Looking to sell a house “as is” in Indiana? 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.
According to Indiana real estate agent Jesse Allen, the biggest reason he sees people try to sell their homes “as is” in Indiana is because they don’t have the funds to make any repairs and their property is in a state of disrepair. “We also get owners who live out of state who don’t have the ability to let people in and out of the house to do repairs,” he says.
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 “as is” in Indiana, your options for getting an offer, and what to expect from the process.
Fast facts about selling a house ‘as is’ in Indiana
|Median sales price in Indiana||$208,000|
|Average days on market for Indiana||85 days|
|Disclosures||Indiana law requires sellers to disclose material facts about the property through the Seller’s Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure|
|MLS has field to mark a listing “as is”?||No|
|Is a real estate attorney required?||Real estate attorneys are not considered essential for closing in the state of Indiana|
|Real estate transfer taxes?||There are no real estate transfer taxes in Indiana|
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.
“It’s not something we recommend unless the property is in very poor condition and there’s something that’s a major issue with the home,” Allen says. “Any time you have that ‘as is’ on the listing, it’s a red flag and you eliminate a lot of buyers.”
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Homes sold “as is” often need some work or may be cosmetically outdated.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.
Something that Allen does see with some as-is sellers, is that they’ve had the house under contract before and have gone through the inspection period — only to have major defects pop up during the process.
“Sellers have had people come in and give them quotes on repairing the damage, and then will attach those quotes to the MLS (multiple listing service) so the agent can share them with the client. That way the buyer already knows what they’re walking into and has a general idea as to what it’s going to cost,” Allen says.
What problems do you have to disclose in Indiana?
Selling a house “as is” in Indiana doesn’t mean sweeping known problems about the house under the rug.
A good time to fill out the Seller’s Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure is prior to listing your home or requesting an offer so that you know it’s taken care of.
According to the document, sellers are obligated to complete the disclosure to the best of their “current actual knowledge.” The form must be completed by the owner without the assistance of a real estate agent and must be signed and submitted to any prospective buyer before an offer for the property is accepted.
Condition of appliances and home systems
The form will walk you through documenting what you know about the condition of the appliances, electrical system, water, and sewer system, heating and cooling system, and the roof. Specifically, this includes whether a refrigerator is included with the property (as well as its condition), the condition of any included light fixtures, and whether the fireplace is defective.
Roof age, condition, and history
The disclosure form will ask you about the age and condition of your home’s roof. Does it leak? Is there present damage to the roof? Is there more than one roof on the house? If so, how many layers?
Hazardous or toxic substances
You’ll also be prompted to fill out information about your knowledge of hazardous conditions on the property, including the presence of methane gas, lead paint, mold, or asbestos insulation.
Other disclosures, such as foundation or flooding problems
Lastly, you’ll be asked to provide a variety of other disclosures — such as whether foundation problems exist or whether the property is accessed via a public road or easement.
Additional issues you’ll be asked to discourse include:
- Any violations of zoning, building codes, or restrictive covenants
- Any government notices you’ve received about the property
- Additions or alterations made without a required permit
- Moisture or water problems in areas like the basement or crawl space
- Damage due to wind, flood, rodents, termites, or other wood-destroying insects
- If the property is in a flood plain and if you pay flood insurance
- If the property contains any underground storage areas
- Any threatened or existing litigation regarding the property
- If the property is part of a homeowner’s association (HOA)
- If the property is located within one mile of an airport
No matter what method you choose to sell your home, it’s required to make these disclosures to the best of your ability. This disclosure form is required for almost all residential home sales for properties hosting up to four units. There is no exemption given for sellers who haven’t lived in the home.
Review your options to sell ‘as is’ in Indiana
The main options to sell a house “as is” include:
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.
“Something we’re seeing right now is there are a ton of people out there doing what we call wholesaling,” Allen says. A wholesaler will lock in a price and enter into a contract on a property but not actually close on the sale. “Sellers have to be really leery of that.”
