Selling A Home As-Is: What Are Your Options?

If you have ever sold a used car, you might assume that selling a home as-is, is not much different.

After all, used cars come with a certain mileage, maybe some unique features, and a history of maintenance.  Car buyers, like house hunters, expect to know many things before closing the deal. In a sense, selling a used car depends on a lot on how “new” you can make it seem.

That logic does not apply when it comes to selling a home in as-is condition (versus selling a home in excellent condition) There is a lot more to consider.

Before you put the wheels in motion, here’s what you need to know as you consider your options for selling as-is property in San Diego.

Do buyers even want as-is homes?  

Generally speaking, traditional buyers prefer a house that is shiny and move-in ready, and there’s no shortage of those in San Diego Some buyers like the idea of a fixer-upper but “easy repairs” and “cosmetic damage” is very subjective. They might express interest, but it is hard to predict the kind of “fixes” that will be the deal-breaker from buyer to buyer. As a general rule of thumb, a regular, retail buyer will expect everything to be in working order and for the home to be cosmetically pleasing with current upgrades. Outdated homes and those in need of significant repair are harder sells as there are almost no buyers looking for big projects on top of their big investment.

Do you have to disclose information about the property?

In some situations (such as foreclosure or inherited property) the seller may not have much information about the home. Regardless, all sellers are required to disclose as much as they know about the property.

In California, as-is disclosure does have legal meaning. The buyer will ultimately have to sign paperwork that spells out the expectations of the sale agreement. Regarding purchase agreements, buyers can expect to purchase a home exactly as they saw it on the date of the contract. Although sellers are not obligated to improve the home’s condition, the buyer reserves the right to cancel the transaction if say, something breaks and the seller chooses not to fix it (thus restoring the home to its as-was condition).

Real estate agents are held to an even higher standard. If you are working with one to sell your San Diego home, understand that they are required by law to present the facts and answer questions honestly with potential buyers. It is your responsibility to inform the realtor about less apparent issues (mold, termites, prior damage, structural defects, etc.). In a standard, retail real estate sale, you will be required to fill out the Sellers Statement of Property Condition form which outlines what is known and unknown about the home.  This will be presented to any retail buyers and will often lead to request for repairs, requests for seller credits/price reductions, or a justification to back out of the transaction all together.

Should you fix anything?

Some homeowners just want to get rid their property fast and are unable to invest time repairing and preparing, not to mention waiting for the right buyer to come around. Some homeowners are incapable of forking over costs for repairs. Most likely, these circumstances are what drove your decision to sell your home as-is in the first place.

Misunderstandings between traditional buyers and as-is home sellers are common. For example, an interested buyer sees that the kitchen could use an update, but he has some great ideas for renovation. Then he learns about the broken garbage disposal, the unreliable water heater,  and a host of other problems. So he says, “Well aren’t you going to take care of those?” And no, you don’t  have to take care of that. And yes… he’ll probably walk away.

The term “as-is” can be contentious. If you plan to sell your as-is home FSBO, get a pre-listing inspection to ensure buyers have all the details about the home’s condition up front in addition to your disclosure statements. Consider using the inspection report to get estimates from contractors. Providing buyers with costs for repairs upfront saves them from guessing (much higher). Also, it saves you time better spent with more qualified buyers.

Choosing to make some improvements or quick fixes has its benefits. Repainting rooms or removing old wallpaper is easy and inexpensive. As a San Diego homeowner, there’s no bad day to mow the lawn or spruce up the garden. And as a home seller, a little sweat and effort can yield a lot of curb appeal.

Are there alternative buyers?

Yes. Selling a home as-is in San Diego can be confusing and overwhelming. The market is subject to ups and downs. Traditional buyers back out. No matter what, professional home buyers are always an option. They buy properties in any situation: in need of repairs, damaged or distressed;  and they work directly with sellers no matter how stressed, whether they are looking for a quick cash solution or are on a tight timeline to get rid of the property.

Our job is to be your best option! We help San Diego homeowners sell their homes, in any condition! If you need to sell your house just as it is, we look forward to working with you! There is no pressure or obligation… get in touch to explain your situation and we can make a fast cash offer on your home!

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