Debating whether to fix up your home or sell it "as is"? Choosing whether making repairs is worth the money can be difficult. In this article, we’ll go over the most important points so you can make an educated decision.
Updated July 1st, 2019
As you drive through your neighborhood and see sold sign after sold sign, you may be tempted to put your home on the market and make the move you’ve been dreaming of for so long. However, when you remember all the repairs and home improvements your house needs before you can list it, a thought occurs to you: what if you forego the fixing and list your home "as is?"
Before you get carried away with excitement and wanderlust, there are a few things to remember. Although selling your home without repairs is convenient, it will end up eating into your profits. Sometimes, all you need to whip your home into tip-top shape are some low-cost fixes that will result in a large ROI.
When considering any significant actions regarding your home sale, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced real estate who can give you personalized advice. A realtor will answer questions regarding whether an “as is” sale is right for you. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a top-notch local real estate agent, fill out this simple form and we’ll reach out to you shortly.
What Does It Mean to Sell Your House "As Is"?
Selling a home "as is" means that you will not make any repairs to the home and that the prospective buyer will purchase the home in its current condition. Even if a home inspector states that the foundation is shaky, and the roof is bound to collapse, the seller will not make any repairs or give any credits to make up for it.
Should You Fix Up Your House or Sell "As Is"?
When you’ve lived in a house long enough, it’s easy to let certain chores or maintenance fall by the wayside. Neglecting to touch up the paint or patch up a hole happens, but what do you do about all those repairs you put off when it comes time to sell? Should you fix up the imperfections or sell it "as is?"
In most cases, fixing up a home before you list it is the preferable option. A modern and well-maintained home is more appealing to most potential buyers, meaning you’ll likely turn a higher profit and sell it quicker.
That said, in situations where you need to move quickly for personal or financial reasons, selling your home sans repairs is a viable option. For example, if your home is being foreclosed upon, selling it "as is" can help you avoid foreclosure. Here, giving up some profit to escape the consequences of foreclosure is the better option.
If you’re not faced with extenuating circumstances, however, deciding whether your home needs repairs before being listed can be more nuanced. If you’re unsure if your home is commercially viable in its current state, going to a few nearby open houses is an excellent way to compare your home to the local market. When every house in the area has a bathroom and kitchen remodel, you’ll have a harder time selling without putting comparable amounts of work into it.
Who Buys Homes Sold "As Is?"
Poorly maintained homes don’t usually appeal to the mass market. Let's face it: very few first-time home buyers want to purchase a fixer-upper. That said, many investors will take your house off your hands.
House flippers search for properties in need of repair that they can buy below fair market value and then fix them up to make a return. If the repairs on your home are straightforward but too much for you to take on yourself, investors in your area may jump at the opportunity to buy it.
Since homes sold "as is" are easier to renovate, you may find a buyer who wants a fixer-upper they can customize and make their own. Just like investors, there are some mass-market buyers willing to purchase a home with good bones but a shabby exterior if they can get it at a bargain price. After knocking out a wall here or there, updating the kitchen, maybe adding a bathroom, and updating some light fixtures, they’ll have their dream home — all for a price far lower than they’d pay had they built it from the ground up.
How Do You Sell a Home "As Is"?
If you’ve decided to sell your home without fixing it up, be sure to make it clear in the description of the home will be sold "as is" and that repairs are not negotiable. In the same vein, make sure you price the house accordingly. If there are major foundational issues that will cost upwards of $80,000 to fix, knock the price down to reflect that.
Be sure to disclose any significant issues with the property such as mold, asbestos, or water damage. While you’re not required to disclose every scratch on the wall, you are legally required to identify any significant problems with the house. Work with your real estate agent to make sure that your listing is transparent while remaining commercially viable.
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What Repairs Should You Make Before Selling?
Some repairs are more worthwhile than others. To figure out which should be the priorities, make a list of all the fixes your home needs and identify the ones that will add the most value. Talking with your real estate agent will be essential to help you prioritize.
If your home needs a new roof, for example, it may cost you around $10,000 to fix it, but a buyer might falsely think the same repair would cost them double that and pass on your home if they think they must take care of it themselves. Major structural problems like this should be at the top of your repair list.
Other repairs that will add value to your home include:
- Repairing any holes in the walls and ceilings
- Replacing broken appliances
- Repairing the HVAC system
- Fixing leaky plumbing
- Replacing damaged carpet
- Getting electrical systems up to code
- Replacing broken window glass
- Laying down a fresh coat of paint
Choosing whether to sell your home "as is" or perform repairs isn’t a decision that you should make without the professional opinion of a real estate agent. They will be able to quickly and easily identify areas that will add immense value to your home without making you shell out your life’s savings for repairs.
Whether you make pre-sale repairs or sell your house "as is,” your realtor can help you navigate the complex home selling process and make it a much more enjoyable experience.
When choosing a real estate agent, Clever is the clear choice. Clever Partner Agents are top-notch local agents from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX. Our Partner Agents offer not only super quality service — they’ll list your home for just $3,000 if it closes for under $350,000, saving you thousands of dollars in commission fees.
If you’d like to learn more about how Clever can sell your home quickly for top-dollar, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Partner Agents. Just fill out our simple form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.
Top FAQs for People Considering Selling Their Home "As Is"
1. What should I update before selling my house?
Bathroom and kitchen renovations are popular among home buyers and home sellers. Redoing the paint on your home prior to listing is also a good idea. Ensure that any investment you make before listing your home will give you a positive return on investment (ROI), so you aren’t spending money you won’t get back.
2. How can I get the most money for my house?
You can profit the most from your home sale by working with a real estate agent. They will help you competitively price your home, time the market, make an appealing listing, attractively stage your home, and negotiate a great deal. It’s also important to list at the right time of year for your market to get the best price.
3. Should you fix up your house before selling?
In most cases, yes, but the answer will depend on your unique situation. If you need to leave your home quickly for financial or personal reasons, it may be best to sell your home "as is." Discuss what’s best for your home with an experienced real estate agent.
4. How can I fix my home with no money?
If you need to make repairs but don’t have sufficient funds, you can secure a home equity loan or HELOC (home equity line of credit). An HEL or HELOC allows you to leverage the equity in your home for repairs, improvements, or other expenses.
5. What does sell "as is" mean?
As is means that the seller is selling their home in its current condition and will not make any additional repairs or offer seller credits. While a buyer can still get an inspection, the results are for their own knowledge, not to negotiate with the seller.