According to Allen, some wholesalers will offer cash for the property, but the reality is that these buyers don’t even have the cash to close. “What they’re trying to do is get under contract at a discount. Then they’ll try to sell that contract to another investor or buyer to make a profit.”
Allen reviews all of his clients’ offers to make sure they steer clear of these offers, which can tie up a property for 45 to 60 days. “A lot of times what we’re seeing is that they’re writing a $100 or $500 check for earnest money, and then coming back after 30 days to let the property go because they can’t find anyone to buy it,” Allen explains.
“You’ll get a check for $500, but you’ve lost 30 days on the market. And those days on the market are worth a lot more than $500.”
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, 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.
There’s a lot of really good things about having your house pre-inspected. As the seller, you’ll already know what’s going to come up on the home inspection and you can either correct those things or include them on the seller’s disclosure.
- Jesse Allen Real Estate AgentCloseJesse Allen Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams
- Years of Experience 5
- Transactions 108
- Average Price Point $168k
- Single Family Homes 101
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.
“A lot of times when we hear that someone wants to sell a property ‘as is,’ it’s instantly a red flag to buyers that there are major problems with the house — even if that’s not the case,” Allen says. “You’re less likely to get those multiple offers.”
This is where having an experienced real estate agent comes in, as they’ll have the network with other agents to help get your property in front of as many eyes as possible.
“Not only am I trying to find you a buyer, but I’m also reaching out to other agents who may have 15-20 buyers each that they’re currently working with,” Allen says. “So instead of me reaching out to 5,000 buyers myself, I might reach out to 200 agents with a total network of 20,000 buyers.”
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.
“There’s a lot of really good things about having your house pre-inspected,” Allen says. “As the seller, you’ll already know what’s going to come up on the home inspection and you can either correct those things or include them on the seller’s disclosure.”
According to Allen, another key benefit for sellers in Indiana is that if they disclose a known defect on the seller’s disclosure, then they aren’t obligated to fix it if it comes up during the home inspection process. It also can’t be used for the buyer to back out of the purchase agreement.
Price to reflect ‘as is’ condition
The median sale price for homes in Indiana hit $208,000 in January 2022, a 13% increase over the year prior.
Beyond the lower sales price, the primary issue with selling a home “as is” in Indiana, is that sellers eliminate a lot of potential home buyers, Allen says. “It’s not something we recommend unless a property is in very poor condition. If you have the money to make the repairs, or can lower the purchase price, those would be better options.”
You can start with a free estimate from HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator (HVE).
Our HVE combs public data including tax records and assessments and pulls recent sales records for other properties in your neighborhood. Using a short questionnaire, we also factor 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 Indiana, Allen typically recommends sellers complete the following:
- Clean and organize the house
- Get rid of clutter
- Remove family photos and other personal items
“It’s really hard for buyers to get a feel for what it’s going to be like for their family to live in a house when they see pictures of someone else’s family all over the walls,” Allen says. “One of the first things we tell sellers is to take down as many family pictures as possible because it really helps buyers get a feel for what they’re walking into.”
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 house with potential. Mention in your as-is listing if your home is close to any of the following:
- Good schools
- Playgrounds and/or parks
- Shopping districts
- Interstate access
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 Indiana are priced to sell, fixer-upper, handyman special, and a call for investors.
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 the overall craftsmanship, structural integrity, property size, nearby amenities, and recent upgrades.
According to Allen, when he’s listing an as-is home on the MLS, he’ll use the agent notes section to pass along information about the “as is” condition of the house so that the buyers’ agents can ensure their clients know what to expect before scheduling a visit to the house.
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’ve found that there are three times where we’re going to negotiate with a buyer: on the purchase price, during the inspection process, and then again during the appraisal,” Allen says. “When they start asking for furniture to stay in the house or repairs to be made, and we haven’t even agreed on a purchase price yet, that’s when it can be difficult.”
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.
“When you accept a cash offer, that’s usually one of the biggest benefits,” Allen says. “I would recommend looking for that checkbox on the offer that says whether they want an appraisal or not. If they don’t want an appraisal, that’s a big benefit to the seller.”
