The idea of selling your home as-is could seem like an attractive proposition. If you know there are problems with your home, it can appear to be a way to make your life easier and less stressful. The reality of selling your home through this method may not produce the results you expect, however.
Before deciding to sell your home as-is, you need to be aware of the pros and cons involved. Let’s take a look at the issues that you should consider before committing to selling your home as-is.
What it Means to Sell Your Home As-Is
When you decide to sell your home as-is it means you will not make any repairs. Buyers will be required to submit an “as-is” offer, which states they are purchasing your home in its current condition. So issues that are clearly visible or discovered during the buyer’s home inspection will not be repaired by the seller.
Misconceptions About As-Is Home Sales
If you decide to sell your home as-is, it doesn’t absolve you from disclosing the overall condition of your home. You’ll still be responsible for completing a seller’s property disclose. In this disclosure, you will disclose everything you know about your property. The amount that is required to be disclosed depends on the law regarding your responsibilities in the state you are located in.
This could mean that hiding problems or intentionally keeping important information from the buyer, could put you in line for legal problems down the road. In other parts of the country, you may only need to legally disclose the presence of lead paint in the home.
Realtors are held to higher standards of disclosure, no matter what the rules are in the state. They need to follow the Consumer Protection Act rules regarding the disclosure of information. This means that they have to tell a buyer anything which could affect their decision to purchase the property. They can’t misrepresent things and have to answer questions truthfully.
So if your property has termite damage, a leaking roof, cracks in the foundations or any other major problems, the real estate agent will have to tell the potential buyer. If there is something wrong with the home that isn’t obvious, and the seller doesn’t tell the agent, they then can’t disclose this to a buyer, of course.PROs & CONs of Selling a Home As-Is
The Pros of an As-Is Sale
Selling as-is may be common in many real estate markets throughout the country, even if the house is in perfect condition. It’s just how homes are sold, so it’s what both buyers and sellers expect. When selling as-is there could be many benefits depending on the market.
If you are unable to cover the costs to repair or fix up your home selling as-is may be your only choice. However, your real estate agent may be able to offer other solutions that you haven’t considered. Anything you can do to avoid this type of sale could prove a better option in the long run depending on your real estate market.
Serious money problems are another situation where selling as-is sale could be a good choice. If you need to sell fast not having to do repairs before or during the selling process can save time.
Homes in need of repair and a quick sale are attractive to a lot of real estate investors, who flip properties. Most investors pay cash, which means they can close within days or weeks. While you are unlikely to get anywhere near the full value of your home, you won’t have the problem of waiting for the right buyer to come along.
There can be some circumstances where you want to sell but are unable to deal with the stress involved in the process. Perhaps you or a loved one is unwell and not in a position to cope with selling.
If you find yourself in such a situation, there are other options to help you before taking the as-is path. Perhaps, a trusted friend or member of the family could step in and deal with the day to day selling process. If this isn’t an option, a Realtor might be able to deal with the stressful aspects of the sale where possible.
While selling your home as-is could solve many of the concerns there are plenty of other things that could still worry you. So don’t assume selling as-is will remove all of the stress. It can certainly reduce it, but not necessarily remove it.
If you have never lived in the home, an as-is sale can seem like a good idea. Perhaps the house is part of an estate sale and you are unaware of the full condition of the property. Selling without having to do repairs or worry about home inspections could look attractive.
However, don’t think you’ll have to skip completing disclosures. Even if you never resided in the property you will still have to disclose anything you know about the property. If you’re aware of a roof leak, you’ll have to disclose it. If the house had mold at one point you’ll need to disclose that too. So don’t think selling as-is will absolve you from disclosing what you know about the home.
The negotiation process of a home sale can get frustrating. To speed up the process and stop further concessions, you can offer an as-is sale. This way you don’t have to worry about receiving a repair list after the home inspection, which you would be required to address.
The home inspection is always going to find issues, even in newly constructed homes. So that huge profit you thought you were going to walk away with could quickly disappear and go towards making repairs if you don’t sell as-is.
The Cons of Selling As-Is
As you might imagine, a home being sold as-is will have some drawbacks for the seller. These issues can lead to the home being more difficult to sell and the price being lower than anticipated.
Buyer Can Walkaway
Just because a buyer submits an as-is offer doesn’t mean they are locked into buying your home. In most states, an as-is contract gives the buyer a certain amount of time to cancel the contract. So within this period they may have a home inspection, realize the home needs too much work and cancel the contract. In some cases, the buyer will be out the cost of the home inspection but will get their entire escrow deposit back. That means your home could be off the market for weeks only to have it come back onto the market.
When a home is being sold as-is it can mean there are issues with the home. Now, this isn’t always the case, sometimes a seller chooses to sell as-is because it’s more convenient. However, a buyer won’t know that, they’ll just assume something is wrong with the home, why else sell as-is?
So before you decide to sell as-is just know your home could be less appealing to potential buyers. It could also narrow down your buyer pool, which will narrow down your chances of receiving an offer.
Selling a home as-is could produce lowball offers. Buyers will assume you are desperate to sell at any cost and make offers accordingly. Therefore, you could receive well below market value for your home, even in its current condition.
And the longer a home sits on the market the lower the offers become. So if buyers are already submitting lowball offers imagine sitting on the market for several months. The offers certainly aren’t going to increase.
Finding the Right Price
Selecting the right price to sell a home can be difficult, but with an as-is sale it can become even harder. If you list too high you won’t attract any buyers and if you list too low it could produce the same result.
How does listing your home too low keep buyers away? Well, you need to look at it from a buyer perspective. If the true market value of your home is $350,000 and you list it for $300,000 they may assume something is very wrong. Instead of thinking they can get a great deal they’ll just skip your property altogether. However, it won’t scare away all buyers, this is when the real estate vultures come out and will try getting the property for even less.
Alternatives to As-Is
If you have time and a little bit of money, you might have some options, reducing the need to resort to an as-is sale.
Sometimes all a house needs is a fresh coat of paint or a few minor repairs. Repairs you think are outrageously expensive but are actually pretty cheap. On the flip side, if repairs are extensive you still may not need to resort to an as-is sale. There are contractors out there who will allow you to pay them at closing. So why sell your home as-is for $350,000, when you can spend $15,000 and sell it for $400,000?
This is where hiring a top Realtor comes into play. They will be able to evaluate your home along with your situation and come up with a game plan. While you may still have to sell as-is exploring all of your options never hurts.
The pros of using the as-is sales route aren’t always clear cut, with other options often looking preferable much of the time. The cons involved, however, are significant and will likely lead to you receiving far less for your home.
While you should be able to sell your property without the hassle of having to organize repairs and pay for them, it may not be the stress-free experience you were expecting.
You could end up with your house stuck on the market for far longer than you expected. Then when a buyer is finally showing some interest, you could discover that they aren’t willing to pay anywhere near the amount you were hoping to realize from the sale.
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Additional Home Selling Resources
- There are so many decisions that need to be made when deciding to list your home for sale. From deciding if you should sell your home vacant or have it staged to selecting the right list price. One wrong decision could cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.
- A majority of homeowners have a pet and pets can negatively impact the sale of a home. So it’s important to read up on selling a home with pets and take advice from your Realtor on how to handle showings.
- Listing your home for sale means you’ll be opening up your door to strangers. Once you let a stranger in you’re putting yourself, your family and home at risk. So it’s important to take safety precautions when selling your home.
About the Author
Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “PROs & CONs of Selling a Home As-Is”
Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.
Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more.