Sometimes people find themselves in a situation where they need to sell their house as is. Perhaps they've already moved and can't be there to arrange for repairs, or maybe they don't have the money that improvements will cost.
Selling a house as is can be a big challenge, but there are things you can do to meet that challenge. Here are 5 tips for keeping buyers interested when selling a house as is.
1. Understand what absolutely has to be done. The vast majority of mortgage lenders insist that the home not have structural, health, or safety issues before they will lend money to a buyer. That means if your house has code violations and you choose not to fix them, you may limit the number of potential buyers to only those who can pay cash. And even then, be prepared for cash buyers to expect a bargain price.
2. Know that disclosures are still required. Selling a house as is does mean "what you see is what you get," but complete disclosure is still required by state law. That means that the buyer will get a report from a licensed home inspector outlining the problems, including problems that are not visible. When a sales contract is drawn up, the words "as is" need to be written clearly in the sales agreement, and the buyer needs to initial next to the words so that they cannot later claim that they didn't know they were buying as is.
3. Know the competition. Tour as many comparable homes as possible and note their conditions and amenities. You will most likely find that kitchens and bathrooms can be deal breakers, while other home improvements don't matter as much. If your house falls short on features that are important to buyers, be prepared to price low. If you hire a professional appraiser, tell him or her up front that you plan on selling as is so you can set the price appropriately.
4. Make a plan for responding to lowball offers. Because as is houses attract investors, contractors, first time buyers without a big budget, and house "flippers," you can count on getting lowball offers. Try not to take it personally. Know how low you will go and be prepared to make a swift counteroffer to any lowball offers you receive. Some buyers may be willing to meet you halfway.
5. Keep the house as clean and neat as possible, inside and out. You may wonder why you should bother if there are holes in the sheetrock or all the faucets leak. But cleanliness does make a difference. If you keep your yard mowed and your house ready for a viewing at all times, you can schedule potential buyers for a tour before they have time to change their minds. Plus, if you keep the beds made, the dishes put away, and the toys picked up, it gives the impression that you're not selling as is due to laziness or lack of pride in your home, but because of financial or practical circumstances.
If you have any time or money you can use toward minimum repairs, you're wise to do so. The following repairs should take precedence:
Fixing code violations
Repairing roof leaks
Fixing a broken heating / air conditioning system
Patching holes or cracks in the ceilings and walls
Replacing broken windows