I often run into home sellers who state up front they want to sell their house as-is. Is it a good idea to list your home as-is?
There is a time and place to sell your home as-is. Keep in mind there is a legal definition to as-is and a buyer’s perception of as-is and you don’t want to market your home as-is unless you need to.
So what is as-is? Legally the definition is–
“When used in connection with the sale of real property, ‘as is’ generally means the purchaser is acquiring real property in its present state or condition. The term implies real property is taken with whatever faults it may possess and that the grantor is released of any obligation to reimburse purchaser for losses or damages resulting from the condition of the property conveyed”
So in English…what does as-is mean?
What Does It Mean to Sell My Home As-is?
Simply put you get what you see…. under no circumstances will you do any repairs to the home or is there any warranty on the home.
When you sell your house as-is, it DOES NOT mean:
- You don’t have to answer any questions honestly when asked. State law strictly states you must answer any questions honestly that are asked of you. In Arizona you must fill out SPDS (sellers property disclosure statement).
- You can deceptively hide an issue. NO, NO and NO!!! If a buyer discovers you have hidden an issue that you were aware of you will be liable for the repairs.
So it does not mean you can hide any problems with your home!!
Note, real estate agents in Arizona must disclose any known material defects of the property. They will and should ask you to fill out a seller’s disclosure (SPDS) disclosing facst about your home. It is always best to fill it out and be transparent. Being upfront and transparent will always prevent the least amount of problems.
Now any good real estate agent will put an “as-is” addendum into a purchase and sale contract. It further protects the seller from any implied warranties or claims after the sale. It reinforces the fact that the buyer has had time to do their due diligence and they are accepting the property as-is at the closing.
Again, this does not protect the seller from any misrepresentation or fraud. If the seller lies on the disclosure they are still legally liable for those repairs. You MUST disclose all defects! Then the buyer has the option to accept those defects…but he must be made aware of them.
Sell My House As-is, The Buyers Perception
A buyers perception of a house being sold as-is will typically be a worst case scenario.
What the buyer interprets sell my house as-is:
Selling Your House As-is = Serious Defect in The Buyers Mind
They buyer will assume that you are selling as-is because there is an expensive problem. Often they won’t even look at the house. So you are reducing the potential buyer pool.
This is the typical perception of buyers when they see a house sold as-is.
Is that the message you really want to send to potential home buyers? Remember, selling your home as-is will still not prevent a buyer for asking for concessions after a home inspection anyways.
Real estate agents typically sell a property as-is for several reasons.
One. The house has serious issues, known or otherwise, and there are truly no funds to do any repair on the property. This is usually notifying the public the house has issues ranging from needing major TLC (tender loving care) to a full gut rehab.
Two. The other reason could be the home owner has other things going on in their life and can’t deal with the stress of selling. They just want to be done with it.
Three. A property sold as-is could be one that no one knows anything about, like an estate or foreclosure where the actual seller has no knowledge of its condition. Most likely they have never been or recently been house.
Four. You may also see a house listed as-is that is not about the condition of the property but about the title. There could be a cloud on the title that can make financing impossible and the agent is notifying the buying public you are taking the house as-is (with the problem) if you decide to move forward.
What Are Most Sellers Trying to Say When Tell Me Say Sell My House As-Is?
Often when a home sellers tells me they want to sell their house as-is, their house is in perfectly acceptable condition for the market place and they are hoping to get top dollar for their home. What they are trying to tell me is ‘I am not doing anything else to my home or any home repairs or renegotiating after a home inspection. Take it or leave it.’
And that is certainly a home seller’s prerogative.
But to state the sale is as-is, upfront in the MLS, you are narrowing down the potential buyers for their home. Immediately you will get the bargain shoppers looking for the fixer uppers which in many cases not the true buyer for your home.
Secondly, what if an actual problem shows up during a home inspection? Sometimes a home inspection will reveal a problem that a home seller did not know anything about.
A Better Option To Selling Your House As-is
A better option to selling your home as-is can be multi-faceted. It starts with keeping an open mind, preparing your home properly for the market and pricing it properly for the market and condition.
A home that is properly prepared for the real estate market and is priced accordingly will usually have a relatively smooth home inspection process. Buyers know when they have a good house at a fair price and are less willing to give up a home over a few minor home inspection issues.
Serious safety, structural or system issues that are revealed from the home inspection may need to be addressed if you truly want to sell home. Remember it is always your prerogative to say no to a home repair request. The final say is yours.
It is important to work with your agent and see if the repairs are truly something that should be done or not. When you are in a sellers market it is much easier to say no to a request than when it is a buyer’s market.
Don’t set a tone up front with buyer’s. Play it by ear and deal with each issue as they come up appropriately.
When Is It Appropriate To Sell Your House As-is?
I usually reserve the house sold as-is clause in the Multiple Listing Service for when a house has a serious condition or title issue which is not correctable by the home seller. It usually boils down to homes that typically cannot receive financing because of their condition. And that condition could mean title or physical condition or any other set of circumstances that would prevent financing. Or, it could be a situation where the home seller may have the money but won’t put it into the property.
Again, to state up front your house is being sold as-is just raises a red flag for buyers that you mostly likely do not want to raise. Only under certain circumstances do you want to call that out in your listing. The average home buyer will view it as a project they do not want to get involved with and the bottom feeders will come out thinking they can get a great deal on a home.
I understand what many home sellers are saying when they tell me I want to sell my house as-is. But that may not be the best way to market your home, especially if you are looking for top market value for your home.
What you are telling me is you are not going to be giving any concessions for repairs. The concession could be price reduction or doing the repair itself. And, that is handled in how you negotiate not by listing your house as-is. Set your home price at the right price and prepare your home accordingly. Barring unforeseen, major issues you shouldn’t have a problem.
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