What You Need to Know About Selling a House As-Is
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Selling a house usually means you need to bring the home up to its best possible condition to get best price for it. But fixing up a damaged home before selling isn’t a requirement. If you don’t have the time or money to deal with repairs, you may want to consider selling as-is.
What does it mean to sell a house as-is in real estate?
Listing a property “as-is” means that what the buyer sees is what they get—the seller will not make any repairs and/or renovations before selling. This is a popular option for sellers who lack the funding to make home improvements or want to get rid of a home quickly.
Is there a difference between “as-is” and “as-is-where-is”?
“As is where is” is synonymous with “as is,” but with some added terms and conditions. Selling a home as-is means that no problems with the home will be fixed before the sale, while selling as-is-where-is additionally specifies that the seller is not responsible for any issues relating to the property's location. For example, if the property is in a zone prone to be hit by a natural disaster, is part of a restrictive homeowners association, or is undesirably close to an airport, these things cannot be fixed by the seller.
What are the pros and cons of selling a house as-is?
Selling as-is is convenient in many ways, but it is not the best option for every seller. Before deciding whether or not it is right for you, be sure to weigh the following pros and cons:
- Fixing up a house can cost a lot of money, especially when there is extensive damage. With a recent job loss or divorce, you may not be able to afford the repairs needed—so selling as-is relieves this financial burden.
- Sometimes sellers want to get a house off their hands as quickly as possible. If you need to move due to a change of employment, divorce, or you inherited a home, sometimes, the sooner you can sell it, the better. Selling as-is is an effective way to streamline the process and be done with it fast.
- Selling a home can be stressful, even in the best-case scenario. Frantically scheduling appointments with contractors to repair a fixer-upper only adds to that stress. Sometimes, accepting a potential loss of profit by selling as-is is worth it for less hassle and stress.
- When buyers see a home listed “as-is,” they wonder what is wrong with it. Regardless of how it looks, just seeing the words “as-is,” they envision a house in complete disrepair. Therefore, there will be less interest in an as-is home.
- Every seller wants to profit from a home sale, but finding the perfect listing price can be a challenge. Determining a home’s value is even more difficult for an as-is sale. The buyer will expect the cost of repairs to be subtracted from the price tag. Calculating the price to sell for may require some trial and error.
- If a buyer assumes—correctly or incorrectly—that a home is listed “as-is” because of major defects, such as foundation issues, they won’t want to pay much money for it. Some buyers may try to lowball you, figuring that you’ll take whatever offer you can get on a problematic property.
How do you sell a house as-is?
People who wish to sell a house as-is have two options: selling to a cash buyer or selling it on the traditional market.
When most people think of selling a house, they imagine selling to an individual or family who intends to live on the property. But there are other buyers, too, including real estate investors who purchase houses as-is, such as AMI House Buyers.
Selling as-is on the traditional market is more time-consuming but still doable in many cases. However, selling as-is is very different from other home sales. Not all real estate agents have the experience or know-how for this type of sale. If you’re looking to sell your home as-is in the Greater Houston Area, we recommend Roots & Wings Realty, who are experts in this niche.
Are there any laws related to selling a house as-is?
Contrary to what skeptical buyers may believe, selling a house as is doesn’t mean the seller dumps a property with several surprise defects on the unsuspecting buyer. Just like with a traditional home sale, the seller is obligated to inform the buyer of any known flaws in a disclosure statement.
Failure to disclose accurate information to the best of your knowledge can have legal ramifications. If you sell a home and the buyer discovers later on that you knew about a problem and didn’t tell them, they can file a lawsuit against you.
Is there a special contract for selling a house as-is?
The specifics of an as-is clause in a home sale contract may vary depending on the terms negotiated by the buyer and seller. But there are a few similarities that most as-is contracts share.
There should be a section stating that the buyer has revealed all property defects that they are aware of to the buyer. There may be a complete list of all known defects in question. It is also common for an as-is clause to include the option for the buyer to back out of the sale if a home inspection reveals new issues that the seller was not previously aware of.
Does selling a house as-is mean the buyer will not do any inspections?
Just because you inform the buyer of all the home’s issues to the best of your knowledge doesn’t mean they are obligated to take your word for it. There is always the possibility of other problems you're not aware of, so smart buyers will want an inspection done.
Cash buyers typically won’t make an offer until after the house has been inspected, but some, like AMI, do their inspection internally and without the formality of an official home inspector. If the inspection comes back with concerning results, the buyer may try to negotiate a lower price or back out of the deal entirely.
What are the concerns for buying a house as-is?
While buying a house as-is can be a great way to get your hands on a hidden gem for a low price, it isn't a decision that should be made lightly. While some as-is homes only have minor issues, others have significant problems that will cost a lot of money to fix.
In cases where there is extensive damage, you may not be able to live safely on the property until repairs are completed. Before committing to buying an as-is home, consult your agent to know exactly what you're getting into.
Is it hard for a buyer to get financing on an as-is house?
Home loans come with conditions known as minimum property requirements (MPRs), which dictate the standards a property needs to meet to qualify for financing. Some loan types are stricter than others in their MPRs.
Issues as minor as a leak or a broken window, for example, go against the MPRs for FHA and VA loans and will prevent a homebuyer from getting a loan until the problem is fixed. Conventional loans tend to be more lenient in their MPRs. Still, most lenders will not issue financing for a property with safety issues like fire damage, mold, or lead paint.
Because it can be challenging to get a mortgage on an as-is property, it is usually not worth attempting to sell the home on the market if it has significant damage. If your property doesn't meet MPRs, selling to a cash buyer may be your only option.
Want to sell a home as-is and hassle-free?
If you're looking to sell a house as-is and don't want the inconvenience of selling on the traditional market, let AMI take your property off your hands. Regardless of your home's condition, we can provide you with a no-obligation cash offer. Contact us for your cash offer today!