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Looking to sell a house “as is” in Georgia? Whether you’ve got a fixer-upper or recently inherited a relative’s home, sometimes the goal is to skip repairs, get a fair offer, and move on.
Top-performing Georgia real estate agent Teresa Cowart works with 77% more single-family homes than the average agent in her Richmond Hill market. With 20 years of experience, she’s seen homes sold in almost every condition. She says when homeowners in Georgia choose to sell “as is,” it’s typically because they don’t want to — or can’t afford to — make any repairs to the house or property.
However, selling a house “as is” usually means accepting a lower offer and it doesn’t always prevent buyers from trying to negotiate savings. Let’s take a closer look at how to sell a house in Georgia, your options for getting an offer, and what to expect from the process.
Fast facts about selling a house ‘as is’ in Georgia
|Median sales price in Georgia||$370,000|
|Median days on market for Georgia||42|
|Disclosures||Georgia state law does not require sellers to disclose material facts about the property through a form but does require them to disclose any problems with the home that aren’t evident.|
|MLS has field to mark a listing “as is”?||No|
|Is a real estate attorney required?||Real estate attorneys are considered essential for closing in the state of Georgia|
|Real estate transfer taxes?||0.1% for the first $1,000; 0.1% for each additional $100|
What is ‘as is’ condition in real estate?
“As is” is a type of home sale where it’s understood that no improvements will be made to the property. When selling a house, “as is,” the seller is choosing not to entertain requests from buyers to complete repairs or provide a credit for fixes.
An as-is sale may also indicate that the functionality and longevity of certain components of the home, such as a stove on its last legs or an older roof, is not guaranteed.
When selling a house “as is,” the general condition of the property should already be accounted for in the purchase price of the home to the best of the seller’s knowledge.
Which types of homes are sold ‘as is’?
Homes sold “as is” often need some work or may be cosmetically outdated. It’s not a label you’re likely to put on a listing in pristine, move-in-ready condition.
“As is” sales often attract investors searching for their next flip or buyers seeking a bargain, perhaps on a home in a great location with lots of potential.
According to Cowart, sellers often sell “as is” if they have an investment property or a home that is a fixer upper.
What problems do you have to disclose in Georgia?
Selling a house “as is” in Georgia doesn’t mean completely sweeping known problems about the house under the rug. While state law doesn’t require an official disclosure form, it does require sellers to disclose any problems with the property that aren’t evident. For this reason, many top agents will recommend that sellers provide a disclosure statement.
For sellers that take this advice, a good time to fill out a property disclosure statement is prior to listing your home or requesting an offer so that you know it’s taken care of.
According to an example document from the Georgia Realtors Association, sellers must disclose any known material defects that aren’t obvious or would not be found by a buyer upon completing a reasonable inspection.
The form will walk you through documenting what you know about the home’s occupancy, lead-based paint, systems, and components.
You’ll also be prompted to fill out information about the approximate age of the water heater, information about the sewage system, and the age of the roof.
No matter what method you choose to sell your home, it’s best to make these disclosures to the best of your ability. However, Georgia does allow certain exemptions from liability for sellers who have not lived in the home. These include investor properties, inherited houses, and unfamiliar homes. Georgia is a ‘buyer beware’ state and buyers are expected to do their own due diligence before purchasing a home. However, deliberately misleading or lying to a buyer about the condition of a property is illegal.
Review your options to sell ‘as is’ in Georgia
The main options to sell a house “as is” include:
1. List ‘as is’ with the help of a real estate agent
A great real estate agent will provide assistance throughout the process of listing and selling a home “as is.” An agent gives simple presentation tips to improve marketing, helps to set an appropriate price that reflects the home’s condition, and works to find a buyer willing and eager to buy your home in its current state.
Cowart says she strives to add value to each home sale, especially an as-is sale because she has “a large team and a multitude of resources including a transaction coordinator, a marketing team, and multiple reliable vendors she has built relationships with.”
2. Sell directly to a cash buyer
Someone needing to sell their home “as is” can also work directly with a property investor or house-buying company rather than list on the open market, where it may be difficult to get an offer from a limited buyer pool.
