Selling a House As-Is: How to Skip Repairs and Move On!

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Selling a house as-is offers homeowners the opportunity to sell their property without investing time or resources into improvements or repairs. It’s an enticing option, especially for sellers who are eager to move quickly or those with homes that have seen better days. If you simply don’t have the time or funds to dump into remodeling and negotiations, selling a house as-is may feel like a no-brainer.

If you have to lower your price, so be it. An old electrical panel, stained carpeting, and kitchen straight out of the ‘90s mean buyers won’t consider the house move-in ready or necessarily pay top dollar. But if you don’t have enough money or time to perform a bunch of work, you may rather just collect a decent sum and move on.

To sell without doing repairs, you’ll need to find buyers willing to take on homes that might need a little TLC. And, you certainly don’t want to leave any money on the table. So how do you pull off a profitable, quick as-is sale?

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To get answers, we called on a highly experienced group of as-is home sale experts for the scoop on how to nail an as-is sale.

Without further ado, here’s what the experts have to say about selling a house as-is. In the end, hopefully, you’ll be able to answer the question, “Should I sell my house as-is?” with confidence.

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

In short, it means a buyer will purchase your home without you making any repairs. The term can be used broadly by many agents to simply refer to a home sale for a house that hasn’t been recently updated or is in need of repair.

According to Mandy Williams, a top Alabama real estate agent, an as-is sale can look a lot different than a turnkey transaction. “A lot of buyers expect to walk into a house that’s listed on the traditional market and see a home that’s been completely updated to today’s trends and standards,” explains Williams, who sells homes 35% quicker than the average agent in Birmingham.

But marketing your home as-is conveys to buyers that your home may be in imperfect condition, notes Jena Bebleh, a top agent in San Jose, California with 19 years of experience. “In an as-is sale, a buyer is purchasing a home in its current condition,” she says. “That may mean the seller won’t do any repairs, even if they come up on an inspection report. The buyer is willingly purchasing the home in its current state with full knowledge of its condition.”

That last bit of her comment is critical to grasp; by selling as-is, you aren’t absolved of the duty to share what you know about the home to buyers — and an as-is label, particularly on an open market sale, is not a fail-safe to avoid all negotiations.

That said, selling as-is can still be a viable strategy if you go about it the right way.

Jeff Shipwash of Shipwash Properties in Knoxville, Tennessee, flips multiple houses each year and routinely buys as-is properties. As an experienced investor, he explains, “If you own a home that needs several repairs and don’t have the finances, or simply don’t have the time or desire to undergo the stress of home remodeling, selling as-is could be for you.”

Top reasons you might consider selling your house as-is

Rather than throwing lots of time and money at your home, you may choose to sell it as-is and get on with your life. Here are the main reasons to sell your house as-is:

  • No time for remodeling: When you need to sell ASAP, there may be no time for renovations and long back-and-forth negotiations.
  • Don’t have the cash: Sometimes, pouring money into remodeling is out of the question. According to Williams, this is the most common reason to sell as-is. If you lack the cash to revamp the kitchen or redo the flooring, you can sell to a buyer who’s prepared to invest.
  • Lack of desire: You may simply not want to take on a big fixer-upper project. “I see a lot of sellers who’ve inherited a home from a family member, but they’re in their forties, in the prime time of their careers,” Williams says. “They just don’t have time to take on a project like that. Or, they may just not want the hassle.”
  • Already have a buyer: If you have a buyer on standby who’s willing to buy your home as-is, you can skip over listing with an agent and move straight into the sale.
  • Home is unlivable: When safety hazards abound, selling as-is to a real estate investor may be your best bet. Otherwise, you’re stuck paying a lofty sum to fix huge problems like a broken furnace or leaking roof.

How to sell a house as-is

Here’s what you need to know to nail an as-is home sale — plus major pitfalls to avoid, according to top agents.

1. Factor as-is into your pricing, but don’t get lowballed

In order to successfully and quickly sell your home on the market as-is, you can’t expect to price it the same way you would if you’d planned to make targeted upgrades and repairs.

