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How 3 Customers Evaluated Their Home Selling Options

May 4, 2020 | Team Sundae Team Sundae

Homeowners face a range of challenges when selling their house. Here are 3 Sundae customer stories that show how they maximized value by selling to Sundae.

The average time to sell a house on the market with an agent is around 70 days if the house is in great condition. If the house needs work, the time to sell can be much longer. 

When your house isn’t in the best shape or you don’t have the time to wait for a buyer, many sellers look to an off-market property investor. Off-market buyers provide cash offers and buy houses as is with a fast turnaround.  

The following stories come from three Sundae customers in very different circumstances. Each customer took a different approach to address the timeline, effort, and certainty of selling their house. Here are the options they considered and why they chose Sundae.

Customer #1: Henry B. of Riverside, CA

Summary: Henry owned a well-maintained house with one large repair project, and needed to sell ASAP.

Henry found himself in a tough financial spot. He sustained an injury that left him unemployed for just over six months, and was in need of expensive surgery. Selling his house quickly was necessary to cover medical costs and living expenses until he could get back on his feet.

The House

Henry’s single-story home was well-maintained and in good working order. However, there was an issue with the floors that would make it difficult for a buyer to get financing if he were to sell on the market. This made especially hard to know how long it would take to sell.

The Options

After careful thought, Henry boiled his decision down to a choice between two distinct options.

  • Option 1: Fix the floors and sell with an agent.
  • Option 2: Do no work, sell as is, and close in 10 days.


Fixing the floors involved replacing every square inch of flooring in the entire home. The estimated price tag from a contractor Henry spoke with was more than $10,000. The Sundae construction team verified that the price was in line with average flooring prices in the area. After the floors, Henry would need to list the house on the market with an agent and wait for a buyer.

The Decision 

Henry decided that the legwork and stress of getting a loan, finding a contractor to make the repairs, preparing and maintaining the house for the market, and waiting for a buyer were not worth it. The few thousand extra dollars he might have gotten would not justify waiting for several months. Especially since other medical expenses would continue piling up, adding to his financial stress.

Instead, he opted to move quickly and take Sundae’s offer, which also included a $10,000 cash advance to help ease the burden of medical and moving expenses. Henry was able to undergo surgery sooner than expected as a result. With the surgery behind him, Henry got back to earning income again.

Customer #2: The Ledesma Family of San Diego, CA 

Summary: The Ledesmas inherited an old house needing updates in almost every room, and were looking to sell in two to three months.

Four siblings inherited this house after their mother’s passing. Though it had been their family home for decades, none of the siblings wanted to buy out the others to live there. Between work and family, renting the house and adding the role of landlord to anyone’s plate wasn’t feasible. After many weeks of trying to come to an agreement, the siblings decided to sell.

The House

The house was well maintained, but no updates were made after it was purchased 40 years ago. It was in need of new appliances and fixtures, including the oven, water heater, and bathtub. And the style would likely not appeal to modern buyers. 

The Options

The siblings considered these options for selling:

  • Option 1: Renovate the house, and list with an agent as ‘like new.
  • Option 2: Make a few touch-ups, list with an agent as a ‘fixer-upper.
  • Option 3: Do nothing and sell as is to Sundae. 


Option 1: Built in the early 1970s, the house’s kitchen and bathrooms required extensive repairs to keep everything in working order for the next owner. Additionally, the house needed new floors and baseboards, repairs to the windows, electrical work, and upgrades to the yard. The Ledesmas needed to borrow $70,000 to remodel in a three-to-four month timeframe. After the project concluded, they could sign with a real estate agent and begin to look for a buyer.

Option 2: The family also considered doing only a few small projects to make the house more appealing as is. This work included re-caulking the bathtub and shower, replacing part of the floor, and repainting the interior and exterior. However, their desired mid $400,000s price point had a lot of competition. Many houses in the area were recently renovated, making the likelihood of finding a buyer in a reasonable timeframe unfavorable.

Option 3: Sundae offered an all-cash offer and the flexibility to close in 10 days without doing any repairs, cleaning, or showings. Sundae’s Market Expert came to the house for a brief appointment and presented the offer on the spot.


Selling Options Sundae Customer

The Decision

The Ledesma Family spent weeks just getting to a decision to not keep the house. It was a difficult process, and they knew that listing the house on the market would involve more tough decisions. The siblings would need to decide what to renovate, how much to spend, which fixtures to buy, which agent to hire, what price to list at, what price they’d accept, and many other tough choices. Instead they decided selling off market was the best way for to move on with their relationships intact.

Customer #3: Franco S. of Escondido, CA

Summary: Franco and his wife had a well-maintained house in need of new kitchen, but had less than four weeks to sell.

Franco and his wife owned their home for 10 years while raising a young family. A service manager for an auto dealership, Franco was offered an incredible job opportunity out of state. Though the couple loved their home, they were excited to start a new chapter. They determined that selling the house quickly was necessary to provide a smooth transition for their children. The goal was to situate in their new home before the start of a new school year.

The House

Over the years they lived there, Franco and his wife invested in a few minor updates. But they never got around to renovating the kitchen as originally planned. When it came time to sell, they learned through the inspection process that they needed to make repairs.

The Options

  • Option 1: Renovate the kitchen, make repairs, and list with an agent as ‘like new.’
  • Option 2: Make minimal repairs and list with an agent as a ‘fixer-upper.’
  • Option 3: Do nothing, sell as-is to Sundae, and close in 10 days.


Franco and his wife knew they could  justify a much higher asking price by renovating the kitchen, installing new floors, and refinishing the backyard. However, these projects would take weeks or months to complete. They’d need to factor in managing the projects remotely because of their tight moving timetable.

As an alternative, Franco and his wife also considered painting the interior and completing a few small-scale projects. The idea was to list on the market, but there was no way of knowing if they could attract a buyer.

The Decision 

Franco and his wife ruled out major renovations. They decided it was unrealistic to manage such a big project from 1,000 miles away. They discussed their choices with input from a family member who worked in real estate. Looking at comparable houses for sale in their area, they realized they were up against stiff competition.

The uncertainty of their timeline made selling on the market another source of stress during a time of major transition. Franco ran the numbers on a realistic timeline and sales price, and the difference in net proceeds wasn’t large enough to justify a lengthy sales process. Ultimately they opted for the all cash offer with Sundae. This meant trading the possibility of an extra $20,000 for speed, convenience, and certainty. The result was that they got a smooth transition on their own timeline, and peace of mind.


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