We Buy Houses operations buy “as is” at a discounted rate and generally seek out homes in need of significant repairs. These companies can help sellers cash out quickly, and many will cover a seller’s closing costs.
Steps to list ‘as is’ with the help of a real estate agent
Find an agent willing to list the home ‘as is’
Your choice of real estate agent always matters, but especially when selling a property “as is.” It’s important to find the right match. You’re looking for an agent who doesn’t shy away from listings that need a little TLC and maybe has a strong network of investor connections.
Your agent should also be willing to go the extra mile on marketing. Considering 80% of Americans say they would prefer to buy a move-in ready home, an “as is” sale likely has a reduced buyer pool from the start.
Cowart says she goes the extra mile by incorporating the use of a marketing team into each listing. Real estate is her career, not her hobby, and she is an expert in her market.
HomeLight can connect you to top-performing agents in your area. Our Agent Match platform analyzes over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to determine which agent will best meet your needs. Whether you’re looking to sell “as is” or just need help making the best decision, our free tool will provide agent recommendations in just two minutes.
Consider a pre-listing inspection
A pre-listing home inspection is the same as a standard home inspection except that the seller pays for it before listing their home on the market.
It may sound like a counterintuitive step for an as-is sale, but getting the inspection results upfront can illuminate any issues that could impact the value of the home and inform an accurate pricing strategy. If a buyer requests further deductions to the price based on their own inspection, you may be able to point to how the estimated cost of certain repairs was already baked into the list price.
“As a Realtor®, I prefer to have the owner do a pre-listing inspection, repair any items identified as problematic to a buyer and do — at minimum — cosmetic repairs such as paint, carpet, and appliances,” says top Atlanta agent Bruce Ailion, who has 42 years of real estate sales experience. “Doing this will allow the seller to obtain top value for the home and a faster sale.”
Price to reflect ‘as is’ condition
The median sale price for homes in Georgia hit $370,000 in December 2022, a 2.8% increase over the year prior. Ailion says that homes sold “as is” in the area typically sell for 5% to 10% less than regular listings.
Some of the top factors that impact the value of an as-is listing in Georgia include the house’s location, outdoor space, layout, and school district, according to Cowart.
To get a ballpark estimate of how much your home might be worth, check out HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator.
Our Home Value Estimator combs public data, including tax records and assessments, and pulls recent sales records for other properties in your neighborhood. Using a short questionnaire, the online tool also factors in specifics about your home, such as the property type and described condition. Input your address, and we’ll provide you with a preliminary home value estimate in under two minutes.
Do ever-so-light preparations
Even for as-is home listings in Georgia, Ailion typically recommends sellers complete the following:
- Remove personal items from the home
- Put away religious items
- Declutter the space
- Deep clean the house
- Add some inexpensive items to increase curb appeal such as a flowerpot or a freshly painted door or a wreath
Photograph to show potential
Your home listing warrants professional photography no matter what type of condition the property is in. A professional photographer will take steps to shoot each room from the best angle; ensure optimal interior and natural lighting, and edit for the ideal brightness and exposure.
A high-quality camera with a wide-angle lens is also essential to showcasing entire rooms rather than half or three-quarters of what’s there. For these reasons and more, professionally photographed homes can sell up to three weeks faster and bring in up to $11,000 more than their houses marketed without professional photos.
Your real estate agent will almost always arrange for professional photos as part of the listing process.
Highlight the surrounding area
A home’s location will be important to buyers seeking out a home with potential. Mention in your as-is listing if your home is close to any of the following:
- Coffee shops
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Include ‘as is’ in the listing
Unless you explicitly mention that your house is being sold “as is,” buyers will have no idea of your intentions with the listing. Other common descriptors mentioned in as-is listings in Georgia include phrases such as: priced to sell, good bones, needs work, with all faults, and great potential.
To balance the focus on as-is condition, work with your agent to craft a property description that highlights the best features of the home, such as an open layout, light-filled rooms, and a large backyard.
“My MLS and most MLS systems have an as-is designation allowing search on that term”, says Ailion.
Understand buyers may still negotiate
Listing “as is” provides no guarantee that buyers won’t try to negotiate savings on their purchase, even on an asking price you felt was already reduced to reflect the home’s condition. One of the best defenses you can have is an agent who takes a hard stance to prevent a deal from going south for the seller.
