned house, but the process is more complex than selling a habitable home.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through selling a condemned house, including legal processes, potential options, and challenges you may encounter.

Selling a Condemned House in Today’sToday’s Market

The demand for affordable housing is high, and available properties are scarce. There is a significant opportunity to sell a condemned house reasonably.

A condemned house is a property deemed unsafe or uninhabitable by city officials, housing inspectors, or other local government authorities. An official may condemn a home for various reasons, such as eminent domain, structural damage, code violations, plumbing or electrical issues, or health and safety hazards, such as black mold, lead paint, or a pest infestation.

Authorities officially condemn the house when they issue a notice. The notice forces the occupants to vacate the property and requires repairs before the property is habitable again.

Who Declares a Property Condemned?

The condemnation process usually starts with an inspection by the city or county code enforcement officer, fire department, or health department.

If local authorities deems a home condemned, a notification is served to the property owner or declared owner and a condemnation order is issued. The owner then has a specified period to bring the property up to code or repair it.

Legal Processes for Selling a Condemned House

If you want to sell a house in condemned status, it’s important to follow legal processes that vary by state. In some states, such as Texas, selling a condemned property is permitted but must be disclosed as such to potential buyers.

In other states, it may be illegal to sell a condemned property, and the property may need demolishing. It is essential to consult a real estate lawyer familiar with state laws and procedures for selling condemned properties.

Market Factors To Consider

A factor to consider is the condition of the property. Conducting necessary repairs and maintenance attracts potential buyers and increases the property’s value. Identifying the repairs required and determining which ones make the property habitable is essential.

It’s also important to inspect to determine the extent of the repairs needed. The report identifies critical issues you must repair before marketing the property. Once you finish repairs, it’s time to stage and market the property to potential buyers.

One approach could be listing the property on multiple services with an attractive price point. It’sIt’s vital to highlight the potential investment opportunity the property represents to attract savvy buyers looking for a possible fixer-upper.

Work with a buyer who understands the property’s condition and will take it on as a project. This is an excellent opportunity for real estate investors or individuals looking for a property to renovate and make their own.

An old and boarded up house with blue exterior and plywood in its window frames. Boarding up the windows is fundamental when selling a condemned house as it keeps squatters and animals out.

Can You Sell a Condemned House

It would be best to acknowledge that selling a condemned house is more challenging than selling a habitable one. However, selling a condemned home as-is is still possible without completing any necessary repairs. 

To do so, consider selling to a cash home buyer or investor specializing in purchasing condemned buildings.

Another option is to sell the property as land, especially if the land is worth a lot of money. Before selling the property, home sellers should check with your local government agency regarding zoning and inspection requirements. Some local governments may not allow the sale of the condemned property, even with necessary repairs.

How to Sell a Condemned House

Selling a condemned house is a daunting task. However, selling a condemned property with the right approach is possible.

Assess the Condition of the Property

Homeowners should assess the condition of the property to determine the repairs or renovations necessary to make it more marketable. Some possible repairs include:

  • fixing the roof
  • repairing any structural damage
  • rewiring the electrical system
  • replacing plumbing fixtures.

Homeowners should hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the property and provide a report of the necessary repairs.

A young homeowner making all the necessary repairs for selling a condemned house he owns.

Make Necessary Repairs

Once you determine the necessary repairs, it is essential to complete them before listing the property for sale. Completing repairs before listing the property increases its market value and attracts potential buyers. You may require licensed contractors to complete the repairs or renovations.

Determine the Market Value

Determining the market value of a condemned property is challenging. Hire a professional appraiser to evaluate the property and provide a report of the property’s-property’s estimated value.

Your home’s market value comes from its location, condition, and extent of damage. You must research the value of comparable properties in their area to estimate the market value.

List the Property for Sale

Once the necessary repairs are complete and you determine the market value, homeowners should list the property for sale. You might work with a licensed real estate agent selling condemned properties.

Mortgage lenders may balk at approving potential buyers for a condemned home in disrepair.

Building Codes and Rectification

Before putting your home on the market, you must ensure the property is up to code. Building codes are regulations that set the minimum standards to ensure the public’s safety, health, and welfare. They exist to ensure that buildings are constructed safely and meet minimum requirements for habitability.

Understanding Building Codes

A local or state government entity enforces building codes. These codes, based on national standards, such as the International Building Code (IBC), cover everything from foundation design to fire safety systems.

The codes are updated regularly; staying abreast of the latest changes is critical to ensure your property is compliant.

Rectification of a Condemned House

When selling a condemned house, rectifying any existing violations is crucial. You need to inspect the property to identify potential violations. Once identified, hire a professional contractor to remedy the violations.

A young inspector reviews the work on a condemned house. Getting an inspection is fundamental when selling a condemned house

Permits, Reviews, and Inspections

To re-sell the property, you must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) or a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO). A CO is issued when the building is safe for occupancy, while a TCO is when outstanding violations need rectification.

The process for obtaining a CO or TCO involves the following:

  • A review of the building plans.
  • Inspecting the property.
  • Verifying all necessary permits 

The review and inspection process takes several weeks, and you must rectify any outstanding violations before a CO or TCO is issued.

Selling a Condemned House: Watchouts to Consider

Selling a condemned property is tough but possible with proper planning and execution.

Challenges to Selling a Condemned House

Selling a condemned property comes with some unique challenges, including:

  • Limited financing options: Some lenders refuse to finance the purchase of condemned property, making it difficult for potential buyers to secure a mortgage.
  • Decreased market value: Condemned properties usually sell at a reduced price compared to similar properties in the area.
  • Lengthy sale process: Due to regulatory requirements, selling a condemned property may take longer.

Tips for Selling a Condemned House

To sell a condemned house quickly and efficiently, homeowners should:

  • Consider selling to a cash home buyer to increase the chances of a quick sale.
  • Price the property competitively to attract potential buyers.
  • Be upfront with potential buyers about the property’s condition and necessary repairs.
  • Enhance the property’s curb appeal by cleaning the yard and clearing debris.


It is possible to sell a condemned home. However, house condemnation has its challenges. Most buyers usually ask for permits for repairs before purchasing. Some local governments may not allow the sale of condemned properties.

Although a condemned property may require expensive repairs and updates, options are still available for selling it.

A common option is to sell the property as-is condition without completing any necessary repairs. Cash home buyers often specialize in buying such properties and provide a quick sale. 

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider a cash home-buying company:

  • Timeframe of the Process – They provide you with an offer in just a few days, and closing happens in as little as two weeks.
  • Costs Saved When Selling to a Cash Homebuyer – Selling a condemned home traditionally rack up many fees, expenses, and commissions. But with a cash buyer, there are no closing costs or realtor fees.
  • Flexibility of Closing and Moving Dates – When you sell your home to a cash homebuyer, you control the closing and moving dates.
  • Avoid Costly Renovations – Cash homebuyers readily buy condemned homes in any condition without requiring repairs or renovations, saving you a ton of time and money.
  • Less Paperwork and Legal Requirements – You only need a simple agreement and basic documentation when selling your home for a fair cash offer.

Selling your condemned home for a cash offer may be your best decision. You benefit significantly from the transaction with a quick, hassle-free sale that avoids costly repairs, fewer legal requirements, and overall savings. 

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