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How To Sell A House As-Is To Avoid Making Costly Repairs

Sidney Richardson7-Minute Read
February 26, 2021

Sometimes when selling a home, it may need repairs that you don’t have the time or money to invest in. Is it possible to just sell a house as-is? The short answer is yes – but there a few pros and cons to selling a home this way.

If you’re thinking about listing a home for sale without making repairs, read on for our guide to selling a house as-is and whether it’s the right option for you.

What Does It Mean To Sell A House As-Is?

When you sell a house as-is, you are alerting potential buyers that you will not be making any repairs on the property. If buyers are willing to proceed with the purchase, they will not be able to seek any compensation or help from the seller if they discover flaws in the house, major or minor.

A home being labelled “as-is” usually means it has flaws of some sort or is outdated and in need of some work. Essentially, it’s a fixer-upper. Most homes that are sold as-is are listed this way because the seller either can’t afford or isn’t able to fix up the property before selling. It’s very unlikely that potential buyers will find an updated or move-in ready home listed “as-is.”

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If A House Is Sold As-Is, Are Owners Free To Disregard Disclosure Laws?

When selling a house as-is, homeowners have to follow state and federal disclosure laws, which usually require that they inform potential buyers of anything wrong with the home. Disclosure laws do vary by state, and in some places, homeowners may not have to inform buyers about past issues such as flood damage.

If a seller fails to disclose a known issue with the home, they can potentially be sued for damages. Be sure to research disclosure laws in your state before listing or looking to purchase a home as-is.

Why Might Owners Sell A House As-Is?

There are many reasons that homeowners might choose to sell their home as-is. Most commonly, the sellers are in a tight financial situation and can’t afford to make expensive repairs before moving. Homeowners may also sell as-is if they need to move quickly or want a cash offer on the home. Sellers sometimes list properties for sale that they may have inherited but don’t want to deal with as well, especially since sales with multiple family members involved can become complicated.

Who Buys A Home That Is Selling As-Is?

Typically, you won’t find buyers looking for a regular, move-in-ready home purchasing a house being sold as-is. Though homes sold without repairs are often less expensive, the updates they lack, along with potential issues, can sometimes end up costing more than what the house is worth.

Sometimes, though, a house can be worth a lot more than its “as-is” price, which attracts house flippers looking to turn profits. Home buyers on a tight budget and some investors willing to pay cash may also be drawn to a home sold as-is if it shows potential and doesn’t seem to have any serious flaws.

Are There Advantages To Selling A House As-Is?

While selling a house as-is means you won’t get as much money for it as you potentially could, it does have advantages.

Since you won’t be making any renovations to the house before selling, you don’t have to spend money on repairs upfront that you might not get back when the house sells. The process of selling your home is typically faster and easier when selling as-is, too, since investors and flippers interested in the house may complete the transaction in cash, which removes the usual wait time on the mortgage approval process.

Are There Disadvantages To Selling A House As-Is?

While selling as-is can be a fast and convenient process if you need to move quickly or save money that you would have spent on repairs, there are downsides to this method.

Listing your home as-is can cause many buyers to assume there is something seriously wrong with it, even if it’s just outdated or needs a simple fix. By selling your home this way, you could drive away most potential buyers, besides bargain-hunters and flippers – which means the purchase price of your home will likely be very low.

How Should I Go About Selling My Home As-Is?

If you only want to sell your home as-is because you’re not interested in paying for repairs or renovations, make sure you consider all your options. Since selling as-is can be a detriment to your home’s sale price, it’s important to know when and when not to use the as-is label.

If your home is merely a bit outdated or needs a few cosmetic fixes, like some new light fixtures or a fresh coat of paint, you may want to consider taking on whatever fixes you can afford and then selling normally. If your home has bigger flaws, such as structural issues, the as-is label may be more appropriate.

If you’ve decided selling your home without repairs is the best option, what then? Here are a few of our tips on how to find success when letting your home go as it is.

Talk To An Experienced Real Estate Agent

Before listing your home, as-is or not, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced real estate agent. Agents can give you valuable insight on the best way to sell your house and whether listing as-is will be your best option.

