Selling My House As-Is: A Complete Guide
As long as you disclose all defects and set a realistic price, you can avoid the hassle of getting the house market-ready by selling your home as-is. The bonus? A quicker sale.
Thinking about selling your house as-is? Perhaps you’re pressed for time and need to get out of the home quickly, or maybe the house needs expensive repairs that you can’t afford. Here’s what you need to know about how to sell a house as-is and whether it’s the best move for you financially.
What selling as-is means
Selling a home as-is means to sell it in its current condition, with none of the major repairs, home improvements or costly staging that are typically involved in a traditional market sale. That often means finding a home buyer or real estate investor, either with or without the help of a traditional real estate agent, who is willing to pay cash for the property as-is and take on the responsibility of any repair costs.
What does selling a house as-is NOT mean?
It does not mean hiding known defects to make a sale. While there is a certain “buyer beware” aspect to every as-is sale, most states have disclosure laws that require serious defects to be disclosed when selling a house. One cannot simply market a home as a fixer upper and not disclose lead-based paint or other known issues.
Why would I sell a house as-is?
There are many reasons home sellers may want to sell their home as-is. Typically, these boil down to a combination of life circumstances and a lack of time, money or renovation expertise. The death of a family member, divorce, bankruptcy and foreclosure may compel a homeowner to sell their home in as-is condition. And while the reason may not always be happy, there are also some notable benefits to an as-is sale:
- Save money: You won’t have to fork up a lump sum of cash to make expensive repairs. You also won’t pay traditional real estate agent fees, transaction costs, and holding expenses.
- Save time: You won’t have to spend time and effort coordinating with contractors and getting repairs done, which may take months. You also bypass the time taken by showings, cleanings, open houses, and other steps in the traditional sales process when listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
- Avoid stress: Putting your house on the market the traditional way means you need to wait for potential buyers to view your house and then make an offer. Selling as-is usually means getting a signed sales agreement much more quickly, avoiding the uncertainty of waiting, negotiating and navigating a complex closing process.
If you lack the cash or time to make repairs and get the house market ready, selling as-is provides a convenient, worry-free alternative. At Sundae, we connect homeowners to the largest network of trusted investors who will compete to get you the highest possible price for your home.
Who buys as-is properties?
Property investors with available cash who are looking to take on cost and time to make the necessary repairs on a house are the most likely buyers of as-is properties. An iBuyer, or instant buyer, might consider buying a house as-is, but many times iBuyers have specific requirements for the houses they will buy, and will reject a house that needs too much work.
Selling as-is: How it works
An as-is home sale typically means forgoing the traditional market and choosing not to list it on the MLS. Instead, you’ll seek out a cash buyer who will close the deal quickly. You might do that with the help of an agent, or on your own. No matter what approach you take, the process of selling a house as-is will involve setting a realistic price; checking for—and disclosing—defects; marketing your house to potential buyers as an as-is property; and choosing an offer to accept.
Working with Sundae can provide peace of mind and help streamline every step in your home selling transaction. Most important, Sundae will vet cash offers from a trusted network of real estate investors so you can choose the best possible one.
Make it clear that your listing is for an as-is home
When listing a house for sale as-is—whether or not you enlist the help of a traditional real estate agent—you’ll need to list or market your house. Be sure that any marketing materials state that it is an as-is property, and no repairs will be made.
Do your due diligence
Spending the $300 to $500 for a pre-listing home inspection is worth it so you can be sure you have an accurate idea of the condition of the house and any important details that should be disclosed to interested buyers.
In most states, you are legally obligated to disclose all known defects to any potential buyer. Each state’s disclosure laws vary, but if you aren’t forthcoming about issues such as (but not limited to) mold problems, lead paint, foundation issues, or a leaky roof, you could be held liable for misrepresenting the property.
Take the time to clean up
You may not be investing in any repairs or home improvements, but keeping the house as tidy as possible can help. Things like mowing the lawn, putting the dishes away and keeping the beds made take minimal effort and can increase appeal.