“I advise ‘cash is king’ in negotiation. Even qualified buyers can run into problems with financing. I tell sellers that ‘as is’ does not mean they can hide or cover up and fail to disclose material defects. I advise buyers ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware.’ You must do your research and not rely on the seller to disclose anything regarding the property,” says Ailion.
Be aware of minimum property standards for certain loans
When you place your home on the market, it’s hard to predict if your top offer will come from a cash buyer or a buyer pre-qualified for a home loan.
But if you do end up working with a financed buyer, be aware that different mortgage types (such as conventional loans or government-backed FHA, USDA, or VA loans) have different minimum property standards. These are standards related to the overall condition of a property which will play a role in the willingness and/or ability of a lender to finance a buyer’s loan.
Before properties can be financed, their value and condition are typically examined by a state-licensed, independent appraiser contracted by the buyer’s mortgage company.
If you’re unsure whether your home will meet appraisal requirements, you can start by taking a look at the FHA minimum property standards. If your house complies with FHA, then it complies with most other lenders’ requirements.
Prioritize a cash offer if you receive one
On occasion, conventional lenders may even finance a fixer-upper property sold “as is,” and it’s not impossible to finance a fixer-upper with an FHA loan. However, if you’re selling a house “as is” — especially one that needs heftier repairs — you may want to consider accepting a cash offer if you receive one. Cash eliminates the lender-ordered appraisal as well as the time it takes to close on the buyer’s loan, creating a faster and clearer path to settlement.
Pros of listing a home ‘as is’
- Save time and money on prepwork
- Possibility of reducing negotiations from the inspection
- Solution for out-of-state owners and inherited homes
Cons of listing a home ‘as is’
- Limited buyer pool
- Expect lower offers
- Negotiations and repairs aren’t always off the table
Steps to sell directly to a cash buyer
Now that we’ve covered the general process of listing a home “as is,” let’s discuss the alternative of working with an investor. While the process varies from business to business, the steps to selling your home to a house-buying company typically go something like this:
- Decision: A homeowner decides a traditional listing isn’t for them. Perhaps their house needs a lot of work or they do not want to host any showings or open houses. They’re concerned about finding a buyer willing to purchase their home “as is” in its current state.
- Contact: A seller contacts a company that buys homes in their area and provides some basic information about their home.
- Preliminary offer: At this stage, some house-buying companies will provide a preliminary offer that is subject to change after a house assessment.
- Assessment: The company schedules a walkthrough of the property to evaluate its condition, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
- Firm offer: The company makes a firm offer (usually within 24 hours, sometimes on-site after the walkthrough) which you can accept or decline. Most of these companies will not negotiate on price, so the offer is a take-it-or-leave-it scenario.
- Closing: If you accept the offer, you and the company will each sign the contract and closing will begin. Some companies offer a large deposit or moving cost assistance, and a few may even pay for the home upfront.
- Payment: The seller receives payment quickly, typically within seven days to a few weeks. This can vary by company, and sellers who work with a house-buying company often enjoy flexibility in selecting a move-out date that works for them.
One of the most convenient ways to find a reputable cash homebuyer is through a trusted platform like HomeLight’s Simple Sale.
Simple Sale provides you with a no-obligation all-cash offer sourced from the largest network of cash buyers in the country. To get started, tell us a few details about your home and when you need to sell. After collecting some information, we’ll provide you with a no-obligation, full cash offer within a week.
No need to call the roof inspector or drain your savings to replace the HVAC. HomeLight will provide an offer 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, we’re 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. With Simple Sale, you can close in as little as 10 days, compared to the 30-60 days it typically takes to close with a financed buyer.
Curious to know more about the Simple Sale experience? Hear it firsthand from one of our valued clients in the video below.
Additional ‘We Buy Houses’ companies in Georgia
Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the leading companies that purchase homes “as is” for cash in Georgia and information about each.
