What Does It Mean to Sell a House “As Is”?

Posted by First Team Real Estate on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 at 10:30am.

Your parents have passed away and it’s your responsibility to sell their 1960s split-level. It’s time to downgrade your home now that all the kids are gone and you realize you haven’t looked upstairs or touched the backyard in a decade. These are just a few examples in which a seller would consider selling a property “as is”.

When selling a home “as is” you are letting prospective buyers know that you are not going to do any repairs or put in any work to get the house into better shape. What you see is what you get.

Can buyers still negotiate?

Even if you advertise that you’re selling in “as is” condition, there’s no way to absolutely prevent a buyer from making an offer and then later trying to negotiate some extra cash concessions after the inspector’s report comes in. Yes, buyers will have an inspection done on a house being sold “as is”. Although buyers are willing to accept any and all cosmetic issues, they will want a professional seal of safety. 

If you want to preempt the repairs conversation, you can make it clear from the get-go that it’s “buyer beware.” Just be prepared that if the inspector’s report comes back with some serious concerns, you might want to loosen the purse strings to make a deal.

Legally Speaking…

An “as is” clause does not prevent the seller from being liable if the seller is found to have engaged in “active fraud.” “Active fraud” requires an act by the seller such as concealment of a defect or misrepresentation of a condition of the property. That means, if you know something is wrong (mold, electrical issues, structural damage, etc.), you are legally obligated to disclose it.

An example would be if you are aware of a foundation problem and when questioned by the buyer, you openly deny a foundation problem or conceal the foundation problem with boxes so that the defect cannot be discovered by a reasonable inspection.

Pros and Cons of Selling “As Is”

The main benefit of selling “as is” is less work for you. No need to worry about remodels or updates, everything is fairly simple and straightforward once you set your sales price. Choosing updates that recoup your costs can be tricky and when you sell as is, there’s no need to do the painstaking math or take the risk of spending money on upgrades that your potential buyer doesn’t need or want.

The biggest drawback is that you open up the distinct possibility that your home will fetch a rock bottom price. Many buyers aren’t willing to take on the daunting task of a fixer upper so they will not even consider any home that is being sold as is. The buyers who are most interested in purchasing a home as is are investors, flippers, and young buyers willing to take on the DIY projects. These buyers are expecting a deal and their offers will reflect that. 

Before you decide whether or not to sell "as is", get a professional opinion. Sit down with a First Team real estate agent and get a consultation on your home sale. An experienced listing agent can help you decide what fixes are worth making and what projects are best left to your prospective buyers. 

Email us at clientservices@firstteam.com

Call us at 888-870-1142

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