Manage your price expectations
Consider what other houses of a similar age, square footage, property features and location are selling for in your local market. Based on that, set a realistic asking price and decide ahead of time how low you’ll go and how much you’re willing to negotiate.
Be on alert for predatory buyers
The convenience and upfront savings of not having to do even minor repairs is worth accepting a lower selling price. Predatory cash buyers, however, might make a low-ball offer, trying to take advantage of you for a good deal. Know that they might appear to meet your asking price, but then chip away at that price after the fact with concessions. A marketplace where potential buyers compete, like Sundae, helps ensure you get the best cash price available.
Are you better off investing in home improvements?
When evaluating your financial options, you might decide that making some necessary repairs, as opposed to selling fully as-is, is worth it. Selling a house as-is involves a tradeoff, after all. In exchange for a fast, simple and direct cash transaction, the homeowner typically accepts a lower selling price than in a traditional sale. In 2022, the median price for a fixer-upper was $225,000, which is 45% less than a comparable turnkey home. That’s a big difference, but the actual price difference will vary greatly depending on your location and the current market value of homes in your area.
How much more money can you make on the open market?
Let’s say you have a house that’s worth $200,000. In Springfield, Illinois, a turnkey home costs about 18% more than a fixer-upper, meaning you could make the necessary repairs and sell for a fair market price of around $236,000.
But let’s factor in the cost of necessary repairs:
- Replace the old roof: $9,000 (national average)
- Paint the exterior: $3,000
- Install new carpet: $1,700
- Update the electrical panel: $1,200
And then once you pay your real estate agent their commission of 6% ($14,160), you stand to make an extra $6,940 at most.
Consider return on investment
By taking into account the average return on investment (ROI) of home improvement projects and calculating what your net proceeds would be, you can figure out whether the repair costs are worthwhile. It will cost both time and money to renovate, so it really depends on your situation.
Home improvements that are relatively minor but make a big difference in how your home shows might be worth doing. If the house only requires minor repairs such as replacing a kitchen sink or installing new cabinets, you may want to address those issues and then list it for sale.
Are trendy renovations worth doing?
More costly cosmetic upgrades, such as doing an entire kitchen remodel to bring it up to date with current trends, on the other hand, may not be worth your time or money. Keep in mind that home buyers often have a vision and prefer to make their own updates rather than pay for your style choices.
Consider addressing serious defects
Aside from legally required disclosures, a pre-sale home inspection can alert you to issues that might scare buyers away from the deal. It might be a structural issue, an old and leaky roof, lead based paint, to name a few; identify these issues and get cost estimates for fixes to help you decide how to proceed with your sale. Consider your time investment, too—these types of repairs can take months to fix. You have options if you prefer to skip doing major necessary repairs like these, but addressing them could get you more attractive offers.
|Project||Average Cost to Repair|
|Replacing ducts and vents||$500–$2,100|
|Installing new flooring||$500–$14,750|
|Small kitchen remodel||$5,000–$30,000|
|Replace a roof||$5,700–$12,300|
*Average Pricing Source: HomeAdvisor
What’s the best way to sell as-is?
If you decide to sell your house as-is, you have a few choices. You can enlist the help of a traditional real estate agent to help you sell your property on the market; do a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction; or seek out a cash buyer in an off-market sale.
Sell as-is on the traditional market
One way to get your house in front of a lot of potential buyers is to list it as-is on the MLS. Though an as-is property might have fewer interested buyers than a turnkey one, some investors will be open to this kind of deal. This is especially true if the “bones” of the house are good and the needed repairs are relatively minor, or if the location is especially desirable.
A traditional real estate agent can help
For best results when listing on the MLS, work with a traditional agent who has experience with as-is properties. They will guide you on small updates that might make a difference in an otherwise as-is sale; help you price the house right; and have connections to potential investors interested in as-is properties. Most traditional real estate agents charge sales commission of around 6%, so you’ll need to factor that into your costs.
