Selling a house is a huge venture to undertake. Even if you don’t intend to upgrade the house first, bringing it back up to code can be draining. Selling a house involves investments of money, time, energy, and patience (and that’s to say nothing of emotional investment!) However, some sellers do not have the money or time to get things in order. In those cases, selling “as is” may be the best option.
It is important to know that “as is” is a specific, regulated category of sale. It means the seller is putting their house on the market without fixing all of its problems. However, it doesn’t mean the seller can hide the house’s issues. (There are actually laws in many states that prohibit a seller from misrepresenting their property or misleading a potential buyer.) “As is” sellers list all the flaws and concerns of their house, so buyers know what they’re getting into. It might sound like a difficult dynamic for the seller, but if they manage it well, they’ll be able to close the deal in no time! Below are 8 tips to do just that.
Complete a Comprehensive Inspection
If you are legally responsible for accurately representing the status of your house, the more information you have, the better. A home inspection will cost a few hundred dollars (plus or minus based on the size of your house or apartment), but it’s an important and informative part of the process. You may think ignorance is bliss and prefer not to know about that termite problem, but it’s your responsibility to know the product you’re selling.
Decide What’s Worth Fixing
After the inspection is complete, you’ll want to get estimates on the repairs. It might not seem that way in the moment, but information is your friend here. While you could simply leave your house “as is” and put it on the market, you might find that some items are just worth fixing. A fresh coat of paint or some other cosmetic work could improve the curbside appeal enough to be worth the cost. You don’t want to let a severe issue like mold or a leaky roof scare away all your would-be buyers.
Know the Market
Something that will help you decide which items are worth fixing is to get a sense of what other houses in your area are selling for, and what your potential buyers are looking for. Easier said than done, but you likely already know a lot about the demographics of your area. (Young college students who are looking for a cheap deal? Families with young children who need full, safe houses? Investors? House flippers?) This information will help you move forward with an educated strategy.
Once you get a sense of the market, you can list your home for sale. When you choose an asking price, it’s important to know what you need out of the house, but also to be realistic. If updated houses of similar size in your area are selling for close to what you were hoping to get “as is,” you’ll know you it’s time to lower your asking price. On the topic of expectations, don’t surprise your buyers. Make sure to include “as is” in your listing.
Be Positively Honest
It’s important (and possibly the law) that you be honest in communicating the state of the house. That means volunteering information about the work your house needs and answering any truthfully any questions your would-be buyers might have. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t be positive. As in many areas, a strength-based approach is the best approach. acknowledge the weaknesses, but point out the strengths. Help them to see what you’ll miss about the place.
Make a Plan for Responding to Lowball Offers
Some of your potential buyers will be experienced in these sorts of sales. They know some sellers are just trying to get out as fast as possible. Can you really blame them for testing the waters with a low ball? After all, you might accept. Think in advance about the lowest price you can accept. (You don’t want to be caught off guard and make a hasty decision.) If you can’t go any lower, point out the strengths of your house and politely turn down their offer. The last thing you want to do is take offense. Try not to interpret a low offer as a low evaluation of your home.
Keep the House as Clean and Neat as Possible, Inside and Out
It’s common knowledge that people frequently judge books by their cover, so make it a beautiful cover. Tidy up all the clutter, and keep your surfaces clean and clear. (Don’t forget the outside areas.) Leave room for people to imagine their things filling the space. The clutter in our lives is often invisible to us until we see it in a picture or through a viewfinder. Try taking pictures around your house to help find the less photogenic areas.
Be Flexible with Visiting Hours
With all the work it takes to sell a house on top of the work of your everyday life, it can be difficult to also keep normal visiting hours. However, people are more likely to buy products they can see, and touch—perhaps nowhere more so than in house purchases. That’s why a wise seller will go above and beyond “keeping normal visiting hours.” When possible, be flexible. Your buyers also have a lot going on their lives, and your accommodation might be what makes your house stand out and secure the sale.
cover photo via by Pixabay from Pexels