Selling a House as Is – What You Should Know

by | Apr 8, 2020 | Selling

Thinking about buying or selling a home?

Get the best real estate advice from local experts in your inbox.

Selling your home “as is” means that you’re selling your house in its current state just as it is, (hence the term “as is”), with an understanding that no repairs will be made to it before closing and that the home will come with all its current faults and issues. And 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, win-win thing for the seller to do – get rid of something that’s too much trouble. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. 

What are some reasons to sell a house as is? 

Rocky relationship 

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, and they need you right away. In this circumstance, 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.

Unaffordable repairs 

You may be in a financial situation where you are entirely unable to make repairs or upgrades to the house. Financial distress is certainly a significantly popular reason for selling your house “as is.” 

Stressful situation 

Besides relationships, there are many other reasons that homeowners are unable to deal with the stress of a long, drawn out transaction. You could be seriously ill, somebody else could be seriously ill somewhere else, or maybe you just can’t deal regardless. 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 could try, but you’re hurting yourself by waiting until the prospective buyer gets an inspection. They could then determine to back out, based on what they’ve discovered about your house. This will not only hurt you the seller, because you’ve wasted your time trying to sell your house, but you’ve also wasted the time of the prospective buyer, and this could backfire on you in the marketplace with other agents/other buyers talking about your property with each other.  

Better to be up-front about your house. Get a full pre-inspection done and disclose everything, so a prospective buyer will have full knowledge of what they’re getting into. Additionally, if you get a pre-inspection, your agent can more easily position your house as an investment, fixer-upper, fix-and-flip type of situation with no surprises. This may mean you’ll get less money for your house, but you will save time – yours and the prospective buyer(s), not to mention you won’t be unintentionally harming your own chances to sell your house with your local real estate market in general. 

Pros vs cons of selling your house as is:

Pros

  • Spend less physical time – 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.
  • Spend 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. 

Cons

  • Buyers may perceive your home more 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.

Is it cheaper or more expensive, easier or harder to sell a house as is?

So after all this, while, yes, 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 – particularly if you don’t do a pre-inspection, and you’re left with a house on the market for some time, that you could have sold off more quickly, if you’d just disclosed the issues with the house via a pre-inspection. If buyers don’t think it’s priced fairly because you’re not getting things done on it, you may end up sacrificing money you could have earned by finding a way to do the bigger repairs in the first place. 

And you could even 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 could 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 selling

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 

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 required.

Updating the electrical panel 

Over a long period of time, certain electrical panels can fall out of code and can potentially be downright 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. 

Thinking About Buying Or Selling A Home?

Get the best real estate advice from local experts in your inbox.

Thinking about buying or selling a home?

Get the best real estate advice from local experts in your inbox.

Want The Latest Real Estate News & Insights?

Join thousands of members making better real estate decisions today!

You have Successfully Subscribed!