There is a lot to consider when it comes time to sell your house. One question that pops up quite often is “should I sell my house as is?”. This is a great question, but really needs some careful thought and consideration. You have to ask yourself how much are you willing to invest in your property, do you have the money you need to make all the repairs and lastly will you recover that money you invest getting your house in tip top condition. These are just a few of the things you need to consider. If you are wondering if you should sell as is – keep reading.
Who Will Buy Your Home As Is?
This is really important and depends on how extensive the repairs are that need to be done. The balance wrote an excellent article that covers some of this:
Do Home Buyers Want Fixers or Fixed Up Homes?
Some home buyers want to buy a fixer upper home, but generally these buyers want a home that will require light cosmetic repairs. Buyers who gravitate toward fixers are those who either don’t qualify to buy a more expensive home or those who want to make a profit by fixing the home themselves.
I’ve yet to meet a novice first-time home buyer who says, “Give me a home I can tear down to the studs.” Most fixer buyers are willing to do simple repairs such as paint the walls, put in new carpeting or replace light fixtures. They typically don’t want to rebuild a foundation or move walls.
Fixer-upper buyers will discount the price of the home to allow for the repairs and, for the inconvenience, a bit more. Say, a home is worth $100,000 fixed up, but it needs a new roof. A new roof might cost $10,000. A buyer most likely will not offer $90,000 for this home. Otherwise, they could buy an identical home with a new roof for $100,000 and not have the hassle.
A buyer for this type of home might offer $75,000, or even less. In this scenario, a seller would be smarter to pay for a new roof and sell the home for $100,000.
Moreover, many buyers will not buy a home that needs a new roof. They will worry the work involved will cost more than what they anticipated. Perhaps replacing the roof would involve tearing off the sheathing and repairing rafters, which could add to the cost. Most buyers want a home that is in move-in condition. By not making repairs, you will limit the number of buyers who may be attracted to your home.
This is generally the case when you put your house on the market and are trying to attract your regular home buyer that is purchasing the property through conventional loans. But what if you don’t have the 10k that is required to put a new roof on?
What If You Don’t Have The Money To Make Repairs?
Unfortunately this is often the case for a lot of homeowners that are living from pay check to pay check. Furthermore you may be in a position where you need to sell your property very quickly. In this situation you can always sell your property to real estate investors. You can always go to the internet and perform a search like “we buy houses any condition” to find investors that will do just that, buy your property in it’s present condition.
This is a good option for anyone that needs to sell quickly. But if you are not in a rush you can always list your property with an agent and market the property as “handyman special” or “fixer upper” to make sure you attract the right kind of buyer.
The next thing you have to consider is the cost of the amount of repairs that need to be performed on the property. You may actually end up spending more money on your property than what you will be able to sell the house for. Just because you have 150k in your house doesn’t mean that it will sell for that, especially if all the properties surrounding you are selling for 100k. This scenario is another good reason to consider selling to an investor.
You Must Be Truthful When Selling As Is
The last thing we want to cover about selling “as-is” is what you have to be careful about. Selling your property as is doesn’t mean that you don’t have to disclose problems with the property. While a good inspector will pick up on many things for the buyer, you still have to disclose things like foundation issues and the like that you are aware of, or asked about.
This was emphasized in this article:
What Selling As-Is Does Not Mean
Unfortunately, many homeowners are under the mistaken impression that selling as-is relieves them from all the general obligations that come with the sale of a home. They imagine that they can unload the property for whatever price they can get while avoiding the need to talk about or disclose any issues with the home.
Selling as is does not relieve you from your legal obligation to answer questions honestly concerning the existing problems with the home per the rules of your state.
The writer of that article goes on to explain in more detail about disclosure, but for the state of Massachusetts. However Georgia has a lot to say about disclosure when selling your property:
Although Georgia law does not require a seller to fill out a specific disclosure form, the law does require a seller to inform a buyer about any known material (important) defects in the condition of the home. There’s an exception if the defect would be discovered by the buyer upon a reasonable inspection, but that’s meant to cover fairly obvious things – for example, you don’t need to point out, “the porch roof has collapsed,” if anyone looking at the property can see that the porch roof has collapsed.
The Georgia seller must also honestly answer a buyer’s questions about the home. Buyers might ask about anything from what repairs you’ve done in the past to how your dealings with the neighbors have been. Attempting to obfuscate can lead to lawsuits later, so it’s best to be honest and open.
Again, however, you are not supposed to wait for questions if a defect is “material” and not readily visible. Georgia courts have generally held that a defect is “material” if the buyer would consider it material; that is, if known to a prospective buyer, it would cause that person to not buy the property, or to pay less for it -– such as, for instance, the fact that it was built on unstable ground.
As a general rule, in order to prevent later accusations of misrepresentation or fraud from a buyer, as a seller in Georgia you should be upfront, answer the buyer’s questions, and tell the buyer about any problems you are aware of regarding the condition of the home (most likely by filling out the optional standard form described below).
We agree that it’s much better to disclose any problems with the property that you are aware of to the buyer. In the long run it could save you a lot of headaches and a long drawn out law suit that could cost you thousands.
Summing It Up
There are a few factors that you must think about when it comes to selling your house as is. Really you are the only person that can decide if it’s right for you. If you have the money to have the repairs made and have the time, then no – go ahead and have them done so you will bring a higher price for your property. But if you are short on cash and don’t have the time, then selling as is may be the route you need to take.