A Comprehensive Guide to Selling a House As Is

The PropertyClub Team
May 27th 2020
How do you sell a house as-is? Whether you're selling a home in poor condition that needs major repairs or one that just needs a bit of work, this guide will help you get the best sale price.

Selling a house as is can be intimidating and confusing for some people. On the one hand, the option seems like a quick and easy way to sell your property. But on the other hand, you might come across as desperate and sneaky, selling a home that needs repairs. 

More often than not, neither is the case. Whenever selling a house as-is, you are likely to experience a combination of both. The process may certainly be more straightforward, but that does not mean there are no challenges of its own.

What does it mean to sell a house as-is?

It is almost always the case that when someone decides to sell their house, they are selling a home that needs repairs. At this point, the seller has two options: invest in pre-sale improvements or sell the house as-is. 

Investing in pre-sale improvement means the seller makes the necessary repairs and renovations prior to or during the sale process. This means that prospective buyers might tour the house knowing that improvements are being made or will be made before they close. This knowledge makes them more comfortable investing in the new home. 

Selling a house as-is, on the other hand, means that none of those repairs are made. Prospective buyers purchase the home with any of its problems. Any requests by buyers to repair something will be denied. The seller is legally required to disclose all the issues, and then it is up to the buyer to decide whether it is a sound investment or not. If an inspection reveals the condition is worse than disclosed, the buyer will be able to back out. 

What needs to be disclosed

You and your real estate agent are legally obligated to disclose significant problems affecting the house. If anything is ignored and problems come up months down the road, you can be in legal trouble. Minor things like a leaky faucet, chipped paint, or damaged door handle do not have to be included, but it is respectable to do so. Major problems that do need to be disclosed include:

  • Structural and foundational weaknesses
  • Mold or asbestos 
  • Termite damage
  • A damaged and leaky roof
  • Faulty electrical system
  • Title and legal disputes

Pros of selling a house as-is

You are probably wondering: is fixing up a house really worth it? There are a few reasons why selling a home as-is can be a suitable option. Selling a home as-is allows you to get your house listed quickly. You do not have to spend that extra time fixing up the place or even making minor improvements such as painting the walls or redoing the landscaping. The only thing you will have to do is disclose any problems with the home. You may need to wait for a home inspection to ensure you did not miss anything. 

This can be a suitable option for people who need to sell their home quickly. Perhaps a new job opportunity forces you to relocate suddenly, or a family situation requires you to head home for a while. You might be trying to avoid foreclosure, so you want to get your house listed and sold as quickly as possible. 

Others may find this option helpful if they cannot afford to pay for the repairs. Or they simply do not have the patience or energy to wait for the repairs.

Cons to selling a house as-is

There are two significant downsides to selling a house as-is. First, prospective buyers immediately assume that there are problems with the house. Even if there are not any major problems, this can turn some buyers away. In some cases, this can make for a more protracted process since fewer people are interested. 

This leads to the second downside: a below market value price. Selling a house as-is means that the buyers are going to become responsible for fixing any problems. The cost of those repairs is estimated and taken off the market value price to compensate. Sometimes these costs significantly reduce the sale price of your home, leaving less money in your pocket. 

The best strategy for selling your home as-is

The smartest thing you can do is to avoid listing your house for sale “as is.” The “as is” tag quickly turns buyers away. Listing the house simply for sale will mean more prospective buyers take an interest. However, you will have to inform them of your plans before any home inspections take place. Buyers will expect prices to be renegotiated after the problems are revealed, but this obviously isn’t the case since you will be selling as is. 

That tip will help you get more prospective buyers from the start, but it won’t increase the value of your home. The problems will still persist. 

If you want to increase the value of your home, there are small renovations that you can make. Time and money may be of the essence, so these options are not always available. But for those with a little to spare might find that a few cheap upgrades speed up the sales process. 

Cheap and quick improvements include:

  • Minor landscaping and lawn work. Curb appeal goes a long way. 
  • Paint the interior. Focus on the rooms that need it the most.
  • Clean the place up for prospective buyers who visit. 
  • Make those minor improvements on leaky faucets, rattling fans, damaged doors, draughty windows, or ruined mirrors.

Working with an experienced real estate agent can help make your as-is home sale much more efficient. Of course, they come with additional fees detracting from your already reduced total. But, they have the knowledge and expertise to navigate you through the as-is home sale process. They will ensure the house is listed correctly to avoid any legal complications. And, they will help with marketing, showing, and closing to ensure the sales process is as stress-free as possible.