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.
If you aren’t sure where to get a cash offer, consider Simple Sale, a solution from HomeLight. With Simple Sale, you tell us a bit about your home, such as whether it’s a single-family home or condo and how much work it needs. From there we’ll provide you with a no-obligation, all-cash offer to buy your home in as few as 48 hours.
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.
Want to know more about the Simple Sale experience? Hear it first hand from one of our valued clients in the video below.
Additional ‘we buy houses’ companies in Indiana
Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the leading companies that purchase homes “as is” for cash in Indiana and information about each.
Express Homebuyers has been purchasing homes for cash in Indiana since 2003. Under the leadership of co-founders Jud Allen and Brad Chandler, the company has purchased over 4,000 as-is homes in the past 19 years. They built the company with the goal of making the home selling process as easy as possible — despite the circumstances. Sellers have the ability to choose their own closing date, get help with moving expenses, and close in as little as seven days.
Locations: Express Homebuyers is headquartered in Virginia, but buys homes in many states throughout the country, including Indiana.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. Express Homebuyers covers all closing costs and doesn’t charge any fees to sellers.
Reviews: Express Homebuyers has been BBB accredited since February 3, 2004, and holds an A+ rating. Customer reviews for Express Homebuyers speak to the ease of doing business with the company, as well as their satisfaction with the offer price, which many reviewers felt was fair for an as-is home. They express gratitude for the flexibility shown when closing dates had to be changed, as well as for the level of service and communication shown throughout the real estate process. Negative reviews had little to do with the customer experience but did call out the company’s marketing and advertising practices, which some consumers found to be unwelcome and misleading.
Christopher Ellyn Homes
Christopher Ellyn Homes is a local company that purchases about 100 properties each year in the Indianapolis area. Although the company purchases homes “as is” for cash, they don’t consider themselves flippers or investors, according to their website. Instead, the goal of the company is to create “clean and affordable housing” for local families by purchasing as-is properties they can fix up and rent out. To this end, the company has a full-time maintenance crew on staff to take care of the properties.
Locations: Christopher Ellyn Homes is located in Indianapolis. They purchase homes in and around the city, including the communities of Beech Grove, Broad Ripple, Carmel, Columbus, Fort Wayne, and Greenwood.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. Christopher Ellyn Homes covers all closing costs and doesn’t charge any fees to sellers.
Reviews: Christopher Ellyn Homes has been BBB accredited since August 26, 2016, and holds an A+ rating. Customer reviews for Christopher Ellyn Homes speak to the professionalism of the company, as well as the easy sales process and honesty of the company representatives the sellers worked with. They express appreciation for the smooth process, as well as the speed of the transaction. Although reviews were overwhelmingly positive, a few reviewers on BBB and Google spoke to challenges during the sales process, as well as frustrations with the company’s marketing practices.
Simple Quarters is an as-is home buying company in Indiana that buys homes for cash in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. According to the company’s website, they have helped over 2,500 area families who were experiencing difficult real estate situations. The company is owned by a real estate broker and is affiliated with Red Bridge Real Estate.
Locations: Simple Quarters is located in Carmel, Indiana. They purchase homes in and around the Indianapolis area.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. Simple Quarters covers all closing costs and doesn’t charge any fees to sellers.
Reviews: Simple Quarters has been BBB accredited since June 23, 2017, and holds an A+ rating. Customer reviews for Simple Quarters speak to the pleasant nature, professionalism, and honesty of the company, as well as how smooth it was to sell a home using their services. They express gratitude and appreciation for the Simple Quarters team members who helped guide them through the process. As a whole, the reviews on BBB and Google were positive for Simple Quarters, but a few consumers did express frustration about late offers and the company’s inability to close on a property. In most cases, Simple Quarters did take the time to respond to negative reviews.
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 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.
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 Indiana?
While every home sale is different, you should now be familiar with the general process of selling a house “as is” in Indiana. Now, you can begin to weigh which method will work best for you.
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 cash offer from Simple Sale.
Header Image Source: (Corbin Mathias / Unsplash)