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Home Selling

Selling a House As Is

An outdated kitchen.

8 Minute Read

So you’re thinking of selling a house as is. You’d like to just move out and move on! But it’s got a leaky roof, finicky plumbing, or maybe a 1950s kitchen with ugly aqua cabinets you really don’t want to fix. We get it. How do you know if it’s even worth the time and money it would take to fix up your home for buyers?

To make a confident decision on whether to sell your house as is, there are several things to consider—like what as is actually means, what the pros and cons are, and what’s involved with this type of home sale. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the answers.

Let’s dive in!

What Does It Mean to Sell a House As Is?

Selling a house as is means the property is a fixer-upper that won’t be repaired or improved before it’s sold. It tells buyers: What you see is what you get. The home is priced and marketed for sellers to get it sold quickly without pouring any extra money into it—and for buyers to score a low price.

Should You Sell Your House As Is?

If you need to move pronto and don’t want to make repairs to your home, selling it as is could be a good option. But keep in mind, it’s like slapping a big ol’ clearance sale sign on your house—Everything Must Go! Sure, you’ll definitely earn less money at the closing table than you would if you made the repairs. But it might be worth it in certain circumstances.

Find expert agents to help you sell your home.

When you can’t decide whether or not to sell your house as is, it helps to see a list of the pros and cons. Let’s take a look.

Pros of Selling a House As Is

  • Save time: You won’t have to wait an eternity for repairs to be done before you list your home. And there’s a good chance most interested buyers will pay in cash, so the closing process will likely move much faster (since you’d be avoiding the headache known as the mortgage approval process, which always slows things down).
  • Save money: You won’t have to spend money you don’t have to make major repairs or improvements, which can cost up to $150 per square foot.1 Imagine, just renovating a 100-square-foot kitchen alone might cost $15,000! Going into debt to fix your home is never worth the risk.

Cons of Selling a House As Is

  • Fewer offers: The lower price of an as-is home might attract buyers. But don’t be surprised if the repairs that need to be done send many of them running for the hills. Besides, some lenders won’t even approve buyers for a mortgage on a fixer-upper. That might limit your potential buyers to house flippers and real estate investors.
  • Lower profits: Potential buyers will want to beat you up on price to make up for the cost of needed repairs—so don’t expect to be paid in gold. On average, recent move-in-ready homes sold for more than $250,000, while fixer-upper homes sold for almost $200,000—a profit plunge of 25%!2 Bummer. But hey, at least you won’t have to spend the thousands of dollars it’ll take to fix it.

Sometimes selling as is just makes more sense mathematically than doing home improvements to boost value. Take Kim. She needs to sell her home in Omaha, Nebraska, because she’s relocating to another area of the country. She’s trying to decide if she should sell the home as is or fix up some of its features to sell it at a better price—which would include updates to the roof, exterior paint, carpeting and some concrete work.

As is, Kim’s house is worth $180,000. If she made the repairs, it might sell for $200,000—a $20,000 bump! But a project like that could cost $12,000–14,000, which means the repairs would only add $6,000–8,000 to her pocket. Is earning just a few grand more worth all the trouble? Probably not. But that’s up to you.

If you don’t have the time or money to spend on home repairs, selling as is might be your best bet to help you focus on your next adventures.

How to Sell a House As Is

To sell a house as is, you can pretty much follow the same steps as a standard home sale—you just won’t have to sweat the home staging part.

Sounds great, right? Who doesn’t want less work? Well, the downside is you have to show everything: flaws and all. Sometimes, that doesn’t matter. Other times, you’ll feel like you’re trying to convince a bunch of C-suite execs to order tater tots instead of filet mignon.

To get a handle on where to start when selling as is, follow these tips:

Get Advice From a Local Real Estate Agent

You might feel strapped for cash, but working with an agent who eats, sleeps and breathes real estate is so important. Why? First, they’ll help you set a realistic price.

Seller’s agents do a comparative market analysis (CMA), which means they’ll find out what similar homes have sold for in your area. That way, you can set a fair price from the start, and that keeps your home from sitting on the market for too long—like a bunch of mushy bananas nobody wants to touch. Gross.

Plus, an agent gives you access to a multiple listing service (MLS)—a home-listing database that’s exclusively operated by real estate professionals. This makes it easier for you to get in touch with the limited number of buyers who are actually interested in purchasing an as-is home.

Trust us, it’s worth the cost to sell with a real estate agent—especially when you’re selling your home as is.

Disclose Defects

Even though you’re selling your house as is, you’ll likely have to let potential buyers know what they’d be getting themselves into before making a deal by giving them a disclosure report. This shows buyers all the problems with your house ahead of time so they don’t try to back out of the deal later.

Every state has different laws about disclosure reports, so check with your real estate agent to make sure you know what you’re legally obligated to disclose. Some states have a caveat emptor rule, which is just a fancy way of saying “let the buyer beware”—meaning it’s up to your buyer to learn the defects of your house.

Do a Home Inspection Before Listing

So how do you avoid getting slapped in the face by your state’s disclosure laws? Get a home inspection done before you list your house. The typical cost of a home inspection is around $200–400.3 That’s a small price to pay compared to losing a deal or getting sued for not disclosing a serious defect.

On a brighter note, providing potential buyers with a full disclosure report based on a professional home inspection proves you have nothing to hide, which could help you sell your home faster.

Here are a few examples of problems you might have to disclose to potential buyers:

  • Foundation damage
  • Plumbing problems
  • Electrical issues
  • Water intrusion
  • Mold

Remember, your real estate agent will be able to shed some light on your state’s disclosure laws so you’re not left in the dark, trying to guess what potential buyers legally need to know.

Get Cost Estimates for Potential Repairs

Once you know the ins and outs of what’s wrong with your house, you can find out what it’d cost to fix it. Now, of course you don’t have to fix anything. But if you get accurate cost estimates from local contractors, you’ll have more negotiating power if buyers try to lowball you on price.

On the other hand, you might find that some of the repair costs actually do fit within your budget. And if you make the repairs, you’ll have a better chance of earning more money at the closing table. So make a list of what work needs to be done and get busy gathering cost estimates for each one.

For example, here are some average costs of common home remodeling projects:4

Project

Job Cost

Living room and bedroom

$1,500–5,500

HVAC

$500–7,200

Roof

$5,500–10,500

House exterior

$5,000–15,000

Basement

$11,000–30,000

Bathroom

$6,000–35,000

Kitchen

$4,500–50,000

Set a Realistic Price

Okay, now you should have all the info you need to set a fair price for your as-is home. To make sure potential buyers aren’t just staring at a bunch of defects when they see your listing, your real estate agent can help you market the home’s positive features—like location, size and floor plan. That’ll help you price it with confidence, instead of worrying about scaring off buyers or not earning your fair share of the deal.

Ready to Sell Your House As Is?

If you’re thinking about selling a home as is and want an expert’s advice, talk to a real estate agent. For a quick and easy way to find one of the top-performing agents in your area, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We only recommend agents who are on a mission to serve people well—not just fishing for a big commission check.

Find an experienced real estate agent!

Sell Your Biggest Investment with Little Stress!

Sell Your Biggest Investment with Little Stress.

We know the experts near you who can help you have peace through the process.
Find a Seller's Agent

Sell Your Biggest Investment with Little Stress.

We know the experts near you who can help you have peace through the process.
Find a Seller's Agent