But you can also go FSBO
You can list and sell your home without the help of an agent, through a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction. This will save you the cost of the agent’s commission, but an FSBO sale means all the work is on you, the seller. If selling on your own, be prepared to:
- Research your local market and comparable properties to price your house appropriately;
- Prepare your home for showings, including making repairs and staging;
- Market your house to get out word of the sale;
- Host showings;
- Vet potential buyers;
- Manage the closing process (typically with the help of an attorney)
If you find that the time and expense of doing these steps yourself aren’t worthwhile, enlisting the help of a traditional real estate agent or pursuing an off-market sale might be a better fit for you.
Pursue an off-market sale
If you want to seek out a cash buyer, you can do so on your own, through local ads or at property auctions; you can sell to an iBuyer (although be aware that they often have specific requirements and might reject a house that needs a lot of work); or you can sell through Sundae’s marketplace, where investors will compete to offer the best price for your property. Whichever route you choose, the steps involved are similar:
Do your homework first
You’ll want to schedule a pre-sale inspection to evaluate the condition of your house. The results, as well as the current state of your local real estate market and other sales in your area, will help you know what a fair price is for the property. If selling your house through Sundae, we will schedule the inspection and handle this process.
Make a few minor repairs to encourage the sale—or skip them
Cash buyers typically expect to take on repairs and renovations, and price their offers accordingly. If you need to sell as fast as possible, or simply don’t have the money or energy to get fixes done, you can skip them and sell your house exactly as-is.
Choose a cash offer to accept
iBuyers and other cash investors will offer you one price that you can accept or not. If you sell through the Sundae marketplace, you can receive numerous cash offers to consider.
Close the deal
In an as-is sale, you aren’t at the mercy of repair work delays and other timing issues. And because as-is buyers typically make cash offers, you won’t have to worry about buyer financing issues that could sink the deal or cause a delay in your closing.
How Sundae makes as-is sales easier
If you’re ready to sell your home as-is, and want the smoothest, quickest real estate transaction possible, Sundae can help. We can arrange for a pre-listing inspection and then prepare your listing for auction, with no repairs or costly preparation for showings needed. We’ll get your home listing in front of a trusted network of prospective buyers who will compete for the property, so you can get a higher price than you might get seeking out home buyers on your own. We can have a signed sale agreement and close in as little as 10 days.
If you lack the cash or time to make repairs and get the house market-ready, selling as-is provides a convenient, worry-free alternative. At Sundae, we connect homeowners to the largest network of trusted cash investors who will compete to get you the highest possible sales price for your home.
Selling as-is FAQs
Are as-is sales always cash only?
No, it is possible to get a loan on an as-is sale, in certain circumstances. Whether a lender will provide financing on an as-is house will depend on the lender’s rules and the extent of the needed repairs. Most have what is called minimum property requirements (MPRs) which must be met. A home that is deemed structurally unsound or otherwise unsafe is not likely to get approved for a loan; a house that needs more minor fixes likely can. Many as-is buyers, however, are prepared to make a cash sale—which means a faster selling process and more certainty that the deal will get done.
What might cause my real estate deal to fall through?
A buyer’s inability to secure financing, whether because of their own circumstances or the condition of the house, is a common reason a deal fails. A buyer’s home inspection that reveals serious, previously undisclosed defects can also kill a deal. Or a seller might decide to walk away from an offer that is simply too low or comes with too many requested concessions.
How do I determine the correct price for a house that needs work?
Conducting careful research on what comparable homes are selling for in your local area and current market conditions, getting a pre-listing inspection, and identifying the approximate cost of necessary repairs, should get you close to a number that works. Ultimately, however, a house is worth what a buyer is willing and able to pay for it. Which is why selling on the Sundae marketplace, where many interested investors have a chance to compete with their offers, can be the surest way to get the best price available.