Real estate agents are likely used to working with clients who dislike the appearance of a home that has nothing else fundamentally wrong with it. If this is your situation, your agent may be able to help you sell your house without the as-is label and walk away with more money than you would have otherwise, even if you have to negotiate a discount with buyers for repairs.

On the other hand, if your home is in fact a good candidate to sell as-is, an agent can help you make sure your listing is as appealing as possible. An agent with experience selling fixer-uppers can help you decide on an appropriate listing price and can also emphasize the good features of your home to attract buyers, such as the location or square footage.

Get A Home Inspection

Since you’re required to disclose all known problems with your home when selling as-is, it may help give potential buyers peace of mind if you do a full home inspection prior to listing. While it may unearth problems in your home you weren’t aware of, it can be advantageous to share the inspection results with interested parties. Not only will it dispel fears of hidden defects in the home, it also gives potential buyers an idea of how much they’ll have to spend on repairs, so they can be sure there won’t be any surprises.

Make Full And Accurate Disclosures

Remember, when selling as-is you must follow both federal and state disclosure laws and inform potential buyers of any flaws in your home that you’re aware of. By disclosing home inspection information as we mentioned above, you can build trust with potential buyers and protect yourself from legal action by assuring potential buyers are unlikely to have any major undisclosed issues with the home.

If you’re working with a real estate agent, remember that agents have an ethical obligation to inform potential buyers of what they know about the property, too, so hiding information from buyers is never in your best interest – they will find out, one way or another, if there are major issues with the home.

Get Cost Estimates For Needed Repairs

Assuming your home needs updates or renovations, you should get cost estimates for the necessary repairs. It may turn out that repairs cost less than you thought they would or that it may be more cost-effective to do renovations after all to sell your home for a higher price.

Even if you still won’t be doing repairs, though, it can be helpful to disclose repair cost estimates to potential buyers. The documentation can help support your asking price and may attract flippers by leaving out the guesswork of how much they’ll have to spend to flip the house.

Declutter And Clean

The power of a thorough cleaning is not to be underestimated when selling your house. Decluttering as much as possible helps buyers see the potential of the space and visualize what they would do with each room. Clearing out personal items and tidying up makes your home look less lived-in and more enticing to someone else looking to use the space themselves.

Deep cleaning any carpets, surfaces and bathrooms can make a huge difference to a buyer, especially if the home is a fixer-upper. You want to showcase your home’s best features when selling, which is difficult to do if the space is cluttered or dirty.

Consider Virtually Staging Your Home

Virtual staging can be a very helpful resource when selling a home as-is, especially if the house looks outdated. This method of “staging” your home uses photo editing software to give your home’s rooms digital makeovers. Virtual staging can be used to add furniture, change wall colors and even renovate outdated spaces. These photos are meant to show the potential of your home post-renovation, which can be useful for flippers interested in it.

The price of virtual staging is usually around $75 – $100 per edited photo. While it is an additional cost that you may not be interested in paying for, it can help potential buyers visualize themselves in your space and draw them to your home. It’s also a lot cheaper than traditional, in-person staging, which can cost thousands of dollars.

Set A Realistic Price Without Selling Yourself Short

When selling your home without repairs, it’s important to work with a real estate agent to decide on a realistic price for the property. Even if the space is in a state of disrepair, it’s likely not worthless – and an experienced agent can help you come up with an accurate asking price.

Besides offering advice on pricing, your real estate agent may also run a comparative market analysis (CMA) to find a price that’s fair. By looking at properties comparable to yours and their sale prices, your agent can help you make sure you’re making as much money back as possible based on the state of your home.

Selling A House As-Is May Be Right For You

Selling a house as-is can be a risky venture, since many potential buyers assume homes with this label are deeply flawed in some way. By taking the right precautions and disclosing all issues with the property, however, you can still get a decent price for your home and take advantage of a faster, easier sale process.

If you’re ready to get the process started, talk to one of our Verified Partner Agents who can help make selling your home as-is a little bit easier.

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    Sidney Richardson

    Sidney Richardson is an intern writer covering homeownership, mortgage and lifestyle topics. She is a senior at Oakland University pursuing a degree in journalism and advertising.