“It’s all about pricing,” Williams states. She says that she sees sellers fall into the trap of setting their price based on idealized numbers they find on the web. “When it comes to selling as-is, the number you see online may not be the right price.” In fact, one of the biggest barriers to closing on a fast, profitable sale is overpricing a home that’s in need of repairs. “I truly believe there’s a buyer out there for every home,” Williams explains. “But you have to figure the cost of repairs into where you price the house.”

Elizabeth Weintraub, a top agent in Sacramento, California, agrees. She says that sellers should work with an agent who can provide a voice of reason amidst conflicting information on the internet — and even against predatory fixer buyers who try to take advantage of as-is sellers.

“The problem is pricing it correctly to reflect the repairs required without leaving any money on the table to maximize seller profit,” explains Weintraub, who has been pricing homes for 45 years. She says that these lowballers may use scare tactics like “nobody will buy your house in this condition but me” or pressure along the lines of “this is the best offer and only offer you will get and it expires in six hours.” An agent can help you see those tactics for what they are and sell your home for its market value.

2. Consider high-ROI projects that aren’t much work

While selling as-is can mean skipping projects entirely, focusing on easy, high-return fixes can help you boost your home’s price with minimal cash and effort.

According to Robert Taylor, a real estate investor and rehabber in Sacramento, California with 16 years of experience, you should avoid repairs that will only marginally increase your home’s value. He shares the formula that’s helped him keep his real estate transactions profitable.

“I look at repair costs and the home’s future value as a one-to-one relationship,” Taylor explains. “If I spend ten dollars on repairs, I want to see the home’s value increase by the cost of repairs, plus ten dollars. If I spend $20,000 on repairs, I expect to be able to increase my home’s value by $40,000.”

Here are a few smaller projects that would meet Taylor’s benchmark as being worth the investment, even if you’re selling a house as is:

3. Provide disclosures

Selling as-is isn’t a loophole to avoid telling buyers your roof is leaking or the home needs all new plumbing. Most states have mandatory disclosures, and failing to disclose information potentially opens you up to legal liability.

“A lot of sellers say, ‘I’m selling it as-is — I don’t even want to talk about what I got going on here,’” says Edward Kaminsky, a HomeLight Elite Agent in Los Angeles with 37 years of experience. “That can come back to bite the seller because if it’s proven that they did not disclose something they were fully aware of, they can be held liable after the close of escrow.”

Williams notes that her state, Alabama, is a “caveat emptor” state or, in layman’s terms, a buyer-beware state. That means it’s the buyer’s duty to inspect the home. But it doesn’t relieve sellers of all responsibility. “We’re still required to disclose all health and safety issues, like black mold or lead-based paint,” Williams says. But she adds reassurance that even with health and safety hazards, many investors will still buy the home: “Just make sure you have that in writing.”

Every state has its own legal requirements for disclosures, so check with your agent. They’ll be familiar with your state’s disclosure laws and can help to highlight your home’s positives, such as a large yard or great location, to attract your target buyer. Work with a top agent in your market state to ensure you’re aware of the local laws.

4. Label your listing ‘as-is’

Unless a listing specifically has the language of being sold as-is, buyers are going to assume it’s a regular sale.

“Including ‘as-is’ helps your agent connect with the right buying agents in our networks to find the best prospective buyers,” Bebleh says. “The client knows right away the seller won’t be doing any repairs.”

5. Consider a pre-listing inspection

There are a couple of key reasons you might opt for a pre-listing inspection. First, it can be beneficial to have a third party come in for an unbiased opinion. “You don’t want to get to closing and be hit with an inspection report that shocks you,” Williams says.

It’s especially disconcerting when you’ve lived in your home for decades and the buyer’s inspection unearths details about your home that you didn’t expect. “You feel like they don’t know the home like home like you do because they’ve never lived there,” Williams continues. “And you’ll say, ‘What? There’s not a leak here!’” Getting transparency upfront saves you from any surprises.

Second, you’ll receive more non-contingent offers if you disclose everything you know about the home from the start, according to Bebleh: “Buyers will know exactly what’s wrong with the house and submit an offer based on that.”

