How To Sell A House As Is
Selling a house is one of the most important life decisions you make – and it may be quite daunting – but it doesn’t need to be. Even before you’ve put your place on the market, there are at least a dozen important issues you need to tackle (repairs, getting a house inspection done, getting your house valued) so that your house is ‘market-ready’.
But what if you want to skip the line (a bit) and ‘sell your house as is’?
What Does It Mean To ‘Sell Your House As Is’?
In simple terms, ‘selling a house as is’ means to place it on the market in the condition you’re currently living in it. Without repairs and without major renovations.
Now ‘selling a house as is’ is a bit different to selling a house after due repairs and renovations. The most basic differences are the price and time taken to get the house off your hands.
Why Would You Be Looking To Sell A House As Is In The First Place?
There could be many reasons why you may want to sell a home ‘as is’.
1) You might not have the cash necessary for renovations (or the time), and would like to get a quick sale.
2) You might be moving overseas or across the country, which means that you need to sell as quickly as possible.
3) Or maybe you’re in a financially sticky position and you’re looking to move to a rented place and sell your main house.
Whatever the reason, you need to be honest with yourself: ‘selling a house as is’ might mean that you cannot ask for the price you’d like to, but it also means that you will sell your house quicker than if you spent time and money on renovations or repairs.
A Step By Step Guide On How To Sell Your Home As Is
1) Set Your Timeframe
This will depend upon your ‘need’ for selling your house. Are you an old couple who’s just looking to relocate to a smaller home? Then you would probably have a little more time on your hands – to be able to consider many offers rather than be forced to sell quickly.
Are you cash-strapped and want to move out ASAP? This will probably make you more agreeable to offers below your ‘reduced asking price’.
2) Talk To A Real Estate Agent
Letting professionals handle the valuation side of things will make sure buyers don’t get into the ‘nitty-gritty’ of price with you and you have more peace of mind while selling your place.
Agents also (already) have a pool of genuine buyers – through a multi-listing service – who are looking to purchase a home in your area, and the agent will usually (offer to) show your place to only the most relevant buyers.
You may also be able to list your property in one such service which is usually only reserved for real estate agents.
3) Get A Home Inspection Done
If you’re showing people your home yourself, chances are that you’ll get tired pretty quickly of explaining defects and repairs over and over again to multiple buyers.
Then there’s the chance that many genuine buyers may not fully believe your information on the number, extent, and nature of defects in your house.
Also, if you forget to mention a crucial defect to a buyer, and they end up buying the home, they can actually sue you for concealing (legally) relevant information.
The proper way to do this is to get a professional home inspection done; it costs a reasonable sum of $200-$400, and saves you time and effort in selling your home. It also helps:
1) Buyers see that you’ve nothing to hide, and you’ve actually provided them accurate and truthful information (i.e the disclosure report).
2) You still may have to explain basic information about the need for home repairs or defects in your house, but the disclosure report would be all the buyers really need.
3) A disclosure report makes you stand in good stead from the get-go, buyers are always more willing to consider options where they have less risk.
4) Determine Expected Repair Costs
The easier you make it for buyers to ‘buy’ your home, the better your chances are of selling it near your desired price and in your desired timeframe.
If you make an estimate of all the repairs needed in your place, it will help buyers see what needs to be done and what further expenses they’ll incur after they buy the property, and also what time it’ll take them to actually move into their new home (i.e what time it’ll take to do the repairs).
If you make small repairs here and there, it actually helps you sell the house at a better price – but that is totally up to you, since selling a home ‘as is’ implies that no repairs have been made.
HomeAdvisor estimates (expected) home repair costs:
|Project/Nature of Repairs||Expected Cost|
|Bedroom||$1000 – $3000|
|Bathroom||$1000 – $2500|
|Living Room||$2000 – $5000|
|Kitchen||$4000 – $45000|
|HVAC||$700 – $6000|
|House exterior||$5000 – $15000|
|Roof||$4000 – $12000|
|Basement||$10,000 – $25000|
5) Put A Price On Your Place
After you’ve gone through all of the steps above, it’s time to put a price tag on your house. You needn’t worry about setting a price that is too high or too low.
You have solid, verifiable information to set a fair price and your local real estate agent may help you in deciding a price that is near or even above estimates that you made in the beginning.
After consulting your agent, it may be best to set a price at 10%-20% above your area’s house values (for similar ‘as is’ houses). This gives you room for negotiation and in the event you are able to sell at a higher price, it saves you more money (after agent commissions from the sale).
Pros And Cons Of Selling Your House As Is
So you’ve decided to sell your home as is; here are some reasons why you should do so and some drawbacks of going ahead with such a decision.
Pros of Selling As Is
- You save on time and repair costs. If small, inexpensive repairs are needed, you may improve your chances at selling for a higher price.
- If you’ve involved a real estate agent and aren’t carrying out any repairs, you may get the house off your hands in as little as a week.
- Once you have the money in your hands, you are free to relocate or invest anywhere you want – quickly.
- If you’re selling a ‘second home’, one which you’ve never actually lived in, then selling as is might be the best option, since minimal repairs (if any) would be needed.
Cons of Selling As Is
- Your house may be valued lower than if you make all of the recommended repairs.
- Most states have conditions for an ‘as is’ sale. Even if the buyer signs the contract and moves in, he has the option to cancel within stipulated time and get his payment back from escrow (if he carries out professional home inspection and finds out that repair work is too much for his or her liking). This will lead to your house being available on the market again weeks after it went off the market.
- Most buyers may have a ‘not-so-favorable’ opinion of an ‘as-is’ house, simply because it may come off to them as a ‘low-maintained’ house the seller just wants to get rid off. Ofcourse, the seller might have completely ethical and legal urgencies to sell the house, but the buyer doesn’t know that.
- If you choose not to get a home inspection done, then you may have to deal with a ton of buyer questions and explaining defects in the house over and over again. If you’re short on time, this gets tiring pretty quickly.
- If you’re not hiring an agent, then you’ll get all sorts of buyers – many of them irrelevant or merely ‘window shopping’.
Please do note that, under all conditions, you are required to make a full disclosure (about house defects), whether selling through an agent or without.