How to Sell a House ‘As Is’ in Ohio

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Looking to sell a house “as is” in Ohio? 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 top producing Columbus, Ohio real estate agent, Lorraine (Lori) Lynn, every house is sold ‘as is’ in the state of Ohio. However, some sellers may not want to complete needed repairs on the house or may not have the funds to complete the repairs, so they will sell the house in its current condition. Some of these things may include not wanting to repair a broken heating system or a leaky toilet.

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 Ohio, your options for getting an offer, and what to expect from the process.

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Fast facts about selling a house ‘as is’ in Ohio

Average sales price in Ohio $281,176 (June 2022)
Median days on market for Ohio 32
Disclosures Ohio law requires sellers to disclose material facts about the property through the Residential Property Disclosure Form
MLS has field to mark a listing “as is”? No, all houses are considered ‘as is’ in Ohio
Is a real estate attorney required? Real estate attorneys are not considered essential for closing in the state of Ohio
Real estate transfer taxes? 0.10% plus county tax rate
What I do is when I go into the house and I see some minor repairs, then a lot of times I will have my contractors complete the repairs and have the sellers reimburse us at closing. This way the buyer will get a better perspective of the house and I can get the repair done for the buyer at a reasonable price and they don’t pay anything out of pocket. The repair cost just comes out of the seller’s settlement proceeds.
  • Lorraine Lynn
    Lorraine Lynn Real Estate Agent
    Lorraine Lynn
    Lorraine Lynn Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Consultants
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    Currently accepting new clients
    • Years of Experience 22
    • Transactions 781
    • Average Price Point $261k
    • Single Family Homes 692

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.

Lynn approaches things a bit differently when selling a house ‘as is’ in Ohio. “What I do is when I go into the house and I see some minor repairs, then a lot of times I will have my contractors complete the repairs and have the sellers reimburse us at closing,” Lynn shares. “This way the buyer will get a better perspective of the house and I can get the repair done for the buyer at a reasonable price and they don’t pay anything out of pocket. The repair cost just comes out of the seller’s settlement proceeds.”

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.

Some homes that are typically sold ‘as is’ are homes being sold as part of an estate sale, inherited homes, investment properties, and homes where repairs were started but the seller ran out of money to finish them.

What problems do you have to disclose in Ohio?

Selling a house “as is” in Ohio doesn’t mean sweeping known problems about the house under  the rug.

A good time to fill out the Residential Property Disclosure Form is prior to listing your home or requesting an offer so that you know it’s taken care of.

According to the document, the owner must answer all questions in the disclosure form, even if they haven’t lived in the property. If something doesn’t apply to your house, you can write it as not applicable, and if you don’t know the answer to a question, such as when the roof was last repaired, you can write unknown.

The form will walk you through documenting what you know about things like the type of water supply system, the type of sewer system, if there was ever any fire damage to the property, and if there are any other material defects that you know about.

You’ll also be prompted to fill out information about termite damage, if there are problems or defects in the electrical or plumbing systems, and if you know of a presence of hazardous materials in the home such as lead based paint or asbestos.

No matter what method you choose to sell your home, it’s required to make these disclosures to the best of your ability. However, Ohio does not allow certain exceptions for sellers who haven’t lived in the home.

Review your options to sell ‘as is’ in Ohio

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.

It’s important to find an agent with experience selling homes ‘as is’ in Ohio. A great agent might also work with local contractors, so you can make your house more appealing to buyers, and save time and money with repairs.

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.

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.

Lynn goes the extra mile for all of her clients by doing light staging to properties that need it.

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.

Price to reflect ‘as is’ condition

The median sale price for homes in Ohio hit $281,176 in June of 2022, a 9.7% increase over the year prior.

Some of the top factors that impact the value of an “as is” listing in Ohio include the area the house is located in, its size, estimated cost of repairs, size of the lot, and the overall layout of the home. If the house has an open floor plan, is in a desirable area, and has a large yard, even if it needs repairs, it will be an attractive option to many buyers in Ohio.

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.

What is Your Ohio Home Worth?

Enter your address and get a preliminary estimate of home value in under two minutes.

Do ever-so-light preparations

Even for as-is home listings in Ohio, Lynn, typically recommends sellers complete the following:

  • Always declutter the home
  • Make light repairs if possible
  • Paint and decorate in neutral colors
  • Even if the property is dated, the property should be deep cleaned
  • Depersonalize the house: Remove personal items and family photos so anyone can see themselves living there
  • Check walkways for trip hazards
  • Add curb appeal: May be as simple as planting a few flowers or cleaning up your mailbox area

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:

  • Restaurants and shopping including grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Parks, libraries, and community centers
  • Hospitals and doctors offices
  • Museums and other attractions
  • Rivers and lakes
  • Access to major highways
  • Public transportation

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 Ohio include priced to sell.