6. Address ‘deal killers’ if possible

While a buyer may be willing to overlook some cosmetic issues, many won’t be able to look past these big-ticket repairs. If you have the funds, you may want to prioritize these items to avoid attracting bad deals from buyers who capitalize on low balling unappealing homes:

  • Structural issues: According to HomeAdvisor, a sinking or settling foundation will cost $600 to $3,000 to repair. “It’s a huge can of worms,” Bebleh says. “It’ll really scare off some buyers.”
  • Pest infestation: The damaging effects of termite infestations cost an average of $3,000 to resolve. Because the extent of the damage can be hard to see and treating the infestation early is key to mitigating damage, buyers tend to be wary of pest infestations.
  • Black mold: “People are terrified of mold and mildew,” Williams stresses. “If you’ve got anything black growing, you definitely need to have a professional come check that out.” Mold remediation costs between $1,125 and $3,345 on average.
  • Ancient roof: Replacing a roof will cost $5,848 to $12,91. If you can’t afford it, fret not; it isn’t necessarily a deal killer. However, it’s a large expense that can frighten off first-time buyers.

7. Skip pricey cosmetic updates

Before you consider making repairs to your home, balance their cost and time requirements against their return on investment. Taylor points out that time is an often underappreciated factor here.

“If a homeowner is already living in a different home, they need to consider the extra cost of insurance, possibly two mortgages, plus utilities,” Taylor says. “Sellers often forget that these carrying costs reduce the return they’ll get on their home.”

On Taylor’s list of repairs to avoid are these two notoriously poor ROI projects:

  • A mid-range major kitchen remodel will cost you approximately $78,000 and return about $32,500 at sale for an ROI of just 42%.
  • A mid-range bathroom remodel will cost around $24,600 and won’t bring a return of much more than $16,000 when you sell, an ROI of 67%.

A HomeLight infographic about selling a house as is.

Your options to sell a home as-is

You may assume that selling as-is always works the same way. But you actually have two main avenues to explore: requesting a cash offer or selling as-is with an agent. Let’s review both options.

Request a cash offer

One option to consider is going immediately to a pool of buyers who aren’t as worried about your home’s condition and asking them: Would you buy my house? Seriously, that is a possibility! Here’s how it works.

  • Evaluate your home and circumstances: If your house has major flaws, such as a defective roof, leaky plumbing, or foundation cracks, a house-buying investor will have the capital to make repairs. Or if you need a fast sale to start a new job or quickly settle an estate, requesting a cash offer can be a good solution.
  • Contact a cash buyer: Most cash buyers prefer to purchase homes off-market, so you’ll need to reach out to them. We recommend our Simple Sale platform as a good starting point. With Simple Sale, you tell us a bit about your home and how much work it needs, and we’ll connect you with the largest network of cash buyers in the U.S. You will receive a no-obligation cash offer in as little as 24 hours.
  • Skip repairs: No need to call the roof inspector or drain your savings to replace the HVAC system. Simple Sale provides cash offers for homes in almost any condition.
  • Sell when it’s convenient: Want to get out right away? Or need a little more time to pack? Either way, your Simple Sale offer timeline can be flexible. Pick a move date that works for your schedule within 30 days of closing.
  • Close with certainty: Cash buyers don’t need a lender’s involvement to purchase a home, meaning they can move nimbly and quickly compared to someone who needs financing. That can make for serious time savings. With a cash offer, you can skip over the red tape and avoid a collapsing home sale.

Curious to know more about the Simple Sale experience? Hear it firsthand from one of our valued clients in the video below.

Sell as-is on the open market

Perhaps your home isn’t a total teardown, and you’re willing to see what kind of deal you could strike on the open market. In that event, you can list your home for sale — ideally with a pre-listing inspection and prepared disclosures — at a fair price and try to keep your work on the home to a minimum. In some cases, you may want to determine if there are any projects worth tackling, even if it’s a pared-down version than what might be typical for a regular sale. You can go about this in two ways:

  • Hire an agent with as-is experience: To avoid a bad experience selling a house as-is, Williams advises: “Work with an agent who’s familiar with closing traditional sales and those geared toward the investor market — one who knows the best of both worlds.” Weintraub agrees: “In these situations, agents need to do a lot of homework, checking out the buyers’ reputations, looking for ways buyers might try to renegotiate and squashing those efforts, and they need to help their sellers make the right decision.”
  • Sell your home as-is by owner: For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) is a method of selling your home without the involvement of a listing agent. In an FSBO scenario, the seller assumes all the responsibilities, such as pricing the home, arranging showings, and negotiating. However, this could mean leaving money on the table, especially with an as-is sale. According to a 2023 national sales report, FSBO homes sold at a median of $310,000, significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $405,000.