HomeVestors®/We Buy Ugly Houses®
Locations: Offices in 45 states including Georgia
Founded in 1996, and now with locations in 45 states, We Buy Ugly Houses® (HomeVestors®) is one of the largest and most well-known home buying companies in the country. They have purchased more than 125,000 houses. They are a network of local independently owned and operated franchises with its main headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The company buys houses in any condition and is known for its fast closings and straightforward home-buying process.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. We Buy Ugly Houses® does cover them.
Reviews: We Buy Ugly Houses®/HomeVestors® is BBB accredited and holds an A+ rating. Positive customer reviews for We Buy Ugly Houses® speak to its reputation for being honest. They express that the company operates professionally and treats customers with respect. Keep in mind that different locations do have different ratings and reviews.
We Buy Houses
Locations: Nationwide including in Georgia
Another well-known house-buying company, We Buy Houses, has been around since 1997. The business operates as a marketing program for real estate investors across the country. It’s not a franchise model and only deals with established investors in the local areas they serve. Its website says it has helped more than one million homeowners. It operates nationwide, and you can enter your ZIP code on the site to see if they’re currently buying houses in your area.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. We Buy Houses does cover them.
Reviews: We Buy Houses has been BBB accredited since August 2020. It also has an A+ rating. Customer reviews for We Buy Houses speak to the company’s fair offers. They express that the company knows the local market and its staff is professional and polite.
Locations: 28 states including Georgia
Express HomeBuyers has been operating since 2003. In that time, it has purchased more than 4,000 homes. It buys homes in any condition and makes fast offers. It offers cash advances to qualifying home sellers. The company is headquartered in Virginia but operates in 28 states. Its goal is to help homeowners skip the hassle of the traditional home-selling experience.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. Express HomeBuyers does cover them.
Reviews: Express HomeBuyers has been BBB accredited since February 2004. It has an A+ rating. Customer reviews for Express HomeBuyers speak to the company’s quick and efficient selling process. They express that the company makes fast offers and follows through with the offers.
Pros of selling ‘as is’ to an investor
- Save money on home preparations.
- Sell fast — receive an offer in as little as a few days, and close as quickly as one to two weeks later.
- Skip repairs. Most house-buying companies purchase properties in “as is” condition, even those that need major repairs.
- No staging. No repeated showings. No open houses.
- Arrange for a flexible move-out date.
Cons of selling ‘as is’ to an investor
- Offers are likely to be much lower. Investors typically pay 70% of what they estimate to be the home’s after-repair value.
- Sellers will have little room to negotiate. Most cash buyer offers are going to be “take it or leave it.”
- Although many home-buying companies are legitimate, some are not. It’s always a good idea to be vigilant about possible scams.
How much will you make from an as-is home sale?
There is no simple equation for calculating how much you’ll net from an “as is” sale. If you list on the market with an agent, you’ll need to account for the cost of agent commissions (around 5.8% on average) and other closing costs such as title fees and taxes, but are likely to field higher offers from buyers and see more competition for the home.
According to Ailion, expect to earn 5 to 10% less if you’re selling your house “as is,” compared to if you were selling it in “move-in ready” condition.
Different types of investors and house-buying companies also offer varying amounts for homes, largely dependent on their exit strategy. While fix ‘n’ flip investors usually pay around 70% of the home’s after-repair value, buy-and-hold investors who plan to rent out your property may be able to pay more. In addition, investors are often willing to cover a seller’s closing costs which can add up to around 1%-3% of the sale price. HomeLight’s net proceeds calculator can be helpful for running through some possible selling scenarios and estimating your take-home pay.
Ready to sell your house in Georgia?
While every home sale is different, you should now be familiar with the general process of selling a house “as is” in Georgia. Now, you can begin to weigh which method will work best for you.
According to Ailion, many Georgia as-is sellers want to stay clear of needing to make costly or time-consuming repairs for the buyer. Others have never lived in the property and don’t know its condition, such as investors or sellers who have inherited a home. For these homeowners, selling “as is” can be a fitting solution.
Whether you choose to list “as is” with a real estate agent or work with a direct home buyer, a home doesn’t have to be in perfect condition to sell — so long as you provide disclosures as necessary, set the right price, and know what to expect going in. Whenever you’re ready to take the next step, HomeLight would be happy to assist with your real estate needs. Connect with a top agent near you or get started with a no-obligation cash offer from Simple Sale.
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