Selling your home “as is” means that you’re selling your house in its current state just as it is. This is with an understanding that no repairs will be made to it before closing, and the home will come with all its current faults and issues. Selling your house this way with “as is” attached to the listing rarely means to the buyer that the house is perfect. It typically means some or many things are in need of repair.
On the outside, it seems like an easy thing for the seller to do. To get rid of something that’s too much trouble to sell a house as is. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not.
What are some reasons to sell a house as is?
You’re in a bad situation with a relationship, and while you both may own the house together, you may both need to leave the house as soon as possible. Sometimes there are unavoidable difficulties that can only be solved by separation and cutting the ties as quickly as possible.
Super quick job change
You’ve suddenly switched jobs to another place far from your current home. You may not have the time or the will to make the repairs and upgrades you might have wanted to do, if things were different.
You may be in a financial situation where you are unable to make repairs or upgrades to the house. Financial distress is certainly a popular reason for selling your house “as is.”
There can be many other reasons that homeowners are unable to deal with a drawn out transaction. You can be ill or somebody else can be ill elsewhere. In this case, “as is” might be right for you. Generally, however, we don’t recommend selling your house “as is,” unless you must.
Can you sell a house as is without an inspection?
You certainly can try, but you’re hurting yourself by waiting until the prospective buyer gets an inspection. Buyers can decide to back out, based on what they discover. This will hurt you the seller, because you’ll waste your time trying to sell your house. You’ll also waste the time of the prospective buyer. This can backfire on you in the marketplace with other agents/buyers talking about your property with each other.
It is better to be up-front about your house. Get a full pre-inspection done and disclose everything. This way, a prospective buyer will have full knowledge of what they’re getting into. If you get a pre-inspection, your agent can position your house as an investment, fixer-upper, or flip without surprises. You may get less money for your house, but you will save time. Not to mention you won’t be harming your own chances to sell your house in general.
Pros vs cons to selling your house as is:
- Less physical time will be spent – You can get out of your house quickly and easily with little muss or fuss and move on with your life, whether it’s a need to navigate a quick job switch situation or something else in your life that requires speed of action.
- Spend less emotional time – The transaction can be easier, should you need to move on from a stressful social or financial situation with less contact for all parties involved.
- Spending less money – You’re getting out of a position where you may have been required to spend significant sums of money to get your house repaired and up to snuff for people who want something more move-in ready.
- Well priced investment – Investors often look for as is houses, since they may know how to make repairs more cheaply. That said, they’re going to be looking for properties that are less expensive too.
- Buyers may perceive your home negatively – There is a good bet that If you are selling as is, some buyers will view your house negatively. Many will think, especially if you haven’t done a pre-inspection, that you have something serious you are trying to hide.
- Buyers will offer less money – Because of the assumption that your home has serious problems, and the buyer may think you are desperate. Again, if you get a pre-inspection, you will negate some of these low offers, if you disclose everything and then subsequently price your house fairly.
- Buyers won’t believe you – You’ll have a difficult time proving that your house is worth a fair price, even if you have already set up what you and your agent feel is fair. A pre-inspection will help with this, as estimates for repair prices can let you accordingly sell your house for the right price.
- Buyers might not be plentiful – When you say “as is,” sometimes that drives potential buyers away, whether you price it fairly or not.
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Is it cheaper or more expensive, easier or harder to sell a house as is?
It may be cheaper and easier in some ways to sell a house as is. Getting buyers to bite can sometimes be harder and possibly even more expensive in the long run. If you don’t do a pre-inspection, you can be left with a house on the market for some time. You can sell your house quicker if you disclose the issues via a pre-inspection. Buyers may not think the house is priced fairly because you’re not getting work done on it. When this happens, you may end up sacrificing money you could have earned by doing repairs in the first place.
You can avoid the “as is” designation altogether, and let buyers come in and make their own choices and decisions, whereupon you could then make required repairs as necessary for your buyer.
And even if you just do the simple improvements that don’t eat up a lot of time or effort or money, most of which you can do in a few days, like
- Paint the walls afresh inside
- Tighten the fixtures and apply caulk in bathrooms and kitchen
- Add fixtures or replace bulbs to improve lighting
- Clean the carpets professionally
- Clean the entire house professionally
You can improve the appeal of your house dramatically from a photographic sense, an open house and showing sense, and in your prospective buyers’ minds to show them you do actually care about the house you are selling.
Improvements that may need to be completed before you sell a house as is
If you’re changing your mind now and looking to get a price for your home that’s better than “as is,” think about taking on the bigger repairs/upgrades. In many cases, you can recover the cost of those upgrades easily when you list, as you’ll get more interested buyers that see a house worth looking at.
Some of the most important big items from an inspector and buyer’s standpoint:
Replacing the roof instead of selling as-is
A roof can naturally reach the end of its useful life without experiencing a roof failure. It just looks old and worn, and you are doing preventive maintenance on your home for the buyer. Roof replacements can cost roughly from $5,000-$15,000 depending on the extent of the work.
Updating the electrical panel instead of selling as-is
Over a long period of time, certain electrical panels can fall out of code and can be hazardous for your house and wiring. The average cost to replace an electrical panel ranges from $850 to $2,500 depending on the amperage. A service panel upgrade to 100 amps costs $850 to $1,600, a 200-amp breaker box replacement costs $1,800 to $2,500.
Installing a new water heater
You can expect your water heater to last between 6-10 years, and the cost to install a new water heater ranges from $400 to $900 for a 40 to 50-gallon tank.
Addressing termite, mold, or water damage
These costs may vary depending on the damage in place but could be extremely important to show the buyer. A pre-inspection would help you more closely determine those costs.
Repairing pipes, sewer connection, or septic system
In an older house, these repairs are especially important, but again, this can vary depending on what you need. A pre-inspection would help you more closely determine those costs.
Updating the HVAC system
HVAC systems are like cars. If you need tons of repairs, the model is too old or damaged and beyond saving. In the long run, spending to keep old units running isn’t cost effective. Invest in a new system. Again, costs will vary depending on the size of the house. A pre-inspection would help you more closely determine the costs.
As you can see, generally we don’t recommend selling a house as is, unless you’re under duress and need to make it happen. But if you do need to make it happen, and you’re concerned about paying expensive commissions, consider Trelora Real Estate. If you sell your house with us, we provide full service with some of the top rated agents in the country for a low flat fee.
Christopher has been been in the Real Estate industry for 8 years and has had the opportunity to close over 1,000 deals while acting as the Managing Broker for thousands more. Christopher is passionate about continuing to find ways to simplify, maximize, and serve Trelora’s clients exceptionally well and spends his time building teams to deliver high levels of service. When not doing real estate Christopher can be seen training for marathons and ultra relays with his 2 year old daughter, eating pizza, and drinking a steady stream of Diet Coke.