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 a great backyard, high ceilings, and crown molding. The MLS in Columbus, Ohio, doesn’t have a specific ‘as is’ checkbox or label for agents to mark, according to Lynn.

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.

Lynn is a pro at handling negotiations when selling a house ‘as is’ in Ohio. She knows the house inside and out, and can highlight its positive features. She has also already taken care of minor repairs, so buyers have less room to negotiate based on any small fixes that they might request.

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 prequalified 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 is 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.

Only about five percent of Lynn’s offers are from cash buyers. Some buyers may even make a cash offer with no loan contingency, but then may end up getting a mortgage. This is perfectly fine as long as it’s done within the contract timeline.

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 goes something like this:

  1. 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.
  2. Contact: A seller contacts a company that buys homes in their area and provides some basic information about their home.
  3. Preliminary offer: At this stage, some house buying companies will provide a preliminary offer that is subject to change after a house assessment.
  4. Assessment: The company schedules a walkthrough of the property to evaluate its condition, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 or condo and how much work it needs. From there we’ll provide you with a full cash offer to buy your home in as few as 48 hours.

Skip repairs

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 first hand from one of our valued clients in the video below.

Additional We Buy Houses companies in Ohio

Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the leading companies that purchase homes “as is” for cash in Ohio and information about each.

We Buy Ugly Houses, HomeVestors
(877) 246- 6141

One of the most well-known companies on the list, We Buy Ugly Houses, is a subsidiary of HomeVestors. They buy houses for cash throughout the U.S. and were founded in 1996. They have purchased over 125,000 houses nationwide. Each office is operated as a local franchise and has a local homebuyer available. The company will make a cash offer on your house and can usually close within three weeks.

Locations: 47 states including Ohio. Offices in Ohio are located in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Cleveland.

Fees: We Buy Ugly Houses pays most, if not all of your closing costs. They never charge any fees to tour your home or make an offer, and they also don’t charge any commissions.

Reviews: We Buy Ugly Houses and HomeVestors is BBB accredited and has been since July, 2017. It has an A+ rating with the BBB. Customer reviews for We Buy Ugly Houses speak to the understanding and consideration staff members have during stressful times. Customers express satisfaction with the closing process and prompt company communication. BBB ratings vary between locations, but most franchises also have A+ ratings.

Global Real Estate Solutions LLC
(330) 915-4587

A real estate solutions company based out of North Canton, Ohio, Global Real Estate Solutions LLC was founded in 2013. The company was founded to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and sell their houses quickly, while helping the local community. The company aims to make an offer on your home within 24 hours and close within 7 days. It’s a family run business and buys houses throughout the entire state of Ohio.

Locations: The company is based out of North Canton, Ohio, in Stark county. It mostly buys houses in and around that area, but will buy houses anywhere in Ohio, as long as they meet their buying criteria.

Fees: Sellers pay closing costs in some situations, but each deal varies, and it’s best to contact the company for specifics, especially if you’re in foreclosure or are behind on your mortgage payments. However, Global Real Estate Solutions LLC never charges any fees or commissions when they buy your house.

Reviews: Global Real Estate Solutions LLC isn’t BBB accredited, but does have an A+ rating.  Customer reviews for Global Real Estate Solutions LLC speak to the professionalism and integrity of the company, as well as the friendly staff. They express satisfaction with the ease and speed of the closing process, and the company has mostly positive reviews.

Ohio Cash Buyers
(513) 815-5000

With locations in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio Cash Buyers, a family-owned business that was started more than 17 years ago. It was founded to help sellers get out of sticky situations and sell their homes quickly for a fair price. They are a real estate company and a professional home buying company. Every step in their home buying process was carefully designed by the company’s leaders who have a mix of military experience, as well as experience in sales, real estate, and general contracting.

Locations: Offices in Cincinnati and Dayton, but they buy houses throughout Ohio.

Fees: Ohio Cash Buyers don’t charge any upfront fees or commissions. Most of the time, they pay your closing costs too, but that will depend on the deal. They will give you all the details once they make you a ‘no obligation’ offer.

Reviews: Ohio Cash Buyers is BBB accredited since August, 2019. The company has an A+ rating with the BBB. Customer reviews for Ohio Cash Buyers speak to the company’s professionalism, care, and understanding when navigating difficult situations such as inheriting a house when a family member dies. Their customers express satisfaction with the company overall including their customer service, knowledge of the local market, and their fair prices.

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.”less
  • Although many homebuying 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.

Lynn reminds us that all houses in Ohio are technically sold ‘as is’ and the pricing will depend on the condition of the house, its size, location, amenities, and so on.

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 Ohio?

While every home sale is different, you should now be familiar with the general process of selling a house “as is” in Ohio. Now, you can begin to weigh which method will work best for you.

Lynn says “ Work with an experienced agent who has a network of investors, who is familiar with the systems of a house, and has a database of contractors.”

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: (Michael Bowman / Unsplash)