Selling a home as-is can mean different things to different people. Some might assume that an as-is sale means a stress-free transfer of property. You move your items out, you leave the key in the door, and that’s it. Done and dusted.
While to others, an as-is sale might conjure up images of a creaky shack on a hill that a desperate buyer dumps onto someone else.
The truth might lie somewhere in the middle. But there are undoubtedly many things to understand and learn about as-is sales before deciding if it’s the path you want to take to sell your home.
Here is everything you need to know about selling a house as-is so that you can make the best choice for the sale of your home.
What Does Selling a House “As Is” Mean?
Typically, when you sell a property as-is, it means that the potential buyer gets the property just as it is. Requests for repairs will be denied. You will be receiving the house with all its faults and issues intact.
In fact, as-is actually has a legal definition in most states. Because of this, the person who buys the home typically has to sign a purchase and sale agreement with language explicitly stating the current condition of the property.
This contract means that when you sell a house as-is, you are NOT just handing over the keys and walking away. Nobody is expecting the buyer to just “discover” any problems that could arise later on down the line.
You are legally required to make disclosures.
What Kinds of Things Do You Need to Disclose?
Real estate agents are legally required to disclose problems with a property that could discourage buyers from purchasing a potential house. These significant problems are not allowed to be surprises. If they are, you could face significant legal consequences.
Things that your Realtor is obligated to disclose about your as-is sale could include the following elements, but it is definitely not limited to this list:
- Evidence of a structural defect, like a significant crack in the foundation.
- The appearance of mold in the home, especially if it is toxic mold.
- Termite damage.
- A constant leaky roof.
- A major known plumbing or electrical issue.
- A major crime in the home.
- A previous legal issue, like a dispute on the Title or a short sale.
Remember, to avoid potential legal trouble, always disclose any significant structural or legal drawbacks to a home. Typically, real estate agents will have you fill out a document known as a Sellers Statement of Property Condition. You just have to fill it out to the best of your knowledge to avoid trouble.
Why Would You Sell a House As-Is?
There are many reasons why you might choose to sell your house as-is, the most common being financial or emotional distress.
This might mean that you can’t afford to make repairs to your home to sell it. It might also suggest that you need to move quickly and don’t have time to deal with repairs, perhaps for a family emergency.
Whatever your reason, selling your home as-is a tricky, but usually viable option.
Are there Problems with Selling a Home As-Is?
Unfortunately, selling a home as-is can be tricky. When most potential buyers see “as is” on a listing they typically immediately think three things:
- There is something majorly wrong with this house.
- This seller is desperate.
- I can offer significantly below asking price.
Because of this, if you intend to sell your home as-is, you will need to work significantly harder to prove that your home is worth the price you want for it.
How Can You Avoid This Situation?
The best way to avoid these negative assumptions is to avoid using the language “as-is” in your initial listing. You can attract a broader range of potential buyers by listing your house normally and letting the offers come in per usual.
The key to avoid being dishonest is informing a potential buyer that you intend to sell the home “as is” BEFORE the home inspection takes place. Most think (usually the person buying the home!) that the home inspection process opens up the second round of negotiations, depending on what you discover.
As a seller who intends to go the as-is route, you can nip these requests in the bud by making sure that any potential buyers know that your price is final and that you are not making any of the requested repairs.
Small Improvements You Can Make to Improve an As-Is Sale
Just because you are interested in selling a house as is, it doesn’t mean that you have to sell it completely as is.
There are always small improvements that you can make, often for less than $100. Just to make your home seem a little bit more appealing to potential buyers. This will increase your chances at a quick and successful sale.
For example, is the lawn overgrown and dead? Invest one afternoon into mowing the grass, watering the lawn, and perhaps even putting one or two bags of fertilizer down. The front lawn is a big part of the first impression to buyers.
Is the paint peeling off the walls? If you can, invest in a few cans of paint and patch up the worst bits with a neutral color. This immediately cleans up your home and makes it more inviting to potential buyers.
Investing $100 and one afternoon into your as-is sale can make all the difference.
Interested in selling your house as-is? Want all the help you can get? List with Clever! For one flat fee, our team of qualified real estate agents can help you sell your home. Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.