Selling a Maui House That Needs Major Repairs


Selling a house in Maui, Hawaii can be a complex process, and when the property is in need of significant repairs, it adds to the challenges. However, with the right approach and proper planning, you can successfully sell a Maui home or condo that requires major repairs. This article will guide you through the essential tips and considerations to make the process smoother and more rewarding.

Oceanfront house in Waiehu, Hawaii that needs major repairs and probably just needs to be bulldozed and rebuilt
Ocean front house in Waiehu beyond repair

Assess the Property’s Condition

Before listing your house, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough assessment of the property’s condition. Take note of all the repairs needed, both major and minor. Engage the services of a professional home inspector or contractor to provide an objective evaluation. This assessment will help you determine the extent of repairs required and provide valuable information for potential buyers. And will help you avoid the pitfall many owners fall into of underestimating the true cost or extent of damages or repairs needed on a property in the Hawaiian islands.

Calculate the Costs of the Repairs the Home Needs

Once you have identified the necessary repairs, you’ll want to calculate what it will costs to correct the issues. Obtain quotes from reputable licensed Maui contractors or professionals for each repair or renovation. This will give you a clear understanding of the financial investment required to bring the property up to standard. Having this information readily available will enable you to provide potential buyers with accurate figures when negotiating the selling price. But more importantly, it will prepare you to know if a buyer’s offer is justified, or if the buyer is overestimating the cost of the repairs.

We like to ask for referrals when looking for contractors. We have an excellent crew right now, so feel free to text us if you would like us to share their info. You can also check google for companies with positive reviews, or websites like Angi’s List.

Set the Right Price

Setting the right price is crucial when selling a house that needs major repairs. Pricing too high might deter potential buyers. To determine the appropriate price, consider the current market conditions, comparable properties in Hawaii, and the estimated cost of repairs. Be realistic and transparent about the property’s condition, and adjust the price accordingly to attract serious buyers. If you haven’t gotten at least a couple of offers within the first few weeks that means you most likely need to lower the price to get people’s attention.

Consider that most people that are looking for a fixer upper are expecting to earn equity by performing the repairs, so they will want to have some sort of upside potential. Otherwise, why put themselves through all the headaches of doing the repairs, especially considering how hard it is to find a contractor on Maui that will show up! For example, if you own a home in Kahului, HI that needs 100k worth of repairs and updates, and the comparable sales on Maui indicate that it would be worth $900,000 once it’s fixed up, don’t expect buyers to be lining up to buy it for $800,000. If you were asking for 800k for this home then the buyers would have no incentive to purchase your home rather than one that’s already fixed up for 900k.

Disclose All Known Issues

Honesty and transparency are vital when selling a house with major repairs. At Maui Home Buyers we take this particularly seriously, as we all know how small Hawaii is and word gets around via the coconut wireless! Reputation is important, and hiding or withholding information always surfaces. Ensure you disclose all known issues to potential buyers. This includes any structural problems, plumbing or electrical issues, or other significant repairs required. Providing detailed information upfront builds trust and saves time for both parties involved. Consider obtaining a professional inspection report to provide potential buyers with a comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition. We have been happy with the service we received from Beau Petrone from A Sound Mind Home Inspection. We’ve worked with him for over 10 years, he and his team are all highly experienced and knowledgeable.

A house in Wailuku, Hawaii that needs major repairs due to termite damage and plants growing in the pool.
This house in Wailuku is salvageable but requires over $300,000 in repairs

Highlight the Property’s Potential

While your house may require substantial repairs, it’s important to focus on its potential. Showcase its unique features, if it’s a desirable location, and any existing positive attributes. Emphasize the possibilities for customization and improvement, allowing buyers to envision the property’s transformation. Utilize high-quality photographs and virtual tours to present the property in the best possible light.

Consider Making Partial Repairs

In some cases, making partial repairs can increase the property’s marketability. Particularly if your house is just dated and doesn’t need major repairs. Identify repairs that can be completed without significant investment and undertake them before listing the house if you can determine that they will produce a justifiable increase in value. Simple fixes like repairing leaky faucets, replacing broken windows, or giving the property a fresh coat of paint can make a noticeable difference and attract potential buyers who are looking for a more move-in-ready condition. I just wouldn’t suggest doing those things on a house that needs a new roof, new siding, foundation work, or other major repairs. But if the house is completely habitable, but is just all original and hasn’t been updated since it was built in the 1960s, then it might be worth a minor facelift and staging.

Explore Alternative Selling Options

If selling the property through traditional methods proves challenging, you may want to consider alternative selling options. For instance, you can explore working with real estate investors or property investment companies on Maui, Oahu, Kauai or Big Island that specialize in purchasing properties in need of repairs. These buyers are often more willing to invest in properties with significant issues, allowing you to sell the house without incurring extensive repair costs.

To get a quick all cash offer to sell your house, condo or townhome on any Hawaiian island go to Maui Home Buyers or Call or Text us anytime at 808-359-3121. We’ve helped sellers in every kind of situation with ever type of challenge you can imagine; from major repairs, probate, foreclosure, 1031 exchange, code violations for unpermitted additions, HOA liens, noncompliant tenants, hoarder houses, excessive termite damage/tear down condition properties, and everything else! And we work on all islands in Hawaii!


Selling a Maui house that requires major repairs can be a daunting task, but it’s not an insurmountable challenge. By thoroughly assessing the property’s condition, accurately calculating repair costs, setting a realistic price, and being transparent with potential buyers, you can successfully navigate the selling process. With the right approach, you can find buyers who appreciate the property’s potential and are willing to take on the repairs, ensuring a mutually beneficial transaction for both parties involved.

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