Buyers demand homes that are well maintained, Phipps says. "There's not a lot of flexibility in that." The attitude is: "I'd rather spend the money getting into the house" and not have to spend more money later, he says. Buyers don't want an unknown expense hanging over their heads.
Pat Vredevoogd Combs agrees. "I'm not working with too many people who want a fixer-upper," says Combs, past president of the National Association of Realtors and vice president of Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt in Grand Rapids, Mich.
One big reason: With most transactions, "buyers have limited amounts of cash," Phipps says. "Even if they want to do a fixer-upper, they don't have the money to do it."
"Buyers have enough money to buy," he says. "They don't have enough money to buy and improve. And the lenders make it really difficult."