Connect with a Top Agent to Sell Your House As-Is

According to HomeLight data, top real estate agents sell homes faster and for more money than average agents. Connect with an experienced local agent to help with your as-is home sale.

Pros and cons of selling a house as-is

Selling as-is can be a solid choice if you’re in the midst of a shifting real estate market or if you’re simply planning to move fast and want to skip the stress and hassle of negotiating with picky buyers.

Pros to selling your home as-is

  • Leave the big repairs to well-funded buyers: Sell your home to a real estate investor who has the knowledge and funds to knock down a kitchen wall and install marble counters in an attempt to resell your home for more. That way, you won’t have to spend the time — or foot the bill.
  • Increase your chance of a quick sale: As-is buyers are often cash investors. Without the financing requirements of lenders or the hassle of last-minute repairs pre-closing, you can shorten your closing timeline to as few as 10 days.
  • Reduce inspection haggling: On average, buyers negotiate $14,000 in savings based on inspection findings. With an as-is sale, you can try to set an appropriate price discount and communicate to the buyer that you’re not planning to offer further credits or repairs on the home, saving stress during closing.

But while there are plenty of good reasons to sell as-is, you’ll need to weigh the positives against the negatives to make the best choice for your home sale. Here’s what to consider.

Cons to selling your home as-is

  • Risk of turning off buyers: Some buyers see as-is and read “red flag.” According to Kaminsky, buyers tend to feel more comfortable offering a higher price knowing they can ask for necessary repairs during the inspection phase (and you’re not saying upfront that you’re unwilling to work with them).
  • Repairs aren’t off the table: Just because you list as-is doesn’t necessarily mean a buyer won’t attempt to negotiate the costs of repairs. Of course, it’s at your discretion to determine whether accepting an offer with a request for repairs is advantageous to your bottom line. If a buyer makes a good offer and asks you to cover the cost of repairing a damaged window, for example, you might do the math and decide it’s a good deal.
  • Expect lower offers: You can expect to make some concessions in price when you sell as-is. As Williams puts it, “If you aren’t willing to put some money in, you may be leaving some money on the table.”

What are ‘minimum property requirements’ when selling an as-is home?

Minimum property requirements (MPRs) are safety, security, and health standards a home has to satisfy to be considered inhabitable. Each lender has its own standards for what meets MPRs, but common baselines include functional heat, a working roof, and a structure free from decay.

If a buyer is working with certain homebuyer programs, such as a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loan, falling below MPR standards could be a deal killer. As an as-is seller, you can work with an expert real estate agent and consider a pre-listing inspection to determine whether your home is likely to meet financing requirements. If not, tailor your listing to real estate investors with the capital needed to buy your home in cash and rehab it.

A final word on selling a home as-is

If you don’t have a stash of cash or spare time to dedicate to renovations, or if you simply don’t want the hassle of drawn-out negotiations, you might decide to sell your home as-is. Just remember these key takeaways:

  • Selling as-is can help you close on a sale much sooner, but you’ll likely receive a discounted price. To avoid getting taken to the cleaners, work with an experienced agent who can help you reject lowball offers and maximize value.
  • Explicitly include as-is in the listing; otherwise, buyers won’t get the memo.
  • Consider ordering a pre-listing inspection to avoid surprises and help with accurately pricing the home.
  • Understand that even if you list as-is, some buyers will try to negotiate on the inspection. Again, a great agent can help you navigate through it.
  • Avoid pricey upgrades, but know that tidying up, making small cosmetic repairs, and investing in curb appeal can go a long way.

Overwhelmed With Major Home Repairs?

Use HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform to sell when you’re ready without the hassle of paying for repairs, prepping for listing, or dealing with showings. With Simple Sale, you can close in as few as 10 days.

When your house needs a lot of work, most regular buyers won’t be interested. Consider connecting with a house-buying company through a platform like Simple Sale if you want your house sold as-is. You can receive a no-obligation, all-cash offer in as little as 24 hours, and close in as few as 10 days.

Header Image Source: (Roger Starnes Sr / Unsplash)

FAQs on selling a house as-is