With the collapse of the housing market more than 10 years behind us it’s hard to imagine why anyone would abandon property or home. What factors come into play when a home falls into such disarray that it becomes abandoned and how do you sell a property like this?

Why do people abandon their homes?

The biggest factors we have seen when it comes to understanding why a house is abandoned typically fall into a few major categories.

Renovation and Repair Costs Are High

Replacing structural parts of a home or renovating a home with a mold or termite problem can be incredibly expensive. Some homeowners are forced out of their properties until these renovations can happen and more often than not they do not get done leaving the house to fall into more disrepair.

Families are Reluctant to Sell

This is another very common occurrence, after the death of a loved one it can be hard to manage their estate. When a loved one dies, handling everything from a funeral to an estate and a house sale can feel impossible for many. In these situations, a house can sit abandoned for years through the probate process and slowly fall into an abandoned state.

Natural & Ecological Disasters

Flooding, Hurricanes, Tornadoes are all realities many homeowners especially those in Florida have to deal with. In addition to these things like water contamination and even air pollution can drive people to leave their homes. Homeowners are not always ready for when these disasters happen, without insurance its easy to be left with a home that is too costly to repair and too destroyed to live in anymore.

These are the most common causes for an abandoned house, while some investors look to buy these abandoned properties exclusively others just want a way to sell the property as quickly as possible.

Reasons to sell your abandoned property

There are a lot of reasons to sell your abandoned home, most of the obvious reasons are the same reasons listed above on why people abandon a property. There are however a large group of people who purchased abandoned homes to invest in but eventually abandon their investment due to the risk that comes with any abandoned property.

Worsening Property Condition

There is always a point in the history of an abandoned house where a homeowner or investor plans on fixing the property up to retain their investments or make additional money. This can sometimes be an ambitious undertaking and can quickly become more complex as time passes and a property falls deeper into disrepair. This is often the case when a homeowner cannot come up with funds quickly enough to renovate the property and ultimately they end up having to abandon the project or continue to lose money.

Issues With Squatters

This issue plagues home investors more so than originally homeowners typically because home investors come in well after the property has been abandoned. Depending on the state squatters can legally occupy an abandoned property if they can establish themselves and take care of the property. This is legally gaining property rights through adverse possession and the property owner can lose the property completely.

Property Becomes Condemned

An abandoned home can be condemned in several different ways, the most common in this scenario is the property being vacant for too long. Other ways include the home being a health hazard ( unsafe materials, mold) or the utilities have been shut off but residents are still in the property.

How To Sell An Abandoned House

Below are the steps homeowners and property investors need to take in order to sell an abandoned house quickly.

1. Determine The Properties Condition

First things first, you need to properly figure out the condition the property is in. This may include bringing in a professional so you can fully understand the extent of any damage to the property or how much it would take to realistically renovate the property to be livable. Home inspectors can do this very well but in a pinch a contractor can give you a rough estimate about what will need to be done.

2. Determine Your Sale Price

This is typically done by finding comps on houses in your area, you need to be mindfull of how long it took certain houses to sell and if they had similar square footage, bathrooms and yard sizes. After doing this you should have an averaged number based on a few different sales. From that point you need to deduct the 70% of the cost to repair the house from that number, this will put you at a good starting point and hopefully not at a total loss on your property.

Be mindful that this number is likely to be negotiated down by investors especially depending on the extent of the damage.

3: Determine How To Sell?

Realistically there are only two ways to sell a property like this, the first being with a real estate investor like us and the second is to a normal home buyer. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages.

Selling to a real estate investor

Selling to a real estate investor like Gold Leaf Home Buyers has a few apparent advantages, the first being a very quick sales process and the second being we buy abandoned houses often. Below are a few additional advantages along with some disadvantages of selling your abandoned home to an investor.

Pros of selling to a real estate investor

    • Very fast buying process, all cash no dealing with a bank.
    • Experienced in buying abandoned property and will not waste your time with a lot of back and fourth negotiating and sending contractors to view the property.
    • No closing costs or realtor fees will save you money

Cons of selling to a real estate investor

    • You won’t get the highest offer from a real estate investor.

Selling to a private party

Selling to a private party is typically done if the homeowner is not in a rush or the property does not need a large renovation. Below are some of the pro’s and cons of selling your abandoned home to a private party.

Pros of selling to a private party

    • You can wait for the largest offer to come from a private party

Cons of selling to a private party

    • A lot of banks are not willing to write loans for properties that are in disrepair.
    • You may not get a lot of normal home buyers looking for a large project like your abandoned home.
    • You may have a hard time finding a real estate agent.


Selling an abandoned property can be very intimidating but just remember to be flexible and open to different options and you can easily unload what could otherwise be a huge financial burden. If you are looking to sell a Tampa, Florida abandoned house, get an estimate from Gold Leaf Home Buyers.